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Boys Town is a family affair in St. Tammany

Anne Chaing

​​This story is written by Darren Cooper. It was published on on February 27, 2023.

Family got Covington resident Anne Chiang involved in Boys Town, and family is what Boys Town is all about.

Chiang has been the chair of Boys Town Louisiana since summer 2021, helping guide the organization that provides services to needy boys and girls throughout the area.

The problems addressed run the gamut. Children who have had trouble with authority, or schoolwork or just need a welcoming voice to set them on a solid path can show up at a Boys Town facility.

“Boys Town provides an array of life-changing youth care,” said Chiang, 36. “The goal is to meet each child and family where they are, so they can get the right kind of care at the right time. Boys Town is there with the family to provide compassionate care.”

Chiang was raised in Old Metairie and went to Country Day before attending Rhodes and getting a master’s in social work from Tulane. Her father, Jeff Doussan, was on the Boys Town board for 19 years and from his work, Chiang saw up close what Boys Town did.

She still remembers watching the Boys Town movie, made in 1938, and attending a picnic at one of the Louisiana intervention homes, then playing volleyball on the front lawn with the kids. In 2014, she won the title of "ReProm" queen for Boys Town for raising the most money to help the organization.

Chiang stepped on to the Boys Town board of directors in 2015 just as her father stepped off.

The roles of each of the 12-person board are loosely defined, sort of like the Boys Town mission itself: Just do what needs to be done.

“The duties vary by individuals,” said Chiang. “We try to have a diverse board in terms of skill sets so each board member can do what they do well. We want to capitalize on that.”

For Chiang, that means being primarily a fundraiser and recruiter.

“Donate!” said Chiang, laughing, when asked what people can do to help. “Donate, whether it’s your time or resources. We have a local church that cooks meals for the boys in a family home every weekend, so they give with their time and their meals. The kids feel that, and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Chiang is proud of the work that Boys Town does. There are programs to help pregnant mothers. The organization also partners in a successful Early Head Start program and, for kids who are 18, there is a successful future program where kids are partnered with Boys Town associates to help them find a career that fits them.

“We really do have services from in utero on up,” Chiang said.

Chiang calls the work fulfilling. She likes using this as an outlet for her social work license, and this is her way of giving back to the community and helping families who need a boost.

“Boys Town believes in rehabilitation and redemption, rather than punishment and incarceration,” Chiang said. “We do what they need to get them on track for life.”​