The HYMS Program
is a voucher system to help pregnant or parenting teens stay in
by purchasing small items needed for daily living.
1. PREPARATION AND PLANNING
a. The reader should first identify the teacher designated to work with pregnant and parenting teens within the local school system. Set up a meeting with the teacher to explain the HYMS Program. If the program is accepted, discuss how to approach the school system. Since the school system will not be financially involved, it is generally not seen as a problem for the teacher and administrator to be involved. Also, discuss which churches or non-profit agencies should be approached about serving as the fiscal agent for the program.
b. Both the reader and the teacher should go together to approach the church or non-profit agency about serving as fiscal agent. Explain the HYMS Program, and agree on how to keep the necessary records for program and tax reports.
c. The reader should call a second meeting to include the designated teacher, a school official and a church or nonprofit organization official. Provide enough copies of the HYMS Module for each person attending. The program should be carefully explained, and if accepted, ask for commitment from all the parties. This meeting forms the executive committee. The committee should discuss the stores needed for the program: a discount store, a drug store, a beauty salon, a barber shop, and a grocery store.
d. The next step is to recruit the stores. Divide the responsibility among the executive committee. Explain to the stores their role using the Store Instruction sheet provided at the back of the Module. No formal contract is needed since we are asking them to invoice the church or nonprofit organization at the end of the month.
e. Also, a meeting should be called between the church or nonprofit organization financial officer and the designated teacher to fully explain the necessary record keeping of the voucher system. An example has been provided at the back of the Module.
f. The last step is to make presentations to civic clubs, women's organizations, and other groups for the needed donated funds. These organizations often have service funds for local concerns or may be willing to raise money for the program. Be sure to leave clear instructions on how to write a check to the special HYMS Program account. To preserve the tax-free, donation status, the check should be made out to the church or nonprofit organization with the HYMS Program noted in the lower left corner of the check.
2. VOLUNTEER GROUP ACTIVITIES
The HYMS Program does not require the direct help of a volunteer group to make it operational. However, it does require volunteer organizations within the community to adopt the HYMS Program as a worthwhile concern and donate funds for its support.
3.ACTIVITIES: HOW THE HYMS PROGRAM WORKS
a. The teacher, who knows the students best, fills out the store voucher with the student's name, the participating store's name, the items to be purchased, the total value of the voucher, and their authorizing signature.
b. The student then takes the store voucher to the store and selects the needed items. The store accepts the voucher for the items and invoices the church or nonprofit organization account at the end of the month. If the cost of the items exceeds the total value of the voucher, the student is responsible for the balance. If the total value of the items is below the value of the voucher, then the store bills for only the actual cost. Because the funds are within the church or nonprofit organization account, the purchases should be tax-free.
c.If the item needed can be more easily purchased by a helping teacher on behalf of a student, then a teacher voucher should be used. The helping teacher should call the designated HYMS teacher and discuss the needed item. If it is agreed, a teacher voucher is completed and sent to the church or fiscal agent, who will in turn write a check to reimburse the helping teacher.
d. The church or nonprofit organization pays the invoice out of the special HYMS Program account where the donated funds have been deposited from the local organizations and individuals.
HOW ARE THINGS CONTROLLED?
The executive committee of the HYMS Program should consist of the designated teacher, a school official, and a church or nonprofit organization official. They will decide how often they will meet and how often they should report to the church or nonprofit organization. Any member of the committee should be able to call a meeting if they think there is a problem. All of the control for the HYMS Program is vested within this local group.
POST PROGRAM/ACTIVITY EVALUATION
The local executive committee will decide what evaluation they will need to improve the ongoing activities of the HYMS Program in their community. When reports are created, the Adolescent Health Initiative would appreciate a copy. The intent of this program is to create a structure so local people can help teens within their community without the complications of grant funding.
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