Grace Youth and Family Foundation or "GYFF", officially began in January of 1990. It was registered in Pennsylvania as a Domestic Non-profit Corporation July 14th, 1994, and received 501C3 Federal Tax-Exemption August 12, 1996.
GYFF was born out of a Friday night community outreach volleyball program operating out of a local church gym/auditorium in Cranberry Township, Butler County Pennsylvania. Youth attended the program with an expectation of eating free food, listening to a brief message about God’s unconditional love and acceptance, and playing volleyball. What brought youth back each week was their development of engaging relationships with servant leaders who truly loved and cared about what was happening in their daily lives.
GYFF's initial program confirmed that, “youth don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. With this understanding, GYFF's Founder, Bill Halle, began to build trusting relationships by consistently demonstrating God's unconditional love and acceptance, engaging youth in nonjudgmental conversation, and listening to the realities of their life experience. This simple approach opened tremendous opportunity to minister to unmet needs and has enabled GYFF to help thousands of at-risk youths and their families for over 30 years.
Through years of developing honest real-life relationships, Bill and GYFF staff saw first-hand how little help there truly was for youth and their families who were dealing with serious problems and/or significant needs. They learned that as many as 90% of those who were identified as having a significant need, never receive help due to a myriad of barriers ranging from social economic to simple lack of awareness that help existed. One day while driving to work, Bill decided he could not continue living his daily life as if he did not know the struggles the youth and families were facing, nor could he accept excuses that nothing could be done. That very afternoon, Bill began the steps that led to the creation of Grace Youth and Family Foundation, his resignation from his job, and his answering the call of full time ministry.