Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events





Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Salvation Army Supports Spiritual Growth of North Florida Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Salvation Army Supports Spiritual Growth of North Florida Youth <div class="hidden-gal"> <a title="Salvation Army Supports Spiritual Growth of North Florida Youth" class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/IMG_0592.jpg">image 1</a> ​</div><p>Throughout the summer of 2018, the Salvation Army of Tallahassee partnered with Boys Town North Florida to support the spiritual growth and development of the children in Boys Town's Family Home Program. </p><p>"Much like Boys Town, The Salvation Army has a long history and legacy of helping needy individuals within their community," said Bethany Lacey, Sr. Director of Program Operations, Boys Town North Florida. "So it was really exciting to me when Lt. Amber Meo approached me about partnering to help meet the spiritual needs of our children in a safe and fun environment through our resource center at ART Town." </p><p>All summer they've provided opportunities for kids to explore their faith through weekly devotions and bible study. The summer enrichment opportunities culminated in a week-long Vacation Bible School (VBS). </p><p>The overall theme of the VBS was "Shipwrecked" with a mission to anchor kids in the truth that Jesus carries them through life's storms. This point was reinforced by crafts, snacks, bible stories and games that are all centered on the fact that Jesus carries us through life's hardships. </p><p>"I was excited to come out and work with the Boys Town youth this summer and give back to these wonderful kids. I realized after working with them how much I received in return from getting to interact with such amazing young people," said Alison Hamilton, Youth Outreach Coordinator, Salvation Army of Tallahassee. </p><p>This summer program was a wonderful way for kids to do something productive and worthwhile during their break from school routine. It was also great preparation for the challenges that a new school year can bring.</p>2019-03-19T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Salvation Army - Boys Town North Florida" height="511" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/MainPhoto.jpg" width="380" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Local roofer secures $20,000 for Boys Town North Florida Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Local roofer secures $20,000 for Boys Town North Florida <p><em>This article is written by Megan Nixon. </em><a href=""><em>It was published to on March 9, 2019.</em></a><em> </em></p><p>It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's Dale Tadlock of Tadlock Roofing and this year he's flying for families during the Second Annual Spirit of a Child Celebration.</p><p>This past Giving Tuesday, Tadlock Roofing set a goal to raise $10,000 in 24 hours for Boys Town North Florida and staying true to the spirit of a child theme, Tadlock agreed to match up to $10,000 raised and fly for families at The Florida Aviation Center (a bucket list item for Tadlock).</p><p>Tadlock presented Boys Town North Florida Executive Director, Marcus Lampkin, with a $10,000 check Saturday and took to the skies, for the first time as "pilot" to celebrate the children of Boys Town North Florida. More than 50 children of Boys Town witnessed Tadlock fly a plane for the first time.</p><p>"I have never flown a plane and can't think of a better time than now to learn, with the help of the Florida Aviation Center, of course," Tadlock said.</p><p>The Giving Tuesday partnership between Tadlock Roofing and Boys Town North Florida began in 2017. Tadlock set a goal to raise $10,000 for the non-profit organization in 24 hours on Giving Tuesday and if that goal was met, Tadlock Roofing would match up to $10,000, securing $20,000 for the organization. To make it more interesting, Dale Tadlock agreed to jump out a plane (with a parachute) to celebrate the accomplishment in 2018.</p><p>To put these numbers into perspective, $500 supports one child living on the Boys Town campus for one month, so the total amount collected, including the match, is going to support all 40 children living on-site for one month.</p><p>"Boys Town North Florida has a beautiful community of supporters who went above and beyond to ensure our $10,000 matching goal was met," said Boys Town North Florida Executive Director, Marcus Lampkin. "Thank you Tadlock Roofing and our entire Boys Town Family for your commitment to helping the most vulnerable children in our community."<br></p>2019-03-14T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Tadlock" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Banners/Tadlock.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Neither distance nor difficulty could stop this adoption journey Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Neither distance nor difficulty could stop this adoption journey <p>Isaiah was a preschooler living in a cramped South Florida group home. He had a severe form of autism, limiting his ability to communicate and interact with others.  </p><p>Martin was a long-time Miami-area foster parent preparing to relocate 500 miles north to Tallahassee. A retired flight attendant, he had opened his heart and home to countless children.     </p><p>Through serendipity, patience and perseverance, the pair would become a forever family.</p><p>Their story began when a child-placement agency asked Martin, who was six months shy of moving, if he was willing to foster five siblings. With two boys already at home, taking on that many little ones, even temporarily, wasn't possible. During those conversations, however, Martin was told about Isaiah – a boy "no one will take" because he's "a lot of work." </p><p>Unfazed by those descriptions or the story of how Isaiah had scratched up another child's face, Martin agreed to meet the little tyke.     </p><p>"We went to a playground, but he wouldn't play on anything," Martin said. "He just wanted to hold my hand and follow me around."</p><p>It appeared to be the start of a perfect pairing. But Isaiah's father had not relinquished his parental rights and hinted he might want to reunite with his son. It was a complicated and, at times, confusing back-and-forth situation that took months to resolve. During the protracted ordeal, Martin moved. </p><p>Soon after arriving in Tallahassee, Martin saw a billboard promoting Boys Town North Florida Foster Family Services<sup>®</sup> and jumped at the opportunity to renew his foster care license and enhance his fostering skills.  </p><p>"The training was very good. I've worked with other agencies, but Boys Town really impressed me because they care and are dedicated," Martin said.</p><p>After successfully completing training, Martin was a Boys Town Foster Parent and licensed to care for kids who have significant mental, emotional or behavioral health needs. In a timely coincidence, the child-placement agency in Miami contacted Martin with news that Isaiah's family had terminated their rights. With Boys Town's assistance, Isaiah flew to Tallahassee where Martin welcomed him "home" and began the foster-to-adoption process.</p><p>Isaiah had few possessions when he arrived, so Boys Town staff connected Martin to local resources where he could obtain basic essentials like a highchair and clothing. In addition, Boys Town coordinated efforts to ensure Isaiah received the appropriate educational and therapeutic services he required to improve his communication and behavioral skills.   </p><p>A Boys Town Foster Care Consultant also made weekly visits to the home, and her guidance and support proved invaluable. </p><p>"My Consultant always had something to teach or try out," explained Martin. "She researched things and often brought little sensory toys for Isaiah that were calming."</p><p>Managing Isaiah's anxiety was a priority. </p><p>When he was impatient or hungry, Isaiah scratched (sometimes severely) to communicate his displeasure. Martin and the Consultant used a timer to help Isaiah learn how to wait. First for a minute, then two. The Consultant also showed Martin how to use deep pressure touch to calm Isaiah when he was aggressive, stressed or overwhelmed. Together, they also taught Isaiah sign language so he could more clearly communicate his needs.  </p><p>Those efforts, combined with social skills instruction, experimentation and collaboration with other support networks, including a special-needs gymnastics class, proved highly beneficial. </p><p>Isaiah grew physically in height and weight after years of being below normal. His anxiety decreased, his behaviors improved and he became more social. </p><p>"Isaiah has such a lovable side. Every once in a while, he'll give me a big hug or snuggle with me on the couch. Lots of times he doesn't want to be touched. So when he does, it makes it special," Martin said.</p><p>After three years of big leaps, small steps, quiet tears and happy songs (Isaiah loves to whistle!), the adoption was finalized. Isaiah now had his forever family. </p><p>A world of opportunity has since opened up for him, literally, as the family has enjoyed holiday vacations in the Caribbean and summer excursions to Cuba and South America. While hard challenges persist and difficult days will come, love and optimism always remain. </p><p>"I think there is always hope to make more progress," Martin said. "With Isaiah, you can see glimmers of light." <br></p>2019-02-14T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Martin and Isaiah" height="590" src="/parenting/PublishingImages/martin-isaiah.jpg" width="363" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Hosts 26th Annual Christmas Classic Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Hosts 26th Annual Christmas Classic <p>The 26<sup>th</sup> annual Boys Town North Florida Christmas Classic Golf Tournament took place on Monday, December 17 with an appearance of a special guest, former Chicago Cubs Worlds Series Champion catcher, David Ross. </p><p>The event allows teams of four to compete for the top score while also raising money for the children and families that North Florida serves. </p><p>This year over 100 people took part in the Christmas Classic and helped to raise more than $50,000 for Boys Town North Florida. </p><p>A fun part of this year's tournament was having 2016 World Series Champion, David Ross from the Chicago Cubs greet golfers at the 12<sup>th</sup> hole. Here the golfers had a chance to "Beat the Pro" and win a sleeve of golf balls if they had a better drive than David did. </p><p>This year's top gross winners of the tournament were Residential Elevators in first, Jersey Mike's/ Moe's in second and Carr Allison Law Firm in third place.