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Boys Town Iowa celebrates new office, end of Drive for Healthy Families

Boys Town Iowa celebrates new office, end of Drive for Healthy Families

This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was posted on on May 5, 2017.

Boys Town Iowa wrapped up its Drive for Healthy Families and hosted an open house Thursday at its new office at 1702 West Broadway, Suite 17.

A total of 5,711 pounds of goods were collected for families served by the organization.

The Red Team in the drive, led by the Council Bluffs Fire Department, collected 3,600 pounds of household and hygiene products during the month of April, outpacing the Blue Team, led by the Council Bluffs Police Department, which gathered 2,100 pounds, said Pat Garcia, community engagement developer at Boys Town Iowa.

"The warm hearts of folks is unbelievable in this town," Garcia said. "The piece that was amazing was the young people that got involved — from elementary all the way up to Iowa Western Community College."

Students at Hoover Elementary School held their own drive, coordinated by fifth-graders in the talented and gifted program, to collect products for the Red Team.

Fire Capt. Jim Maaske, captain of the Red Team, said members had decided to donate the items they gathered in honor of the two Pottawattamie County deputies shot earlier this week, Mark Burbridge and Pat Morgan. While the team had help from some other organizations, he credited his colleagues with giving their own generous donations.

"They brought something in all the time — filled up the barrels that we had," he said. "They brought some cash in last week, and I went shopping and got some stuff."

Team members also picked up items for the drive when they were out shopping for their families, he said.

The Rev. Steven Boes, president and national executive director of Boys Town, offered a blessing at the event.

Boys Town Iowa moved to its new office suite on Dec. 19 and closed its office at 1851 Madison Ave. at the end of 2016, according to Debbie Orduna, executive director of Boys Town Iowa. The agency serves more than 1,000 families and more than 2,000 children every year in western Iowa.

"We really appreciate how we've been embraced by the community," she said. "We know the importance of what it takes to raise a healthy family."

Kayla Garges, a client who spoke at the open house, said Boys Town Iowa had helped her find housing and work toward goals she needed to meet to get her 4-year-old son back.

"Hopefully, in the next month, I'll meet the goals and get him back," she said. "I've gotten a lot accomplished with their help."

The new facility and location are better suited for the organization's work in Council Bluffs, Orduna said. The 5,100-square-foot office suite has a training room, conference room and comfortable rooms for family meetings, and the site provides more space for the group's growing staff.

"We have added eight staff in Council Bluffs in the past year," she said.

In addition, the office is more centrally located, Orduna said.

"It's closer to the families we serve," she said.

That makes it handier for staff who drive to families' homes to provide services, too, she said.

Boys Town began offering in-home services in Iowa in 1989 through an office in Glenwood. It opened a Council Bluffs office in 2006 and moved to the Madison Avenue location in 2007.