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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Healthy Families Drive raises record amount for Boys Town Iowa Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Healthy Families Drive raises record amount for Boys Town Iowa <p> <em>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was posted on <a href="http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/iowa/healthy-families-drive-raises-record-amount-for-boys-town-iowa/article_c7041838-4feb-11e8-a1a3-4b4c04f7321d.html" target="_blank">nonpareilonline.com</a></em>; May 5, 2018.</p><p>The third annual Healthy Families Drive set another record, yielding more than 9,000 pounds of household and hygiene products for Boys Town Iowa clients, officials announced Friday at the organization's Council Bluffs office.</p><p>That's a quantum leap from last year's total of 5,700 pounds.</p><p>There was an earth-shaking change in the battle between the Red Team, led by the Council Bluffs Fire Department; and the Blue Team, led by the Council Bluffs Police Department. For the first time in the drive's history, the Blue Team won decisively, gathering 5,100 pounds of products, compared to 3,900 pounds for the Red Team.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa kicked off the drive at the beginning of April at Roosevelt Elementary School and Wilson Middle School. Many other schools from both Council Bluffs and Lewis Central Community School Districts also participated in the drive, along with community partners Iowa Western Community College, CHI Health Mercy Hospital, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and Google. Collection boxes were placed at local Hy-Vee Food Stores, Hy-Vee Drugstore, The Center, Council Bluffs Fire Department stations, the Council Bluffs Police Department and some local churches and schools.</p><p>Collaboration this year was "wonderful," said Debbie Orduna, executive director of Boys Town Iowa.</p><p>"Every weekend, we had people at Super Saver and Hy-Vee collecting things," she said. "It's just been another great year of the community coming together."</p><p>Last year, the Red Team collected 3,600 pounds of products to outpace the Blue Team, which gathered 2,100 pounds.</p><p>The drive makes a difference for many local families, Orduna said.</p><p>"Last year, we helped 600 children from over 300 families — just from this event," she said. "As a whole, Boys Town served 2,400 children in Iowa."</p><p>The agency also made a difference for Lynn Poe, a Council Bluffs woman who was in an abusive relationship and using meth, like her partner.</p><p>"A year ago when I got involved in the system, I was broken," she told staff members and volunteers gathered for the announcement. "Suicide was an everyday thought, and addiction was" a way of life. "It was a situation where, with the drugs and abuse, it seemed like there was n​​o way out."</p><p>Poe called Boys Town.</p><p>"I said, 'I don't want this life for my children, and I don't want this life for me,'" she recalled.</p><p>Boys Town referred Poe to Iowa Family Works, a rehab program operated by Heartland Family Service that offers residential treatment for women and space for their children. After 30 days required for addicts to detoxify, Poe's two daughters were able to move in with her there.</p><p>"For the first time in a long time, I had hope," she said. "I thought I owed it to my children to take a chance and try to make it work."</p><p>Poe took parenting classes from Boys Town and took advantage of its free closet.</p><p>"Boys Town has been not just life-changing in my life but lifesaving," she said. "If the drugs hadn't killed me, I would have killed myself."</p><p>After rehab, Poe and her daughters stayed at Catholic Charities Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault shelter.</p><p>Now, they have their own apartment, and Poe is volunteering at Sequels Thrift Store to establish a work history.</p><p>Boys Town began offering in-home services in Iowa in 1989 through an office in Glenwood. It opened a Council Bluffs office in 2006 and moved to 1851 Madison Avenue in 2007. The organization closed its office on Madison at the end of 2016 and opened at its current location.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> ​<a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Drive1.jpg" title="Healthy Family Drive"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Drive3.jpg" title="Healthy Family Drive"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Drive4.jpg" title="Healthy Family Drive"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Drive5.jpg" title="Healthy Family Drive"> ​ </a></div>​2018-05-08T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Healthy family drive" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Drive2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Saturday event seeks to raise awareness about child abuse Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Saturday event seeks to raise awareness about child abuse <p><em></em><a href="http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/special_coverage/saturday-event-seeks-to-raise-awareness-about-child-abuse/article_51d8cda0-4029-11e8-8c2e-5fcfac0d64a8.html" target="_blank"><em>This article is written by Jon Leu. It was posted on nonpareilonline.com April 15, 2018.</em></a></p><p>Some 50 residents of Council Bluffs and Omaha gathered in the Tom Hanafan Rivers Edge Park Pavilion on a cold, blustery and damp Saturday morning as the mayors of Council Bluffs, Omaha and Boys Town read proclamations establishing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.