Dear Friends and Customers,

Three years ago, I was asked to be a Board Member of a new group called the Carmel Youth Assistance Program (CYAP). Little did I know that the experience would allow me to participate in what I believe is the most impactful and results oriented non-profit in Hamilton County.

The program was started by Judge Steve Nation after becoming frustrated with the number of youths that were flooding his courtroom and the ominous need to increase the number of beds in the Hamilton County youth holding facility.

Organized by the school district, the courts, school counselors and police, at risk youth are referred to a CYAP advocate. The CYAP advocate help assess the needs of the at-risk youth, their family situation as well as the needs not currently being met to help the child succeed. The advocate then summons the groups of services (counseling, shelters for abusive relationships, summer camps, food needs, grief counseling, mentoring etc.) that are necessary from over 100 local charities and religious organizations to support the youth and their family. The advocates’ job does not stop there. They consistently monitor and ensure those services are working and support the accomplishment of the intended goal.

With Youth Assistance Programs in Noblesville, Cicero, Fishers, Westfield and Carmel, the results are measurable and impactful. For example, Hamilton County prioritized adding youth beds to the juvenile justice system just a few years ago. However, post Youth Assistance has identified consecutive days that not a single youth bed was occupied. Collectively, CYAP advocates manage 70 to 90 cases at any given time just from Carmel referrals.

In addition to advocate services, CYAP is also the lead partner of the Carmel Summer Lunch Program. Last summer, in conjunction with partnering alongside local church’s, CYAP coordinated summer meals for over 250 youths’ who are eligible for free or reduced lunches during the school year.

The loss of jobs in our community due to COVID has locked down those eligible for the Summer Lunch Program and their numbers have increased to over 500 in-school youth.  The Carmel community has been remarkable and we are proud to say that their response has allowed us to raise enough money to serve those additional youth.

However, Joe’s is aware of an additional need and believe it is our duty to do what we can to contribute.   While the youth on free and reduced lunches will get summer meals, there is still a group of 70 “too young for school” children in these families that are not eligible but are in need of help.

That is why on Saturday, July 11th we are donating 10% of our gross sales of the day to CYAP to help fund this initiative. At the end of the day, we will personally match that total with the goal of raising up to $10,000. This is an ambitious goal, given the way Joe’s is set up for COVID, but we are optimistic!

So how do you get involved? Easy, just come to Joe’s that Saturday and shop! We will have two cashiers on duty and extra staff behind the counter to do our best to make the experience is pleasant and safe.

Can’t shop with us on Saturday, July 11th?  Then please consider giving to CYAP at the following link:

At the bottom of the form please change the donation to Summer Lunch and in the comments simply type JOES so that we can track the success of our efforts.

In the 15 years my wife Kathy and I have owned Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market, we have made a habit of quietly giving to those in our community that are less fortunate. In doing so we have always felt it is important to NOT involve our customers. Our philosophy has been that your kindness in supporting our employees and families should be limited to your choice to shop here and your purchases. We believe that it is our duty to be responsible stewards of the purchase dollars entrusted to us.

However, we see this opportunity as an urgent, one-time event that we think can change the outlook of those receiving the gift!  Thanks for considering shopping with us on Saturday July 11th or donating if you feel called to do so!