Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

​​​​​​

 

 

​​

 

 

CORONAVIRUS: BACK TO SCHOOLhttps://www.boystown.org/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/Pages/CORONAVIRUS-BACK-TO-SCHOOL.aspxCORONAVIRUS: BACK TO SCHOOL<p><em><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:15.6933px;font-family:verdana, sans-serif;">​​Article written by Susan Salisbury for the <a href="https://palmbeachpost-fl-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=069ae6a48" target="_blank">Palm Beach Post</a></span></em><span style="color:#000000;font-size:medium;"></span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Special to The Post</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parents and children are under stress as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and for many, their anxiety is heightened as distance learning is set to begin Aug. 31 in Palm Beach County public schools. It's uncertain when public schools might reopen for in-person classes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">We asked four local psychologists and licensed mental health counselors to weigh in with advice for families experiencing the multitude of changes</p><p style="text-align:justify;">in daily life caused by the pandemic. Increased time at home, social isolation, social distancing and worries about jobs and contracting the virus all add to the stress. Kelly Everson, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Palm Beach County and a psychologist with Palm Beach Behavioral Health and Wellness, Jupiter said, “People are hitting a wall. This has been going on for so long.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Kids and parents were already showing difficulty managing at home. It is exponential at this point. Now they have heard school will be virtual. That was difficult for a lot of families in the spring.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parents are already anxious," Everson said. “We are definitely getting a lot of calls."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Therapy requests from adults suffering from anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have doubled, Everson said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“We are seeing spikes in anxiety and depression, especially for kids predisposed to it. We are seeing more concerns with possible suicidal behavior as well in kids who were already depressed. With younger kids we are seeing more behavior concerns, such as out-of-control acting out," Everson said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">First, parents need to first take care of themselves and use healthful coping skills to manage their anxiety because the parents' emotions will spill over to the children. Anxiety relief can include activities such as taking a walk, stretching out on a bed or sofa, listening to music, doing yoga or other exercise, taking a shower, taking a snack break, and practicing deep breathing.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Kids feed off the parents' anxiety. The younger the child, the more they feed off the energy itself," Everson said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Watching the news 24/7 is not healthy for adults or children and can cause them to become more fearful or worried. “Most people benefit from educating themselves, but there is a point where it becomes too much and it starts to affect our mood," Everson said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stephanie De La Cruz, clinical director and licensed mental health counselor at the Center for Child Counseling, Inc., Palm Beach Gardens agrees that even having the TV news on in the background 24/7 can be harmful.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It's OK for adults to watch the news and keep themselves updated and communicate in an age-appropriate way what is going on. Not telling them anything at all creates uncertainty. Once a child sees an image, he or she cannot unsee it," De La Cruz said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">De La Cruz said that because of the pandemic and the lockdowns, the center is seeing clients with anxiety about school, work, financial concerns, their health and well-being and concerns about getting coronavirus.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With children being home and not in school or day care, calls are coming from parents as well as from neighbors who have noticed children wandering in the streets and other signs of neglect.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parents can't control the pandemic, but they can try to control their thoughts and responses, and the way they interact with others in the household.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The children are looking to the caregivers for cues. If parents can help themselves de-stress, the children are watching that. They are watching the after-effect of that. Just seeing a parent who is safe and in control provides regulation for the child," De La Cruz said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parents should reach out for professional help when their levels of anxiety or depression affect how they are functioning and impacting relationships with their children, spouses, or others.