Yah-Yah Girls Inc
1133 Bal Harbour Blvd

Hunger Persists when school is dismissed on Friday!

Our mission is to eliminate childhood hunger for elementary and middle school children of Charlotte County. Children who eat well learn more, learn better, learn faster. 
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Jolene Mowry
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Back Pack Kids
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2003
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes July 2018
State Registration Yes Mar 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

Since 2010 the Yah Yah Girls have been filing backpacks with nutritious kid friendly food for Charlotte County's neediest children. Each year approximately 22% of the elementary school population that qualify for free breakfast and lunch are in danger of spending a weekend with little or no food  until school programs begin on Monday.

In 2010/2011 we started with two year around schools and send home 110-130 backpacks each weekend. Today we are now in all ten elementary schools of Charlotte County and send home approximately 1500 backpacks each weekend. 

Our goal is to continue that support for all of the elementary schools to ensure there are no hungry children in Charlotte County. As the numbers of children who need these backpacks continue to rise  we are determined to meet the need!
Needs Statement
1).To expand our program to the three middle schools for the 2016-2017 school year. There are currently 2752 middle school students enrolled of which 600 would qualify for the program. We need to raise an additional $100,000 over the 2015 budget to fund this project.
2).Fundraising: At a minimum each year to meet the needs of the elementary school children we must raise $240,000 to provide 1500 backpacks for the ten elementary schools. A tax deductible gift as a monetary donation or food is always welcome and appreciated.
3).Volunteer packers; Back packs are packed every week and we always need volunteers who can give 2-3 hours a week (during the school year) to pack the food for over 1,500 children. 
4). Marketing/Communication/Fundraising:  A volunteer that can commit to updating our website on a regular basis; communicating our needs via social media avenues on a daily/weekly basis.  Volunteers to orchestrate fund raising events that will raise awareness of the program as well as raise money to continue the cause.
Background Statement
The Yah Yah Girls, Inc. have been working for the children in the community since 2004. We are a group of approximately 30+ women who are all volunteer. Our mission is to help the children in our county who might not get the help they need or whose needs slip "under the radar." During the spring of 2010 we learned of the children who when they were not in school during the weekends were receiving little to no food until they returned to school on Monday morning. After much research, it was determined that this was a problem in our county: children were hungry on the weekend. This research turned into a project and this project a challenge, but one that was met head on. Back Pack Kidz was born and this issue has been addressed ever since. For the 2014-15 school year, we have served 9 out of 10 elementary schools as well as our special needs school, Charlotte Harbor and served over 1,000 students every weekend. This project that started with 2 Charlotte County Elementary schools has expanded and the need is even greater now. Back Pack Kidz are trying to make the needs known while working to address both the present and future needs as they arise.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
Areas Served Comments
We currently serve the needs of the following Charlotte County, Florida elementary schools: Deep Creek 33983, East 33982, Kingsway 33980, Liberty 33954, Meadowpark 33948, Myakka 33981, Neil Armstrong 33952, Peace River 33952, Sallie Jones 33950, and Charlotte Harbor 33980. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

I am the Founder of Back Pack Kidz.  I first learned of a family of five children who had lost their father in an auto accident and their mother was not  capable of taking care of them so the oldest child who was in the fifth grade had taken it upon himself to take care of his brothers and sisters.  I had been considering starting this program and this story started the ball rolling.  We are now The Yah Yah Girls DBA Back Pack Kidz.  We are 100% volunteer.  We started taking backpacks filled with child friendly foods to one school in 2010.  The backpacks were given to the neediest children on Friday so they would have food to eat during the weekend. We are now feeding between 800 to a thousand students each week in 10 Charlotte County schools.  Our challenge is always raising money but we continue to work with local businesses and individuals within our community who desire to assist us with fundraising.  We are also involved in seeking applicable grants.   


Back Pack Kidz is the program of the Yah Yah Girls.  This program feeds the neediest children in Charlotte County in 10 elementary schools.  These children may or may not have food to eat when they leave school on Friday until they return to school on Monday.  We take backpacks filled with child friendly foods to each of the elementary schools on Friday to be given to those children who have been determined by the teachers, school nurses, school officials, to be food deprived when they return to school on Monday.  We started this program in 2010 in 2 schools and this year we are feeding the children in 10 schools.  We deliver  800 to 1000 backpacks weekly.  Not only are we feeding these children, we are helping them to feel loved and be better equipped to come to school ready to participate on Monday morning.  We are giving them a better future for we are aware they are our future.  We are 100% volunteer.  We train our volunteers each summer to prepare them for the school year. 

