by Jessica Daley
The Principal Charity Classic raises money for five local organizations that help kids. Those five then help other organizations including the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers.
"I'd probably wouldn't even be alive," said 19-year-old Samantha Cartwright. She bounced between homes, dropped out of high school, battled addiction, and then she found help at the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers.
"I feel that the program's made me really strong. I have more self-confidence in myself now than I ever did."
Samantha is one of 300 some teens the organization has touched. A big way they do that is by sending counselors out in vans to reach out to homeless youth. It's something they do every day.
"Checking on folks and looking to see if there are any new folks, working to make contact, build those trust relationships with people that are having some hard times," said Jim McWeeny, a resources coordinator for the organization.
In December, Variety - The Children's Charity donated a new van to the center with money raised at the classic.
"It's all about erasing those barriers, and the support from the Variety Club that they get by virtue of this wonderful golf tournament really helps us tear down some of those barriers," McWeeny said.
And that allows wandering youth, like Samantha, a place to grow. "It's like my own little family."