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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | “Fathers Matter” Community Celebration June 8 Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | “Fathers Matter” Community Celebration June 8 <p>Join us in celebration of the unique and vital role fathers play in their children's lives! This event is hosted by the Pottawattamie Sherriff's department, Super Saver, YMCA, Iowa Western Community College and Boys Town Iowa.<br></p><p>There will be many fun and family-oriented activities such as arts and crafts, booth games, bike rodeo, fishing, kite flying, face painting, and the Council Bluffs Fire Department Hydrant Party. This year we welcome the Cornhusker Corvette Club auto show and the Operation Lifesaver Locomotive!<br></p><p> <b>Date:</b> June 8, 2019<br></p><p> <b>Time: </b>10 a.m. – 2 p.m.</p><p> <b>Location:</b> Iowa Western Community College <br> Kinney Hall Welcome Center and surrounding area<br></p><p> <em>Rain date is June 9</em></p><table cellspacing="5" style="width:100%;"><tbody><tr><td style="width:26%;vertical-align:middle;text-align:center;">​<img src="/news/PublishingImages/IowaWestern.png" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin:5px 0px;" /></td><td style="width:20%;vertical-align:middle;">​<img src="/news/PublishingImages/Pott.-County-Sheriff.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></td><td style="width:26%;vertical-align:middle;">​<img src="/news/PublishingImages/SuperSaver.png" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;" /></td><td style="width:26%;vertical-align:middle;">​<img src="/news/PublishingImages/YMCA.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;" /></td></tr></tbody></table> <br>2019-06-08T05:00:00ZEvent<img alt="fathers matter" src="/news/PublishingImages/FathersMatter.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Council Bluffs Police Win This Year’s Healthy Families Drive Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Council Bluffs Police Win This Year’s Healthy Families Drive <p>Boys Town Iowa and the Council Bluffs community participated in the 4<sup>th</sup> annual Drive for Healthy Families all month long in April. </p><p>Many families that Boys Town Iowa serves struggle with chemical dependency, mental health or family dysfunction. This drive helps alleviate the financial and mental stress of coming up with enough money for cleaning and hygiene products. By providing families with these items the parents can focus on working through their addictions and mental health in order to keep their children from being removed from the home. </p><p>Every year the Council Bluffs Fire Department (CBFD) and the Council Bluffs Police Department (CBPD) face off in a friendly competition to see who can collect the most items for Boys Town Iowa during this drive. </p><p>The drive culminates in a "weigh-off" event at the Boys Town Iowa office to see which team is the winner. </p><p>During the event, one mother shared her story of how her life has changed in the past year thanks to Boys Town continuously believing in her; she will be starting law school in the fall. A second mother shared a heart-wrenching story of how Boys Town is currently supporting her as she heals from addiction so she can become the best mother to her two children. These are the families that the Healthy Families Drive directly impacts. </p><p>This year the drive amassed 8,000 pounds of donations between both teams. For the second year in a row the CBPD came out on top with 4,005 pounds of donations for Team Blue.  </p><p> <img src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px 1rem 5px 0px;width:233px;height:310px;" />"On behalf of our department this is a wonderful opportunity. These are the kinds of partnerships that really help our community grow. Council Bluffs is a wonderful place. There are so many helpful people and this drive is a perfect example of that," said Tim Carmody, Council Bluff Police Chief.</p><p>The CBFD also did an excellent job in receiving donations, raising a total of 3,700 pounds. The Council Bluffs firefighter who received the second place trophy on behalf of the department had a statement that fully encompasses the light-hearted competition of this drive by saying, "This is an event that second place is okay for me. Everybody is a winner when we all pitch-in together and help our children." </p><p>The amount of donations received by both the fire and police department in this drive will have a lasting impact on hundreds of families in the community. </p><p><img src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-3.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:401px;" />"There was a lot of giving prior to the drive, everyone was giving to those in need from the floods. It is <em>amazing</em> that we were able to raise just under 8,000 pounds. It was very moving to see the willingness of the community to give so much," said Pat Garcia, Boys Town Iowa Community Engagement Developer.  </p><p>This year's outstanding partners are St. Alberts Schools collecting 2,025 pounds and Jensen Auto having barrels in 19 of their stores across Omaha and Council Bluffs collecting a total of 1,140 pounds. Some other honorable mentions for their support in this drive are Franklin Elementary, Google and Super Saver. </p><p>Big thank you to everyone who helped organize and participate in this year's Drive for Healthy Families. Despite the Midwest's disastrous flooding the amount raised shows just how dedicated people are to Boys Town's mission of caring for children and families.<br></p>2019-05-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" height="218" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-1.jpg" width="290" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Employee Receives Tom Lewis Memorial Award Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Employee Receives Tom Lewis Memorial Award <p>Mike VanBeest, Boys Town Iowa Family Consultant, received the Tom Lewis Memorial Award in acknowledgement of the work he has done for children and families of the Iowa community. The award is presented by the Coalition for Family & Children's Services in Iowa during the Champions for Children Award Reception held in Des Moines, Iowa. </p><p>"We are thrilled and honored to have one of our own receive this award," said Chris Jackson, Boys Town Iowa Senior Director. "Mike is a positive role model and is dedicated to the families he helps in Iowa. Mike truly cares about the success of each family he works with and wants the best for them."  </p><p>Every year, the Coalition selects a number of individuals from different agencies across Iowa who serve children and families. The Tom Lewis Memorial Award recognizes a person who has shown outstanding dedication, longevity and diversity in duties to those they serve. </p><p>Mike began his career as a police officer in Harlan, Iowa. He moved to Sioux City to continue his police officer duties until 2011. Prior to joining Boys Town Iowa, Mike worked in Family Safety, Risk, and Permanency Services for the Sioux City area. One task has remained the same throughout Mike's career on the police force and working in social services, the duty of saving families and children. </p><p>Mike was awarded this honor because of his compassion for children and families and his innate ability to problem solve and engage well with the families he serves. He is "solution focused" in his approach to his work with families. With his colleagues, Mike is always eager to go the extra mile to ensure success. He is a team member committed to supporting staff in their career.</p><p>"I am very honored to be nominated and receive such a prestigious award. I wouldn't be where I am without all my former and current co-workers, friends and family who have given me guidance and inspiration," said Mike. "I am truly blessed to work for such an outstanding organization that makes a difference in so many people's lives." </p><p>Boys Town would like to recognize other employees that were nominated for awards at the reception: </p><ul><li>Sue Pitts-Fischer Award nominees: Heather Anderson and Destiny Jorgensen </li><li>Al Schulte Award nominees<strong>:</strong> Lacy Dube and Shana Michalski </li><li>Tom Lewis Award nominee: Grace Pellot</li></ul><p>Congratulations Mike on receiving the Tom Lewis award and to the other nominees for keeping Father Flanagan's mission of changing the way America cares for children and families.<br></p>2019-04-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Mike TL Award" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Mike_TLAward.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Gets A+ for Accreditation Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Gets A+ for Accreditation <p>At the beginning of 2019 Boys Town was re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). </p><p>COA accredits child welfare, behavioral health and community based social services. Boys Town is one of the 2,200 organizations that they review. </p><p>Being accredited shows that an organization meets COA's standards of quality and they pass an in-depth review of the organization by highly trained professionals. Some of the areas they assess are rights of clients, quality of services being provided, training and supervision of staff, and safety and well-being outcomes. </p><p>Boys Town received 853 ratings on standards and 834 of them were rated a one, which is the highest rating you can get. Boys Town received no rating below a two. </p><p>This accreditation is reflective of the work Boys Town employees do each day to improve the lives of children and families by improving parenting skills, helping fathers to engage with their children, coaching parents through addictions and helping troubled youth find their way.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa hosted one of the six COA reviewers that reviewed different Boys Town locations across the United States. </p><p>The accreditation process takes place every four years to ensure organizations are maintaining quality care throughout time. </p><p>"It's a feel good moment to know you achieved your accreditation, but even more rewarding to know that this is the level of quality being provided each and every day," said Debbie Orduna, Executive Director Boys Town Iowa.</p><p>Boys Town Iowa has a team of 100 employees who are dedicated to changing the lives of children and families in the community. </p><p>To learn how our amazing employees helped a mom heal click <a href="/blog/Pages/A-Mom-Healed-A-Family-Saved.aspx">here</a>.<br></p><p>​</p>2019-02-18T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="COA Logo" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/coa_logo.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday of Hope for Boys Town Iowa Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday of Hope for Boys Town Iowa <p>Imagine waking up on Christmas day as a child and having no presents under the tree or no winter coat to wear outside to play with the other children. </p><p>This is the sad reality for many children whose families struggle not only to provide basic needs but also have a hard time giving their child the Christmas they wish they could. </p><p>During the 2018 holiday season, churches, businesses and families of the community came together to provide a Christmas to about 70 Boys Town Iowa families. </p><p>The children Boys Town Iowa serves were asked what things they like, such as toys, hobbies or crafts. Then they were asked what kinds of things they <em>need</em>, such as shoes, winter coats or personal hygiene products. In addition to the children's wish list they asked the parents what they needed extra help with this Christmas season. </p><p>Some families in the local community are faced with difficult decisions during this time of the year…pay the rent or give their child a Christmas gift. To these families and children even receiving items such as a new pair of tennis shoes or a coat to keep them warm <em>is</em> a gift.  </p><p>Donors who reached out to help these families provided toys, clothing, games, hygiene products and gift cards to grocery stores. </p><p>This year one child who experienced trauma was able to use a gift as an activity to interact with their family, which provided them a way to cope with the trauma.</p><p>At Boys Town we hope no individual or family has to experience Christmas through a traumatic lens. It is our goal to ease their sufferings in any way we can so the holidays are a happy time for them and not a time of additional stress or sadness. </p><p>Not only were gifts and necessities provided but hope was restored in these families. Boys Town Iowa extends a big thank you to all those who donated to the families and children. If it weren't for your generosity Christmas may not have been possible for them. <br></p><p>​</p>2019-02-18T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Christmas" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/christmas.