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Our agency believes in prevention and early intervention, not waiting for someone to be on the brink of suicide or being Baker-acted. It is more like; do you feel you need the help now? There is no harm in speaking to someone," De La Cruz said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Artemis Paschalis, a licensed mental health therapist based in Lake Park, suggests pinpointing what is triggering your anxiety and making a list. That list might include fear about losing your job or your kids going stir-crazy.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Then consider which things you can control and which you cannot. Think about what the problem actually is and what you can do about it. Be self-aware and intentional in your actions and ask, “Is this helpful?' Make a list of things that make you feel good and ask yourself what you need.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Maybe it's something as simple as watching a funny movie or exercising.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am very solution focused.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It's not about focusing on what we don't have necessarily. You should grieve your losses right now. Try to practice gratitude, Paschalis said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When you start drinking the negative Kool-aide, it is easy to go down that rabbit hole.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It is very important to expect this is your new normal," Paschalis said. “So many people are literally sitting on their feelings. It's like sitting under the eye of a hurricane and the eye is not moving.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">There is nothing constructive about it. It is important to stop and not be on autopilot."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Diane Kelly Andreou, clinical psychologist and director, Boys Town South Florida Behavioral Health Clinic, West Palm Beach, said, “When there is a pandemic or something like this, it is natural to feel worried or anxious. It is very important for parents to take care of themselves to be the most effective they can be."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parents need to validate their children's emotions. Ask kids and teens what they have heard or seen about COVID-19 and have a conversation about reliable sources. Let them know it is natural to be fearful.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Let kids ask their questions so you can have an open, honest conversation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is important to be factbased and age-appropriate.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">You don't need to go into all the medical details with a six-year-old. You can say, 'There is a lot of sickness out there. We are doing everything to keep everybody safe. That is why school is closed,'" Andreou said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For some children and teens, distance learning is a relief because they have had a difficult time at school socially and find they like learning at their own pace. Others miss their friends and being at school and are looking forward to the day schools reopen.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Routines make kids feel safe and organized, and routines help adults also.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“We want to model positive behavior and coping.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">If parents are taking care of themselves, if parents are not using their phone all the time, that is a powerful message. It's about being mindful, taking things one day at a time and not letting anxiety take over," Andreou said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County offers parenting advice and additional COVID-19 resources at everyparentpbc.org. There's also a free EveryParent app.​​<br></p>2020-08-13T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/covid-19-back-to-school.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town South Florida Assists Family During Difficult Transitionhttps://www.boystown.org/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-South-Florida-Assists-Family-During-Difficult-Transition.aspxBoys Town South Florida Assists Family During Difficult Transition<p>Lewis Ortigoza and Deysy Pachano, along with their daughter, Daniela, came to the United States from Venezuela looking for new hope and a new beginning with only their clothing and a few personal belongings.<br></p><p>Their journey was complicated by the fact that during birth, 12-year-old Daniela was without oxygen for an extended period of time and suffered brain damage. She was later diagnosed with West Syndrome (Cerebral Palsy) and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. </p><p>The family fled Venezuela due to the political unrest, but they got off to a rough start in finding assistance. </p><p>That is, until they found Boys Town South Florida. </p><p>Lewis and Deysy reached out to several agencies, including Boys Town, for help. The family was very open and welcoming from the beginning. They just needed help getting a start in their new surroundings. </p><p>Daniela was having some behavior issues and Deysy needed help in learning how to manage those behaviors. Boys Town provided help with Preventive Teaching, Setting Tolerances, Staying Calm and Effective Praise. Deysy said using Preventive Teaching helped her in preparing Daniela for new activities and reduced her previous behavior issues. </p><p>But the family needed help with more than just behavioral issues. Daniela needed