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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town New England to Expand Parenting Classes Thanks to Opioid Response Grant Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town New England to Expand Parenting Classes Thanks to Opioid Response Grant <p>Boys Town New England Executive Director Jon Jelley and Common Sense Parenting® Supervisor Maria Marroquin recently accepted a $31,068 State Opioid Response Grant in partnership with the Newport County Prevention Coalition. The Coalition is a volunteer organization that embraces and promotes the health and safety of all its residents by developing, implementing and supporting effective community-based prevention programs. State Opioid Response Grants fund organizations and programs that provide prevention, treatment and recovery activities for those battling opioid addiction.</p><p>With the Coalition's guidance and support, Boys Town New England will use this grant to expand its Common Sense Parenting (CSP) classes to parents who are involved in drug prevention and recovery programs in Newport County, Rhode Island. Most importantly, this funding opportunity enables Boys Town New England to add a seventh week of class to its six-week CSP curriculum. This new class will focus on helping parents minimize their children's exposure to narcotic substances, as well as educate parents on the types of substances that are available, the harmful effects they can have on their children and the best way to talk about these topics as a family.</p><p>Common Sense Parenting classes also will be taught in recovery homes like Trinity Village, located in Portsmouth. Trinity Village provides housing for women in recovery and their young children, and combines recovery, treatment and counseling services with the goal of helping the entire family embrace a lifestyle of healthy sobriety.</p><p>The Boys Town New England CSP team is eager to get started on this initiative. "We are beyond excited to get started and get our boots on the ground!" said Marroquin. "We have developed strong partnerships with folks in the Newport County community and I am thrilled to be in the perfect position to help these families at a time when they need it most! We cannot wait to deliver the best quality care and provide them with the support that they need to be successful teachers of their children."</p><p>To learn more about Boys Town New England and Common Sense Parenting, visit boystown.org/new-england. </p>2019-06-19T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Congrats on CSP Grant" src="/locations/new-england/news-and-events/PublishingImages/CSP-grant-pic.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />New England;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Bikers ride across state raising awareness for children's mental health Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Bikers ride across state raising awareness for children's mental health <p><em>This article is written by Shannon Heckt. </em><a href="https://www.ksnblocal4.com/content/news/Bikers-ride-across-state-raising-awareness-for-childrens-mental-health-510094701.html" target="_blank"><em>It was posted on ksnblocal4.com on May 17, 2019</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Motorcyclists rode across Nebraska this week to carry a message straight to the governor's desk the call for more mental health services for kids.</p><p>They call themselves the Eagle Riders and they started their ride in Scottsbluff earlier in the week.</p><p>"We know that we are doing something. We are helping educate so people can make informed decisions," Eagle Riders Stop Coordinator Holly Stevens said.</p><p>The letters they are carrying ask lawmakers to consider making mental health issues a priority when it comes to kids. Organizations like Boys Town help kids ages 10-18 who have behavioral and mental health struggles. But they aren't big enough to meet the demand.</p><p>"A lot of kids fall in the gaps of you know they might qualify for a certain level of service but they truly kind of need a higher level of service and sometimes those services are hard for kids to get," Boys town Program Director Deb Hulinsky said.</p><p>Boys Town can take in about 12 kids at a time and they serve most of the western two thirds of the state. Hulinsky said there needs to be an inpatient hospital for some of the more severe cases. But most of those kids have to go all the way to Omaha.</p><p>The Eagle Riders have been making this trip for 12 years. While they still hope for change, they are passionate about showing support for the kids.</p><p>"There is no words to describe what it is to see these kids faces when we pull in and the smiles on their faces and them just being supported," Stevens said.</p><p>They hope the law makers will help get more services available in the rural parts of the state and raise awareness of children's mental health.</p><p>Hulinsky said that mental health affects everyone in some way and that Nebraska needs a lot more services to meet the demand.</p>2019-06-18T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="EagleRiders" src="/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/eagle+riders.