Budget $1,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Other Economic Level At-Risk Populations Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Short Term Success This annual 4 hour event raises thousands of dollars each year for local charities and brings awareness of the need within our community.
Long Term Success *Raise as much money as possible to feed the hungry children of Charlotte County.
*Increase awareness of hunger and related issues. Through education, awareness, and action, concerned individuals can change human attitudes that allow hunger to exist.
Program Success Monitoring It has been 25 years since a couple of women with a desire to help feed those who were hungry, packed up some food in the trunk of their car and began their humble feeding program. Through the years the needs of the children were discovered. They were not getting the nutrition they needed over the weekends and it was taking until Tuesday of the school week for the children to "start their learning." Back Pack Kidz want to do more, serve more and it truly does take a village to raise a child. Or in our case, 1,000's of children.
Program Success Examples Empty Bowls 2014 a success. Over $22,000 was raised at the event.
Program Comments by Organization Working with Back Pack Kidz gives me the opportunity to work with other organizations to continue to understand the need for Back Pack Kidz.  I, Jolene Mowry, the Founder of Back Pack Kidz have been on the committee of Empty Bowls ( a group which holds a yearly event to feed hungry families in Charlotte County) for six years.   Empty Bowls was founded by two teachers at Liberty Elementary School.  The students participate as does everyone in the school.  Each year, Empty Bowls donates money from the event to Back Pack Kidz.  This program enables Back Pack Kidz to continue to learn about the needs in the school as well as give our support and we in turn receive financial help as well as continue to be educated about the struggles of many of the students in our community.   
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email No executive
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 30
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Collaborations include working with school principals, guidance counselors and school-based social workers to identify the neediest children. We also collaborate with the school's nutritionists to help with the selection of the foods that should and should not be considered for the individual backpacks.
Every year we collaborate with the Empty Bowls Program which includes the Homeless Coalition. We also collaborate with the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Ft. Myers as well as the Wal-Mart Volunteer Program and the Punta Gorda Civic Association "Beyond Ourselves" Home Tour.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce2011
Proclamation from City of Punta Gorda2014
Non-Profit Charity of the YearPunta Gorda Chamber of Commerce2013
Making a DifferenceCharlotte County Board of Education2014
Making a DifferencePunta Gorda Isles Civic Association2014
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
*Dear Ya Ya Girls Backpack Program,
I am writing to express my gratitude for your program which serves the students in my
class. I teach first grade at Peace River Elementary school. This year I have 19 students
seven of which receive a food backpack each week. These are all students who deserve
the backpack and look for it each Friday afternoon as they leave to go home for the
weekend. I have been told by several of the other children not receiving the backpacks
that they could really use the backpack as well. Unfortunately, due to funding I know we cannot make it possible for all the students to receive one. Just last Friday, while walking from the classroom, one of my students stopped me and shared that her backpack was very heavy. I said " I bet you could use that food over the weekend." She then replied "She did like having the food over the weekend and so did her little brother" Many of my students come from single family homes or are being cared for by a grandparent. Grocery prices are increasing daily and it is often difficult for families to make the decisions as to which bills they will pay when they receive their paycheck. I have been told by many of my students that there isn't much food at home. It breaks my heart to know that sometimes they are left hungry. The backpack program has helped those children be more alert and ready to learn on Monday mornings, because they have been able to eat over the weekend. Before our backpack program existed it was always a
struggle to get the students focused on their learning on Monday mornings, I was usually hearing complaints of stomach aches. I appreciate all that your program does for our students. I hope that we will continue to have the support of this great program.
Thank you,
Karen Roy/Peace River Elementary school
Board Chair
Board Chair Jolene Mowry
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Jan 2018 to Jan 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Theda Bunker community volunteer
Sherri Dennis Community Volunteer
Muriel DeStefano Community Volunteer
Kim Devine Community Volunteer
Lynda Freisner Community Volunteer
Angela Kirshy Community Volunteer
Jolene Mowry Community Volunteer
Jan Savino community volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 0
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 4
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 69
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $155,572.00
Projected Expenses $155,600.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$109,167$111,271$197,382
Administration Expense$2,129$2,629$4,980
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.411.591.02
Program Expense/Total Expenses98%98%98%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$188,097$142,027$75,052
Current Assets$188,097$142,027$75,052
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$245
Total Net Assets$188,097$142,027$74,807
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $78,516Contributions, gifts, grants $77,845Backpack Income $95,953
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $70,179Program Service Revenue $71,499Contributions, gifts, grants $73,305
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $8,548Fundraising $31,671Fundraising $29,939
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----306.33
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Nonprofits face numerous challenges in establishing and maintaining financial sustainability, and these challenges are exacerbated for nonprofits serving low-resources, high-need communities. We hope to face this challenge head on by:
*innovative fundraising techniques; 
*clear and consistent marketing and branding to communicate our mission to funders and the community;
*Collaborations with other organizations that have similar goals; 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990-EZ and audited financial statements.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Organization includes the value of in-kind donations in its revenue computation.
Nonprofit Yah-Yah Girls Inc
Address 1133 Bal Harbour Blvd
Phone 941 875-9747