a way to be transported. She no longer had a wheelchair, and the family had other every day needs. </p><p>Boys Town helped find shoes for Daniela, and a new bed for the family. But the big item still needed was a wheelchair. </p><p>Lewis and Deysy had resorted to using an undersized stroller with Daniela in a car seat to transport their daughter. It was far from ideal, but like any family, they made it work. </p><p><img src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Boys-Town-South-Florida-Assists-Family-During-Difficult-Transition/Ortigoza-Pachano-family-2.jpg" alt="Ortigoza-Pachano-family-2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:350px;height:455px;" />But then Boys Town found an organization, Wheelchairs 4 Kids, that could possibly assist the family. Boys Town helped Lewis and Deysy complete a lengthy referral form. The family was informed it could be a lengthy process and it was not a guarantee that Daniela would get a wheelchair. But after a month, the family was informed that a technician would come and take measurements and would submit an estimate for approval. After the approval, the technician returned to take a mold of Daniela’s body for a special Mold Chair to help with her spine curvature. On February 25, 2020, approximately 6 months from initial referral, the family received the wheelchair. </p><p>​​Lewis and Deysy have newfound hope in their move to the US, and Daniela is overjoyed to have her new mode of transportation. The family is getting more comfortable in its new surroundings every day and are so appreciative to Boys Town South Florida.<span style="background-color:transparent;">​​</span></p>2020-08-10T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="ortigoza family" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/Ortigoza-Pachano-family-1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Ortigo family" height="481" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/Ortigoza-Pachano-family-1.jpg" width="350" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Stands for Racial Equalityhttps://www.boystown.org/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-Stands-for-Racial-Equality.aspxBoys Town Stands for Racial Equality<p>Nearly a century ago, Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan spoke these profound words: </p><p>" I … see danger for all in an ideology which discriminates against anyone politically or economically because he or she was born into the 'wrong' race, has skin of the 'wrong' color, or worships at the 'wrong' altar."</p><p>Today, America is at a crossroads. The dangerous ideology of racism Father Flanagan described then continues to exist today. </p><p>At Boys Town, we share the sadness of so many mourning the senseless killings due to violence and racism. We also share the anger that is sweeping our nation as we unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, hatred, and injustice that tear at the seams of our society.</p><p>When Father Flanagan opened his first Home for Boys in 1917, he welcomed kids of every race, color, and creed. But his efforts to be inclusive and compassionate in his care of children went far beyond creating a place where they could grow and thrive. Father Flanagan also recognized and rejected the laws and customs that enshrined and reinforced institutional racism. He passionately attacked those unfair laws and practices, shining a spotlight on prejudice and injustice, and using Boys Town as a model for the incredible possibilities that existed when people of all colors lived, worked, and played side by side in mutual respect and equality.</p><p><strong>Boys Town has never wavered from the principles on which it was founded. As a passionate advocate of positive social change, we firmly stand with those individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to the cause of racial equality and justice, and strongly support their efforts to bring about lasting, significant change. </strong><strong> </strong></p><p>We have recognized since our formation that it is not enough to simply avoid racist behavior as individuals. We all must work together proactively to create a more just, a more peaceful, and a more equitable society. We all must live by the values of diversity and inclusion more deeply in the days, months, and years to come. We all must strive to re-create a society in which everyone feels that they belong, that they matter, and that they are respected for who they are.     </p><p>People have rediscovered their voice, and their pain and anger are being felt and heard. Boys Town adds its voice to this rising chorus with the fervent hope that racism, injustice, and prejudice can finally be vanquished.     </p><p>God's Blessings,</p><p>Father Steven E. Boes<br>President and National Executive Director, Boys Town</p>2020-06-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Father Flanagan" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Flanagan_with_Boys_1942_682-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town South Florida Hosts 28th Annual Thanksgiving Give a Gobblehttps://www.boystown.org/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/Pages/BT_SFl_Hosts28thAnnualThanksgivingGiveaGobble.aspxBoys Town South Florida Hosts 28th Annual Thanksgiving Give a Gobble​<p>​On November 23, Boys Town South Florida hosted their 28th Annual Thanksgiving Give a Gobble. Over 50 volunteers showed up to help, including Boys Town South Florida board members, employees and families, and high school students.