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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services Consultant Honored at Conference Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services Consultant Honored at Conference <p>On May 7, Kelly Manker, Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services (IHFS) Consultant, was recognized as one of the 2019 Prevent Child Abuse Iowa's Community Heroes at the Child Abuse Prevention and Family Support Conference in Ankeny, IA.</p><p>The recipients of this recognition are nominated by their supervisors and a planning committee selects the community hero from the pool of nominations.</p><p>"Kelly is someone who bends over backwards for his families. He does a great job at building strong relationships and takes the time to get to know the families on a personal level which makes them more comfortable and willing to open up," said Chris Jackson, Senior Director Program Operations, Boys Town Iowa. "He is super dedicated to Boys Town and always going the extra mile to help families and get them back together."</p><p>Kelly's work as an IHFS Consultant has gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to strengthen families and build hope in their lives to enhance the communities in which they live. </p><p>This conference was not only a great way to recognize Kelly Manker for his stellar work with children and families, but also provided Boys Town Iowa leadership with a platform to present helpful advice to the community of child abuse prevention supporters. Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, and Sonya Fittje, Common Sense Parenting Supervisor, presented on developing a successful parenting community, while Executive Director Debbie Orduna sat on a panel with Liz Cox for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa</p><p>Congratulations to Kelly and thank you to Pat, Sonya and Debbie for continuing the mission of saving children and healing families in the Iowa communities. </p><p><img src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/manker.jpg" alt="Boys Town Iowa Manker & Orduna" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2019-07-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Iowa Manker Orduna" src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/manker-and-orduna.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Celebrates Fathers at Community Event Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Celebrates Fathers at Community Event <p>Our founder Father Flanagan understood how important a father's role was to a child and their overall wellbeing. This is why he took in so many troubled youth. He understood that these boys were not bad they simply needed a strong role model to set them on the right path to a successful future. </p><p>Statistics show that lack of a father figure in the household can lead a child into poverty, behavioral problems, crime, school troubles or drug and alcohol abuse. </p><p>As part of Boys Town's mission to save children from these unfortunate circumstances we aim to take preventative actions by promoting the importance of healthy lifestyles and relationships within the family. That is why on June 8, Boys Town Iowa organized the 3<sup>rd</sup> Annual Fathers Matter Community Celebration at Iowa Western Community College. </p><p>The Fathers Matter Celebration strives to create a local movement of increased involvement of fathers in their children's lives. For this year's celebration Boys Town Iowa had some amazing community partners who came together to help make the event possible, including Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office, Super Saver, Iowa Western Community College and the Charles E. Lankin YMCA. The event also had the support of over 70 gracious volunteers. </p><p>The event was filled with several activities for the entire family, including a fire hydrant party, a magic show, a corvette show and over 35 family fun booths. </p><p>"Fathers Matter is a platform to energize the metropolitan area to support fathers in their quest to stay connected and engaged with their children. By creating a movement within the community that values the consecutiveness and engagement of fathers as a whole, it allows for better co-parenting and compromise amongst parents regardless if they are intact couples or living separately. This in turn creates better childhoods for children and enhances their overall success in life," said Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, Boys Town Iowa. </p><p>Thank you to everyone in the community who made this event possible for fathers to come out and enjoy some quality time with their children to help build healthy, long-lasting relationships. </p><p>If individuals are interested in volunteering for this event next year, please contact Patrick Garcia at <a href="mailto:Patrick.garcia@boystown.org">Patrick.garcia@boystown.org</a></p>2019-06-25T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Celebrate Fathers" src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Fathers-banner-page.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;#