</p><p>Those attending were initially scheduled to meet at the center of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, but the session was moved to the pavilion because of the weather — a change of plans that pleased Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, who commented that the bridge tends to "sway a bit in the wind," which, she quipped, is sometimes a "nauseating" condition.</p><p>In her proclamation, Stothert noted that the statistics tell a "terrible story."</p><p>"Nearly four million cases of child maltreatment are reported each year in the United States; nearly five children die each day from abuse," she said. "Over 50 percent of these children are under the age of three. Still, these estimates are known to be under-reported."</p><p>Like Stothert, who noted "Child abuse prevention is a community responsibility," Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said, "Child abuse is a community issue, and finding solutions depends on involvement and partnerships among people throughout the community."</p><p>Boys Town Mayor Ti'Jaih Davis joined Walsh and Stothert in calling for partnerships among parents, practitioners, schools, faith communities, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies, community leaders, politicians and the business community to protect and support children, collaborate with professionals and engage the community to end child abuse and neglect.</p><p>"Iowa's children are one of the most precious resources in our state and provide the hope for a brighter tomorrow in Iowa," Walsh said. "Protecting children is everyone's business.</p><p>"All citizens need to be more aware of child abuse and neglect and its prevention within the community," he said, and be involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe, nurturing society.</p><p>Walsh noted that several agencies, including Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, the Prevent Child Abuse committee of Promise Partners, Pottawattamie County's Alliance for Children and Families and the Shaken Baby Task Force have joined forces here to raise public awareness regarding child abuse and neglect.</p><p>Patricia Russmann, executive director of Promise Partners in Council Bluffs, said Saturday's event was the fifth annual gathering for Proclamation on the Bridge. She said gathering in the center of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge symbolizes the combined efforts of agencies on both sides of the river in combatting child abuse and neglect, a problem that knows no state lines.</p><p>In thanking those from various organizations attending the event for their efforts to combat child abuse and neglect, Russmann highlighted the ongoing efforts of Bikers Against Child Abuse for that organization's continued strong support.</p>2018-04-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Staff Photo/Joe Shearer" src="/news/PublishingImages/Mayor-Photo.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Healthy Families Drive aid many in southwest Iowa Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Healthy Families Drive aid many in southwest Iowa <p> <em>This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was posted on <a href="http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/health/heathly-families-drive-aid-many-in-southwest-iowa/article_b665c982-3ab9-11e8-902d-3bd50e3b6381.html" target="_blank">nonpareilonline.com</a>, April 8, 2018.</em></p><p>Boys Town Iowa kicked off its Healthy Families Drive last week to help southwest Iowa families the agency serves.</p><p>The Red Team, led by the Council Bluffs Fire Department, and the Blue Team, led by the Council Bluffs Police Department, will compete to see who can collect the most toiletries and household items. Kickoffs were held Thursday at Roosevelt Elementary School for Team Red and Friday at Wilson Middle School for Team Blue, a press release from Boys Town Iowa stated.</p><p>Last year, the Red Team hauled in 3,600 pounds of goods, easily topping the Blue Team, which gathered 2,100 pounds.</p><p>Many other organizations are also participating in the drive, including the Council Bluffs Community School District, Iowa Western Community College, CHI Health Mercy Hospital, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and Google, the press release stated.</p><p>Boys Town is asking for new and unopened packages of shampoo and conditioner, hand and bar soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, unscented deodorant, feminine hygiene products, lotion, disposable razors, toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissue, laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaner, dishwasher detergent, rags and sponges, buckets, bathroom cleaners, sanitizer, diapers and baby wipes, baby bottles and sippy cups, child-proofing accessories, bug bombs and ant traps.</p><p>Both teams have collection boxes at local Hy-Vee Food Stores, Hy-Vee Drugstore, The Center, city fire stations and the Council Bluffs Police Department. The winner will be announced after a weigh-off on May 3 at the Boys Town Iowa office at 1702 W. Broadway.