There's an organization in Hannibal that's been in existence since 2009, but you may not have heard of it.

It's the Hannibal Alliance for Youth Success, also known as HAYS. It came into existence as the result of a partnership between the Hannibal School District and the University of Missouri. The two entities set out to determine children and family-related needs in the community.

The result was the formation of HAYS. Its' stated mission is to see to it that every child should be empowered to have hope for future success, have a sense of self-worth, lead a healthy and productive life and be a responsible and contributing member of the community.

HAYS' services are geared toward Pre-K through 12th grade children who live in the Hannibal School District.

The best known of the programs that falls under the HAYS umbrella is the Buddy Pack program, which provides food for eligible children to take home on weekends. Other programs include a mentoring program, mental health services and business partnerships.

HAYS hosts a donor celebration Thursday, March 20 at the Hannibal Nutrition Center, with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and a meeting and celebration at 8.

The HAYS treasurer is Dana Ruhl. He and Hannibal Children's Center director Meredith Andrews were recent guests on KHMO's Talk Back: