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You Are Special

 317 S Center St.
 Orange, CA 92866
[P] (714) 863-6058
[F] (714) 744-8128
[email protected]
Michelle Hensley
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA You Are Special
You Are Special Community Outreach
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 27-0323708 00000



Mission StatementMORE »

YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial literacy for widows is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a key to empowerment. 


Mission Statement

YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial literacy for widows is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a key to empowerment. 


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $6,400.00
Projected Revenue $8,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Widows Financial Literacy and Micro-Grant Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial literacy for widows is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a key to empowerment. 


Background Statement

Widows constitute a growing segment of the US population yet very little is being done to educate them about personal finance or entrepreneurship. YAS is dedicated to the proposition that financial literacy is the foundation of sustainability and views entrepreneurship as a key to empowerment. Widows are often cast in the role of victim. YAS sees them for what they are – survivors who can break the cycle of poverty and the fears of an uncertain future through education and connection with those who are overcoming these life challenges.

YAS started as a community outreach for the low income in Orange County, Ca and really whoever had a need (and still do) could come and get food no questions asked. It’s hard to believe we had such a need in Orange County, but we did.

When my husband passed away, I was faced with widowhood, what to do, how to live life and eventually was able started my own business. I had quite a learning curve. I came out of a marriage raising 7 children and although the church took care of me for a year, was now faced with creating income for myself. I had finance but not every one who faces widowhood does. The fact is if you are working as a widow, you lose 50% of your income but for a lot of us, we lose 100% of our income. Widows are a quiet, growing, invisible and an underserved group. I had no idea of the feelings and situation that widows faced until I became one.

Impact Statement

Widows comprise one of the fastest growing demographics in the US. According to the US Census Bureau, every year about 1 million women join this group adding to the 12 million widows already. 

  1. 70 % of all married women will experience widowhood. 
  2. 80% of men die married where 80% of women die single.
  3. 52 % rely on their husbands for long term care.
  4. 80% say they lack financial savy or understanding.
  5. 80 % receiving insurance or inherit lose their money in approx. 3 years.
YAS's goal here is to serve and educate economically disadvantaged widows by providing a small grant to help those who desire to start their own business, receive financial education and a small grant to help in order to sustain a living or be a side business.

YAS recognizes there is a problem. There are many widows in poverty and many more to come. YAS understands that the labor market should serve to create more opportunities for widows that might have less success but it is not always recognized and some of the women are not prepared and lack the skills needed. However, we also understand that we must remedy certain barriers in order to allow widows to reach this goal and that is what YAS is endeavoring to do. Train, support, educate and lead through this time. 

We will have an online class to start the process, there will be an application process, possibly  help in stabilizing the widow who loses her sole financial support.  

Needs Statement

Stabilize the widow and her family if younger

Stabilizing the widow is the beginning of our program and typically averages $2000 USD per woman for a 1 year program. 

1) Sponsor the website program~3,000 This has already been developed but hosting and running it.

2) Grants for 10 women~20,000

3) Initial emergency relief 

a) one month's rent

b) Gas cards

c) grocery cards

d) gift cards for restaurants or fast food in the beginning, it is overwhelming.

Sponsorship includes education, mentoring, a small micro grant, and initial emergency relief. 

Many of the these women and their children entering our program could be without food, reliable housing, might have sickness themselves, and are discouraged. 

To help stabilize her family, we offer an initial gift to put food or needed essentials in the home and provide for minor medical care while she is learning how manage her finances and to launch a business.


CEO Statement

It’s reported that 70% of widows change advisors after their spouse dies. That’s because their advisors didn't understand their grief and their widow’s journey, after losing my husband to cancer and facing all these new issues, feelings and emotions, the personal side of money, I knew I needed to help other women.

I am currently a life, finance and grief coach for widows. After I was in a position of loss and began through research to find this huge gap, I desired to fulfill my goal of helping the underserved, the widows and the fatherless. I just did not realize I would be one. 