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Volunteers pack "Forever Bags" for foster kids Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Volunteers pack "Forever Bags" for foster kids <p><em>This article is written by Kelsey Dickenson. </em><a href="https://www.ksnblocal4.com/content/news/Volunteers-pack-Forever-Bags-for-foster-kids-511052601.html"><em>It was posted on ksnblocal4.com on June 9, 2019</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Non-profits look to foster hope for kids in the court system with special bags they can take with them when they move from home to home.</p><p>About 30 volunteers sort through donated items at Peace Lutheran Church Sunday. All the items will go in large duffel bags, called "Forever Bags," full of hygiene products, toys, a blanket, pillow and clothes.</p><p>"They come into town with very little. Sometimes just the clothes off their back. Sometimes things that don't even fit. Or sometimes we get babies straight from the hospital that don't even have anything," said Fannye Placke, a foster family services consultant with Boys Town in Grand Island.</p><p>Boys Town is one of the foster care agencies in the area who will receive the "Forever Bags." </p><p>They currently support 40 kids in foster care. They'll take the bags and give them out to new kids that come through their agency.</p><p>Placke said she hopes the bags will provide comfort to the kids as they move from town to town.</p><p>"I mean you see all this stuff, and you think "$10 here or there." I can't imagine how much time and effort it took for the whole community to come together for these kids, especially kids that they'll probably never meet," Placke said.</p><p>It's all part of Heartland United Way's Day of Action event. They started collecting donations for it about a month ago, and started planning the event last year.</p><p>There's 400 kids in the court system between Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.</p><p>"It's really important to find the need and do everything we can to fix it and irradiate it," said Cammie Benson, director of community engagement for Heartland United Way. "There's a need out there so we tried to do what we can to help."</p><p>Heartland United Way provided a total of 400 bags for the foster care agencies in the area.</p><p>If you're interested in helping the foster kids in Boys Town in Grand Island, you can call them at 308-381-4444.<br></p>2019-06-17T05:00:00ZNewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Monica Smart-Gainous Recognized for Community Service Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Monica Smart-Gainous Recognized for Community Service <p>Monica Smart-Gainous, Boys Town North Florida In-Home Family Services (IHFS) Consultant, was the recipient of this year's Alpha Spirit of Community Service Award at the 25<sup>th</sup> Anniversary celebration for the Brothers of the Pi Psi Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. </p><p>This award recognizes stellar citizens within the Gadsden and Decatur community who display leadership, service, education and empowerment. The recipient is someone who goes over and beyond the call of duty when serving their community. </p><p>Children, economic empowerment, health, human rights and social services are just a few of the causes that Monica champions for and she makes a direct impact on these sectors in her role as an IHFS Consultant at Boys Town North Florida.  </p><p>"Monica is extremely deserving of such a prestigious award due to her consistent advocacy of the children and families she serves not only while working with Boys Town, but on her own time within the community. We hold Monica in such high regards due to her non-stop efforts to ensure the quality of services provided by Boys Town remain at the forefront of everything we do," said Tavarus Sherrod, Director IHFS, Boys Town North Florida. "She is a true example of how building relationships with the communities and families we serve never go unnoticed, especially if you put your heart and soul into the mission of changing the way America cares for children and families." </p><p>Monica is also involved in several other affiliations in the community such as Gadsden County Democratic Executive Committee, Gadsden County Chapter of the NAACP, Gadsden Coalition for Change, Sow a Seed Foundation, Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center and Gadsden County Second Chance Re-Entry. </p><p>In addition, Monica is the lead organizer of the Eva Gunn Gainous Leonard "Woman of Distinction" program which recognizes a woman from the Gadsden County community for their efforts and deeds to improve Gadsden County.  </p><p>"Whether it be within the school system, community or through religious affiliations, Monica is always on the scene. Not just on the scene spectating, she puts her boots on the ground and goes to work," said Octavius R. Jackson, Chapter President, Pi Psi Lambda Chapter. </p><p>Join us in congratulating Monica on her much deserved recognition for her tireless dedication and outreach to the Gadsden County community and her direct impact on the children and families of Boys Town North Florida. <br></p>2019-06-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Monica Smart" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Forms/EditForm/Monica-Smart-Gainous-banner.jpg" width="2873" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Monica