<br></p><p>Boys Town South Florida gathered donated food for families that might not have had the ability to provide Thanksgiving meals. Any family that received services from Boys Town South Florida in 2019 could sign up to receive a holiday meal and approximately 350 meals are handed out each year.</p><p>Volunteers, staff, and board members arrived early in the morning to start packing the meals. They formed an assembly line to pack bags that were donated by the Florida Power and Light Company. These meal bags included a 15-pound frozen turkey, two cans of corn and peas, two boxes of Jell-O, cranberry sauce, a large bag of dinner rolls, a five-pound bag of potatoes, and stuffing packets. This year the meals also included a disposable roasting pan for the turkeys, directions for cooking the turkey in both Creole and Spanish for non-English speaking families, and a holiday motivation card created by a Boys Town South Florida staff member.</p><p>"This is an amazing event that partners with the community, employees, high school volunteers and families, and our Board members, many of which who bring their children!" said Ariadne Reiman, Development Director for Boys Town South Florida. "We are so grateful to all of our corporate and community donors for this event such as Florida Power and Light Company, Carlton Fields Law Firm, Broward County Sheriffs Department, Costco, Publix, Malvern Bank, Wal-Mart, and Nubscc. Every Board member supported this event and that was one major reason for this year's success!"</p><p>Employees also increased their donations this year by creating a competition. For the weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving Give a Gobble, employees broke up into teams to see who could donate the most cans of food. Each week, the winning team would win a prize, such as Jimmy Johns sandwiches or pie. Through this competition, more than 800 cans of food were donated.</p><p>Boys Town South Florida also started a "Turkey Art Contest" to kick off the Thanksgiving season. First graders from 12 elementary schools made pictures or turkeys with their hands and various mediums. These were hung in a conference room at Boys Town and on November 20, people from local businesses were invited to come vote to decide the winning "turkey". "We wanted to use this event as a way to get information out about Boys Town to new prospects," said Reiman. Over 70 people came to the event where they enjoyed breakfast, learned about Boys Town, and voted for the winning art piece.</p><p>The Art Contest and Annual Thanksgiving Give a Gobble are just two of the amazing events Boys Town South Florida hosts every year to support the community and the families they are working with. They are living out the mission of keeping families intact, especially during the holidays. Thank you to all the employees, board members, and volunteers who made these events a success.</p><br>2020-01-24T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Give a gobble" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/SFL_Gobble_2019_Picture_1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Give a gobble" height="447" src="/locations/south-florida/PublishingImages/SFL_Gobble_2019_Picture_1.jpg" width="335" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town South Florida Hope for the Holidayshttps://www.boystown.org/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Hope-for-the-Holidays-20.aspxBoys Town South Florida Hope for the Holidays<p>Throughout December, the Hope for the Holidays toy drive took place at Boys Town South Florida. This toy drive has helped serve over 6000 children during the holidays since 2007. In this year alone, over 250 children receive gifts thanks to the generous donations of Jupiter First Church and The Geo Group. A-1 Moving and Storage also helped with the event by providing a truck and packing the toys into it for delivery. Elizabeth Lopez-Smith, a Compliance Specialist at Boys Town South Florida who has been running this event for 16 years stated, "I put all I have into making sure the kids have a great Christmas. I work in the office and this is the one way I try and touch all of the kids we serve."</p>​<br>2020-01-24T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Effort to canonize Boys Town founder Edward Flanagan reaches key milestonehttps://www.boystown.org/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/Pages/Effort-to-canonize-Edward-Flanagan-reaches-milestone.aspxEffort to canonize Boys Town founder Edward Flanagan reaches key milestone<p>​The effort to have Servant of God Father Edward J. Flanagan canonized a saint took a step forward today with the presentation of the Positio to Congregation for the Causes of Saints, along with a letter of support from Archbishop George Lucas.<br><br><a href="https://www.omaha.com/news/metro/effort-to-canonize-boys-town-founder-edward-flanagan-reaches-key/article_abb43a73-7e5c-59aa-a62e-a7b67a0b4af1.html?fbclid=IwAR3a4lPKoGHPBfp9iCfbcb_biLC0dMs6kY0E3ps6Z05RTHb1myqLaIsyB0U" target="_blank">Read more in this article</a> published by the Omaha World-Herald on July 22, 2019. <br></p>2019-07-30T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Father Edward Flanagan" src="/about/PublishingImages/flanagan.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Father Edward Flanagan" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/canonization.jpg" width="300" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent

​​