Board Chair Statement

I am writing on behalf of You Are Special which runs a food distribution program in the City of Orange which serves all of Orange County.  Many people in the community are familiar with YAS and even serve in some capacity as a volunteer. The economic downturn has left many public agencies unable to meet the demands of those facing hunger in our local community. As many as 456,000 people go hungry every month in Orange County alone. Sadly, food banks are no longer able to support the need as before, and donations are harder to come by. In spite of this, we thankfully continue to meet the needs of hundreds of people per month.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Other ways to donate are through sending a check, or volunteering business or finance education for widows.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Central Orange County
West Orange County
North Orange County

Our demographics would start in our local Orange County area, we can also teach and empower other organizations to do something similar. This will become an epidemic just because of the baby boomer generation. 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. Human Services - Senior Centers/Services
  3. Human Services - Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations



Widows Financial Literacy and Micro-Grant Program

Stabilize the widow and her family if younger

Educate and Train her Our training efforts are holistic and focus on every area of a woman’s life: personal life, family life, business life, community life and spiritual life. The widows (and can be widows with children) have expressed their need for financial education in these areas and we will be committed to meeting with each woman every three weeks for training and bring in volunteer teams two times a year to enlighten them, advance and enrich their lives. 
Consider a business for sustainability and skills or enhance their current skills  
Connect her with like minded organizations such as Modern Women’s Club and Soaring Spirits  
Lead in her community  
Budget  10,000
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Females At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  The first steps in financial literacy and the next step in transitioning from a wife, a grieving widow then a financially empowered and sustainable widow. She has completed the online course and has moved into feeling empowered to move forward. 
Program Long-Term Success 

To help a widow overcome economic challenges by becoming self sustaining, to strengthen her family relationships and thereby her community. 

Program Success Monitored By  The widow would have to complete the financial literacy course. Then we would have her check in with us, us on the reverse and follow her path. Most women actually invest when given the understanding 90% more than men. 
Examples of Program Success  That the widow would be stable, either come off of a government program, be self sustaining, then feel empowered to lead in her community sharing her story. She either would have started her own business, started saving money, understand the fundamentals of financial literacy and/or skilled herself more for her working environment. She has started in a community program such as Modern Widows Club.


CEO/Executive Director Michelle Hensley
CEO Term Start Jan 2003
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Michelle Hensley is an authority on widows and their financial issues. Having experienced widowhood herself, she now inspires other widows and advisors. She has several degrees and certifications that she earned while raising seven children. She also ran a successful non-profit, You Are Special, until after two years of battling cancer, her husband passed away. Michelle embraces every challenge with tenacity and determination, exploring effective leadership and helping others develop their passions. She currently frequents the local Orange Chamber, The Orange Rotary, and active in serving her local community is a finance, grief and life coach and passionate about fitness.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We work with Project Dignity, Salvation Army, Migrant Workers of Santa Ana Unified, Mercy House, Hands of Mercy, Second Harvest, Parents and Children Together, and Fishes and Loavesx10.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 1
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development No

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Ms. Michelle Marie Hensley
Board Chair Company Affiliation You Are Special Food Pantry
Board Chair Term Sept 2002 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Wally Gonzales Project Dignity Voting
Mrs. Michelle Marie Hensley You Are Special Community Outreach Voting
Mrs. Eydie MacInnis Community Philanthropist Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $8,000.00
Projected Expenses $6,400.00
Form 990s

2018 Form 990

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

Audit Documents

2013 Unaudited Financial Review

2010 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $7,184 $6,856 $9,474
Total Expenses $11,868 $14,010 $18,246

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$7,184 $6,856 $9,474
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $0
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue -- -- $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- $0
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events -- -- $0
Revenue In-Kind -- -- $0
Other -- -- $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $3,676 $2,142 $5,167
Administration Expense $8,192 $11,302 $13,079
Fundraising Expense -- $566 $0
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.61 0.49 0.52
Program Expense/Total Expenses 31% 15% 28%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 8% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $4,215 $8,899 $16,053
Current Assets $1,172 $2,481 $5,635
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities -- -- $0
Total Net Assets $4,215 $8,899 $16,053

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions. 


Other Documents

YAS 2014 Balance (2014)

YAS 2014 Profit and Loss (2014)

No Other Documents currently available.