Our Heroes: Peter & Carol Burger
“Why don’t you come back in and talk a bit?” asked Peter Burger.
It was the mid-1970s and Peter was a volunteer Assistant Shift Leader at the YES Drop-In Center. He knew that the boy who was walking out the door was contemplating suicide. Peter brought him back in. He helped him get through a dark time. Peter’s wife Carol says, “Even today, Peter is really good with kids. He talks their language.” To this, Peter cracks a joke about how he’s really just a kid himself. But YES knows it’s a gift he’s shared with our community for decades.
Throughout the 1970s, Peter took shifts at the drop-in center to lend an ear to teens. He was later promoted to “Crisis Flyer.” One night a week, Peter and a fellow “Flyer” would respond to calls from teens or parents experiencing a moment of crisis.
“We talked to parents and explained that their teenager was normal,” Peter said. “We would mediate a lot of these moments when parents panicked and things escalated.” Peter often had to support the parents with issues that they weren’t familiar with, and connect them to resources.
While Peter was using his gifts to engage with teens, Carol was busy developing a system for YES to track and report volunteer hours.
Peter and Carol always found it important to support the younger generation. As a result of their service at YES, they decided to become foster parents. They say the support at YES—including counseling for both their foster child and them—made it a positive experience.
Peter and Carol say they continue to support YES because it has kept up with the community as it has changed.
YES is grateful to Peter, Carol and all the volunteers who helped YES become the invaluable community resource it is today!
“YES had a very small paid staff in the early years. Without people like Peter and Carol, we could not have built the foundation that allowed YES to be such a great resource.” — Bob Watt, former YES Executive Director
For 50 years, caring community members like Peter and Carol have supported and advanced Youth Eastside Services’ mission through their generous contributions. Every gift helps further YES’ service to youth and families, and gifts of $1,000 or more are especially critical to our ability to meet behavioral health care needs, now and in the future.