</p><p>The net winners were Evolution Media in first, Dr. Richard Freesmeier in second and The Egg in third.   </p><p>"It was a wonderful tournament and everyone had a great time," said Dena Strickland, Boys Town North Florida Development Director. "One of our own Boys Town children kicked off the tournament with a lovely prayer of thankfulness." </p><p>Special thanks to Starbucks, Tasty Pastry Bakery, Moe's Southwest Grill, Tri-Eagle Sales, Jersey Mike's and The Egg who were vendors on six of the holes. Also, big thank you to Radio Talk Show host and Sportscaster, Woody Hayes for being awards ceremony presenter. </p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/IMG_boys.jpg" title="The Boys"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/IMG_ladygolf.jpg" title="Lady Golfers"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/IMG_blackwhite.jpg" title="Slicing the sky"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Rossmen.jpg" title="Golfers - Rossmen"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/trophy.jpg" title="Trophy Winners"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/dena.jpg" title="Group Picture"> </a> </div> 2019-01-11T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Group Picture" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/IMG_groupross.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Erica’s story: A journey toward hope Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Erica’s story: A journey toward hope <p>Erica had no parent to lean on, no place to call home.  </p><p>When her mother's parental rights were terminated, Erica was placed in the care of a relative. The stay was short. Soon, Erica's bags were packed and she was sent off to another relative's home. Again, her stay there proved temporary. </p><p>Nothing in this young girl's life was permanent, except the ever-present feelings of loss and insecurity.  </p><p>By the time Erica turned 17, she was out of relatives and out of options. Warily, she moved back in with her mom, who was sharing a home with a friend. It wasn't an ideal situation; the family faced many challenges and had few resources.      </p><p>Eventually, Erica and her mother were referred to Boys Town North Florida's In-Home Family Services<sup>®</sup> program for support and counseling. Boys Town Family Consultant Millie Kilpatrick made weekly visits to their home, listening to the women's concerns, offering encouragement, and teaching life skills they could use to relieve the stress and uncertainty in their lives.  </p><p><span><img class="page-suppt-cont" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Erica-1.jpg" alt="Erica" style="margin:5px;" /></span>Millie also helped make one of Erica's biggest wishes come true – a party for her 18<sup>th</sup> birthday. Erica celebrated with her closest friends at a local eatery, and the carefree evening provided a sense of everyday normalcy the teen desperately craved.         </p><p> Despite the many disappointments and disruptions she endured at home, Erica remained a diligent student who kept going to school and working hard to maintain her status on the academic honor roll. She never lost hope and always believed the future could be much different than the past. </p><p>Her optimism (and hard work!) was eventually rewarded. </p><p>Today, Erica balances her academics with an afterschool job while living in transitional housing. She continues to develop independent-living skills that will ensure her future is secure and successful!  </p>2018-12-05T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Erica" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Erica-2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Goes All Out to Embrace Troubled Teen Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Goes All Out to Embrace Troubled Teen <p>At Boys Town, building relationships and establishing trust are always the primary goals when working with troubled youth. Recently, the staff at Boys Town North Florida was able to achieve those goals in a big way to help a 15-year-old youth named Julia.<br></p><p>Julia first entered a Boys Town North Florida Family Home, and after about a year, moved into Boys Town Therapeutic Foster Care. But over time, staff determined the teen needed a higher level of treatment because of the seriousness of her behavior problems. Julia eventually was admitted to an intensive residential treatment facility in another community.