​</p>2018-04-09T05:00:00ZNewsIowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | County supervisors award $1,000 to Council Bluffs Fathers Matter 2018 event Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | County supervisors award $1,000 to Council Bluffs Fathers Matter 2018 event ​ <p> <em>This article is written by Mike Brownlee. It was posted on <a href="http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/good_news/county-supervisors-award-to-council-bluffs-fathers-matter-event/article_71715ec4-37a1-11e8-9567-f78d51cb0c10.html" target="_blank">nonpareilonline.com</a>, April 4, 2018.</em></p><p>The second Fathers Matter event in Council Bluffs will be held on June 9.</p><p>The Boys Town-organized event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at River's Edge Park. The event will feature a number of events for fathers and their children, according to Patrick Garcia with Boys Town.</p><p>Garcia and Wes Nordquist of Availa Bank, who's helping raise funds through the events finance committee, spoke to the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors about Fathers Matter on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>"Fathers Matter is a platform to reconnect fathers to their children and families, to other fathers and the community," Garcia told the board during its regular meeting at the Pottawattamie County annex building. The board voted unanimously to donate $1,000 from the gaming fund to the effort.</p><p>About 300 families attended last year's inaugural event, according to Boys Town.</p><p>Garcia said the event will offer 30 or more activities, including a photo booth, an area for dads to learn to braid their kids' hair, a Boy Scouts-led area and a kite-flying area.</p><p>"That's become our signature activity. Fathers have to engage, get those kites up," Garcia said.</p><p>Garcia said the event aims to highlight the importance of fathers to take an active role in the lives of their children. He noted statistics on the matter, offering a handout that said a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report shows 24.7 million children live without their biological father.</p><p>The Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office and Super Saver are partners with Boys Town on the event. Organizers said they'd like to expand to hold events elsewhere in Pottawattamie County in the coming years.​</p>2018-04-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="fathers matter" src="/news/PublishingImages/FathersMatter.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Pat Garcia Honored by Council Bluffs Chamber Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Pat Garcia Honored by Council Bluffs Chamber <p>​Boys Town is dedicated to saving children and healing families, but what you might not know is that we are also dedicated to fostering leaders within our community. That's why we want to give a big congratulations to Pat Garcia, Boys Town Iowa Community Engagement Developer, for being a graduate of Leadership Council Bluffs Class 29.</p><p>Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Leadership Council Bluffs Alumni Association, designed the Leadership Council Bluffs program to identify, motivate and inform future leaders in the Council Bluffs community. Applicants were selected for this yearlong, graduate-level program based on their leadership potential and commitment to their community. </p><p>"I learned about my leadership style and personality traits that may have a different effect on my leadership with certain groups and individuals," said Garcia. "Being aware of these traits and understanding others' perspectives and passions allows for clearer communication." Garcia was also educated about the history of Council Bluffs, the economic development of Council Bluffs, health systems, public safety, county and city government, legislative policy and practice, and nonprofit/social services. </p><p>Along with the coursework, the program divided the group to work on a Community Trustee Project that will make a lasting impact on the community. Garcia's group developed an initiative to partner with VODEC (Vocational Development Center), an organization dedicated to provide services to peoples with disabilities, to host a reverse job fair. This event allowed persons with disabilities the opportunity to network with employers, get advice on resumes and establish internship and other employment opportunities. </p><p>"Pat's growth during this program has furthered his knowledge of the needs of our children and families in Iowa," said Debbie Orduna, Boys Town Iowa Executive Director. "He has served as a passionate, dedicated leader and has had a lasting impact on the Council Bluffs community."</p><p>This program not only gave Garcia the knowledge needed to enhance his leadership style, but also gave him a vast network of contacts for potential collaboration, positive relationships with others who uplift Council Bluffs and the opportunity to share Boy Town's mission and vision with the community he loves.</p>2017-07-27T05:00:00Z<img alt="Pat Garcia" src="/news/PublishingImages/072717_Pat_Garcia_award_page.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa receives $45,000 for in-home work Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa receives $45,000 for in-home work <p>​<em>This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was posted on <a href="http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/local/boys-town-iowa-receives-for-in-home-work/article_d4cc34d4-6c14-11e7-b92f-8faf9d0ea496.html">nonpareilonline.com</a> </em><em>on </em><em>July 19, 2017.</em><em>  </em></p><p>Boys Town has been awarded a $70,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands that will help fund programs in Iowa and Nebraska.