Latvian exchange student raises funds for Iowa’s homeless youth

Justine Jukama, right, an exchange student in the Workldlink FLEX program from Latvia, and Chris Cohea, Jukama's sponsor in Perry, explain the Reggie's Sleepout fundraiser to the Perry City Council Tuesday.

Online donors may use this QR code to donate online.

Justine Jukama, a foreign exchange student in the Workldlink FLEX program from Latvia, briefed the Perry City Council Tuesday night on a fundraising effort she is involved in called Reggie’s Sleepout, which helps homeless youth in central Iowa.

Reggie’s Sleepout is an annual event sponsored by Youth Shelter Services (YSS)  and named in honor of Reggie Kelsey of Des Moines, who died in 2001 after he aged out of foster care services. Reggie’s Sleepout helps young adults who are similarly transitioning out of foster care, providing for their basic needs, child care, employment and similar services.

“Our team has a huge goal  this year of $20,000,” Jukama told the Perry council, “but I have an individual goal of $1,000.”

Jukama was joined at the council meeting by Chris Cohea, the Latvian student’s Worldlink sponsor in Perry. Cohea said he and hs wife, Trista Cohea, support Jukama’s fundraising efforts.

Donors to Reggie’s Sleepout may donate online or send checks to:

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers
Attn: Reggie’s Sleepout/Worldlink Justine Jukama
612 Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309


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