<br></p><p>As she was preparing to leave Boys Town's care, Julia told the Boys Town North Florida staff that they were more of a family to her than her own family. She recounted a time when a staff member had responded to a crisis situation in her Family Home and had prayed with her to help her calm down. Julia said it was the first time anyone had ever prayed with her, and it made a lasting impression. <br></p><p>Staff members responded in kind, reassuring Julia that Boys Town would always be there to love and care for her, and would welcome her back after she received the treatment she needed.<br></p><p>Sadly, Julia's parents' rights were terminated, and she lost contact with her family, leaving her alone and feeling abandoned. <br></p><p>But Boys Town kept its word. When Julia successfully completed her treatment, she was able to return to Boys Town's Therapeutic Foster Care program. <br></p><p>"We love Julia and we are thrilled that she returned to us," said Bethany Lacey, Senior Director of Program Operations at Boys Town North Florida. "Soon, she will be eligible for adoption, and we look forward to advocating and helping her find her forever family."<br></p>2018-09-21T05:00:00ZNorth Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Josh's Story Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Josh's Story <p>It could have been the angry outburst that ended Josh Eldridge's time in his Boys Town North Florida Family Home. Instead, it turned out to be the turning point in the teen's journey of healing. </p><p>Josh had been in six placements prior to entering Boys Town's residential care program in Tallahassee in 2016. The then-16-year-old was dealing with a lot of issues, including being distant and not wanting to interact with people. But one of his most serious challenges was anger control. </p><p>Trinity and Misty Mackley, Josh's Family-Teachers<sup>®</sup>, worked with Josh every day, teaching him skills for calming down when he got upset and strategies for getting along with others and building healthy relationships.</p><p>One day, however, Josh became extremely angry and violent. When he went to push Misty and punch Trinity, the couple called the police. But rather than having Josh arrested and taken away, they just filed an incident report.</p><p>For Josh, the event was life-changing. He realized, perhaps for the first time, that the Mackleys and other Boys Town staff truly cared about him and saw that he had the potential to succeed in life. Most importantly, he learned about forgiveness and how it can provide the opportunity for a person to make amends and start over.</p><p>"We were willing to work with him and that alone made a really big difference for him," Trinity said.</p><p>Gradually, Josh used this new perspective as motivation to work harder on his behaviors and skills, and to improve his grades at school. </p><p>That change in heart and attitude paid off earlier this year.</p><p>In May 2018, Josh proudly received his high school diploma from Tallahassee's Betton Hills School. His future plans include attending law enforcement training school and pursuing a career as a wildlife officer or a police officer. And even though he's left Boys Town North Florida and the Mackleys, he knows their love and support will remain with him as he starts a new chapter in his life. </p><p>In a poem he wrote while still a Boys Town youth, Josh summed up the uncertainty and frustration he sometimes felt:</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <strong>What if…?</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;">My mind is full of "what if…"<br>And my mind is hurting my heart inside of me.<br>I'm tired of all of these questions.<br>"What if…?</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my dreams don't come true?<br>But what if they do?<br>What if no one likes my music?<br>But what if they do?<br>What if?</p><p style="text-align:center;">My mind is killing me with all of these questions.<br>And I don't want to give up and quit.<br>But it is just, "what if?"</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my friends give up on me?<br>But what if they don't?<br>What if my family gives up on me?<br>But what if they don't?<br>What if I don't find the one on the way?<br>But what if I do?</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my dreams don't come true?<br>But what if they do?<br>O, what if they do?<br>O, "what if?"</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if they do? What if they do?<br>What if they do?</p><p>Now, with Boys Town's support and his own determination, Josh is finding out that no one is giving up on him and his dreams can come true.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/JoshsStory.jpg" title="Josh's Story"> </a> </div>2018-08-28T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="(Left to right) Jackie Barksdale, Carole Johnson, Josh Eldridge, Celeena Mackley and Misty Mackley celebrated Josh’s graduation." src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/group-photo.jpg" width="391" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#