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa received $45,000 of the grant for its In-Home Family Services, and Boys Town received $25,000 for its Ways to Work program in South Omaha, a press release from Boys Town stated.</p><p>"We are very grateful for the continued support of United Way of the Midlands," the Rev. Steven Boes, Boys Town president and national executive director, said in the release. "This grant allows us to continue to offer important services to families in need of them."</p><p>The funding for Boys Town Iowa represents a renewal of an annual grant the In-Home Family Services program first received in 2015, according to Debbie Orduna, executive director of Boys Town Iowa. Boys Town Iowa has worked with almost 100 youth since it partnered with United Way.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa has 50 family services consultants scattered throughout the 30 western Iowa counties the program serves, Orduna said. The consultants work with families on behavioral and parenting issues, often after a referral by a school, and are available 24 hours a day to help families manage crises.</p><p>The staff works closely with parents and school officials to design a service plan for each youth. The goal is to give parents the tools they need to be successful and keep children safe and in their own homes.</p><p>"Oftentimes, families being referred to us, there are pretty complex issues," she said. "We're able to go in, conduct an assessment and provide direct services, but also to make sure they have access to other services they might need."</p><p>Boys Town Iowa will collaborate with FAMILY Inc. of Council Bluffs to provide health education, transportation to appointments, health screening and preventive oral health services to children that Boys Town consultants will refer, according to the release.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa also serves many families through its Common-Sense Parenting classes and Hope 4 Iowa crisis line, Orduna said.</p><p>Boys Town, in partnership with Heartland Family Service, now offers Ways to Work at the South Omaha Boys Town office. The Ways to Work program will provide small, short-term, low-interest loans to 40 to 50 low-income families on a yearly basis, as well as financial education, one-on-one credit and financial coaching and case management throughout the life of the loan.</p>2017-07-20T05:00:00ZIowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Fathers Matter Event Shows Need for Fathers Engagement Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Fathers Matter Event Shows Need for Fathers Engagement <p>​Father Flanagan believed fathers played an important role in their children's lives. Throughout his lifetime, he was a 'father' to over four thousand boys and believed that, "Every father has a great responsibility in raising his son. In his hands rest, to a large extent, what course in life the boy will follow." </p><p>Father Flanagan's concept lives on today in the form of the Fathers Matter Day event. This local initiative was inspired by two national movements, the National Center for Fathering and the National Fathering movement, which promote the importance of active fathering. Fathers Matter Day is centered on a push for an increase in engagement from fathers. </p><p>Boys Town Iowa recently partnered with the Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office to host the Fathers Matter event to engage the community. Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, Boys Town Iowa Family Services and Lieutenant Sam Arkfeld from the Pottawattamie Country Sherriff's Office led the event held on Saturday June 10, 2017 in hopes of providing more than services, but rather a day to get fathers involved with their children. </p><p>The partnership between Boys Town Iowa and the Pottawattamie Country Sherriff's Office formed through mutual interest in a preventative measure. Through research, they found a large portion of families in the community were without a father figure.</p><p>"Nationally, one out of three children lives without their biological father in the home," Garcia said. "Children that grow up without a father figure are four times more at risk of living in poverty and engaging in crime." </p><p>Over 300 families and children attended the Fathers Matter Event at Tom Hanafan's River Edge Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Around two dozen community organizations were involved in the fun filled day and set up booths with various activities for families to participate in. The 27 different booths ranged from kite flying, to rocket launching and even included a hair stylist station to teach fathers how to braid hair. No matter the activity, all the booths focused on the idea of providing fathers with an opportunity to get involved with their children through fun activities to reestablish and build stronger bonds. </p><p>Boys Town Iowa has plans of continuing this event annually with the Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office in hopes of involving the whole community while engaging families. </p><p>"Looking forward, we hope to utilize our Common Sense Parenting classes specifically for fathers in Pottawattamie County while raising awareness and providing avocation for fathering within the community," Garcia said.</p>2017-07-10T05:00:00Z<img alt="Fathers Matter" src="/news/PublishingImages/071017_FathersMatter_1.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#