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Announces Cheryl Honkomp as Development Director Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Announces Cheryl Honkomp as Development Director <p>Boys Town Iowa is excited to welcome Cheryl Honkomp as our first Development Director. </p><p>"Cheryl is a wonderful addition to our team. I am excited to see the work she will do in order to help us serve children and families in many communities in Iowa," said Debbie Orduna, Boys Town Iowa Executive Director. </p><p>Cheryl and her husband, Joe, have three children. Cheryl is actively involved in the community by serving as a member to Altrusa International-Ames Chapter and volunteering in the community</p><p>"Cheryl is a natural fit for our mission.  She is passionate about ensuring all children have the opportunity to succeed regardless of their circumstances, and that families should have access to quality services to prevent adverse childhood experiences," said Debbie.  </p><p>In Cheryl's 11 years working for Ivy Tech Community College, she held numerous development roles. Throughout her career she has garnered skills in donor relations, fundraising events, alumni engagement, community partnerships and annual employee giving programs. </p><p>"Children are the future and Boys Town provides positive experiences for children who have some major hurdles in their life," said Cheryl. "I am truly blessed to be a part of the organization and look forward to connecting with donors who believe in our children and want to help us create those positive experiences."  </p><p>To connect with Cheryl email her at <a href="file:///boystown.org/departments/MarketingAndCommunications/team/Employee_Communications/BEACON/Boys%20Town%20News/2019/January%202019/Iowa%20Newsletter/Cheryl%20Honkomp/cheryl.honkomp@boystown.org">cheryl.honkomp@boystown.org</a> or call 712-308-2947.<br></p>2019-02-18T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Cheryl Honkemp" height="506" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Honkomp-photo.jpg" width="381" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Community Suicide Prevention Event Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Community Suicide Prevention Event <p>In the state of Iowa suicide is the 2<sup>nd</sup> leading cause of death in ages 15 to 34. This alarming statistic proves that there is much we can still learn as a community to make positive changes in the youth we serve. </p><p>On Sept. 10, Boys Town Iowa hosted a Community Suicide Prevention Education Event at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. </p><p>Sonya Fittje, Hope4Iowa Crisis Line Clinical Supervisor; Debra Schwiesow, Green Hills Education Agency; Ciara Warden, Clear Mind Therapy; and Mindy Eggert, Parent Advocate were on the panel to lead this year's discussion.   </p><p>The presenters provided suicide prevention strategies through awareness, identification and intervention for the participants to understand indicators of suicide to better help themselves and those around them. </p><p>"Being a part of a community event like this is extremely important because it brings awareness to the very difficult topic of suicide and how we can all work to prevent it and ultimately save lives," said Sonya.</p><p>They talked about how even mentioning the topic of suicide decreases the risk of people ending their lives because they then understand that they are not alone in what they are going through.</p><p>Suicide is a topic that everyone can bring awareness to because it impacts 45,000 people every year in our nation. It is especially important to be aware of this topic when working with youth, since it can have a big impact on this age group and it is our job to educate them. </p><p>Thank you to all the speakers who offered their time. Grant funding provided by Human Services Advisory Council made this community event possible. </p><p>For additional information on Suicide Awareness click <a href="/parenting/article/Pages/suicide-concerns.aspx">here</a>. <br></p><p><br></p>2018-10-01T05:00:00ZNewsIowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa partners with Des Moines Public Schools Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa partners with Des Moines Public Schools <p>In September Boys Town Iowa will partner with three Des Moines Public Elementary Schools in high-risk neighborhoods to take part in preventive action for young students.</p><p>This new partnership will allow Boys Town In-Home Family Services<sup>®</sup> (IHFS) to work closely with faculty, support staff, parents and children of three elementary schools that are located in high-risk neighborhoods and are in need of additional resources.</p><p>The supervisor of this new program will be Yoly Smith, transfer from Boys Town Nevada, and Haley Stoll as the consultant. The Des Moines Public Schools will be providing office space for these new additions.</p><p>By teaming up with these elementary schools it will allow IHFS staff to work more directly with children who may be experiencing behavioral issues that could be preventing them from succeeding in the classroom.</p><p>"This new partnership will allow us to monitor a child's individual school plans, work with their parents on parenting skills, and prevent children from entering formal system involvement" said Debbie Orduna, Executive Director Boys Town Iowa, "This allows us to work very closely with teachers, support staff, and parents to help them understand and be empathetic to how a child's home dynamic can affect a child's education." </p><p>The goal of working with elementary age students is to prevent children from getting involved in Iowa's Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) formal system. This program aims to be proactive by assisting children and families during the elementary school years rather than addressing these problems in junior high or high school.</p><p>Kristina Krause-Bumgardner, Director, In-Home Family Services Program, explained how amazing a partnership like this is because it will start to bridge the gap between Boys Town services and public schools.</p><p>"I think this will greatly expand the population we are serving," said Kristina. "This will foster new relationships with the education services and allow us to work together in a proactive way to benefit these young children."</p><p>This partnership is a great step in strengthening our relationships with the community and becoming more connected with the children and families we serve. Thanks to employees who worked to make this proposal happen. </p>2018-09-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town" src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/boystown.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#