Smart" height="551" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Monica-Smart-Gainous.Award.jpg" width="400" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Louisiana Celebrates 5th Annual Bowl-A-Palooza Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Louisiana Celebrates 5th Annual Bowl-A-Palooza <p>The community and Boys Town Louisiana came together in celebration of the 5<sup>th</sup> Annual Bowl-A-Palooza. <br></p><p>Nearly 200 people laced up their bowling shoes and came out for an afternoon of fun to benefit Boys Town Louisiana. This year attendees enjoyed music by Kings of Brass, a performance by the Disco Amigos, the Glitter Buffet, a silent auction and of course a bowling competition! New Orleans law firm, McGlinchey Stafford, took home this year's bowling trophy. <br></p><p>This year's event raised nearly $25,000 which will directly impact Boys Town Louisiana and their mission to save children and heal families. <br></p><p>"We're so thankful to everyone who joined us for Bowl-a-Palooza. We couldn't fulfill our mission without so many generous community partners and supporters. By participating in our event, our donors are able to make a direct, positive impact in the lives of the children and families here in Louisiana," said James Howell, Development Director, Boys Town Louisiana. </p><p>This year's presenting sponsor was Entergy whose philanthropic focus is to improve the quality of life in communities where they operate through strategic investments in education, low income/poverty initiatives, environmental programs and diversity and inclusion programs. Boys Town is happy to have their support in growing our mission.</p><p>Other lead Bowl-A-Palooza sponsors include: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, McGlinchey Stafford, Hancock Whitney Bank, Baptist Community Ministries (BCM), Judy & Jeff Doussan, and Marathon Petroleum.</p><p>Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Bowl-A-Palooza it was another great success due to the wonderful community of supporters. <br></p>2019-06-12T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Board at Bowl 2019" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Board-at-Bowl-2019.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Louisiana;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Irish Tea with Miss Nellie Flanagan Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Irish Tea with Miss Nellie Flanagan <p>On May 22, Boys Town hosted an Irish Tea with Miss Nellie Flanagan at the Father Flanagan House.</p><p>The hostesses of the event were Cassi Mossburgh, Manager, Hall of History Museum and Father Flanagan House, Christa Monti, Visitor and Tour Coordinator, Pam Christensen, Gift Shop Clerk and Guide, and Bev Vazzano, dedicated Boys Town volunteer.</p><p>Boys Town invited ladies from nearby church groups and the Lady Order of Hibernians to attend this event. The 25 attendees had the opportunity to tour the Father Flanagan House, and learn how Father Flanagan's older sister, Nellie Flanagan, kept the house in order while serving as her brother's housekeeper for all his years at Boys Town. They also had the chance to hear about the rich Irish heritage of Boys Town while enjoying some Irish tea and scones. Each guest received a tissue carnation corsage that was made by the Boys Town art class. </p><p>"The key to events like the tea is community engagement. Museums have the power to excite, educate, and enlighten. We want each guest to have a rich and memorable experience while visiting Boys Town," said Cassi Mossburgh. </p><p>If you missed this tea the luck of the Irish is on your side because Boys Town will be hosting another one in December 2019. This tea will be "Christmas tea at Boys Town" and it will highlight what it was like during the holidays in the 1920's and focus on Irish Christmas traditions. Guests can also see how Father Flanagan decorated his house for an Irish Christmas. </p><p>Anyone is welcome to attend this festive December event. Admission is $25.00 and all proceeds are going towards new equipment for the Boys Town art class. </p><p>To make reservations contact Cassi Mossburgh at 531.355.1187 or Cassi.Mossburgh@boystown.org.<br></p><p class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox" style="text-align:center;"></p><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read f2c4917b-c8d4-4f5d-a054-1369fc3500f9" id="div_f2c4917b-c8d4-4f5d-a054-1369fc3500f9" unselectable="on"> </div><div id="vid_f2c4917b-c8d4-4f5d-a054-1369fc3500f9" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div><p></p><br>2019-06-07T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="tea" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Attendees.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Organization's Volunteerism Creates Unique Connection with Boys Town Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Organization's Volunteerism Creates Unique Connection with Boys Town Youth <p>Hanging Christmas lights and attending a tree-lighting ceremony. Playing basketball with the kids. Organizing an event to teach girls and boys about Black History Month.</p><p>Those are just a few of the recent volunteer activities the Men of George Washington Carver Inc. has been part of in order to enrich and empower the youth of Boys Town Washington DC. </p><p>Conceived in 2013 during a meeting in George Washington Carver Hall at Howard University, the organization's guiding principles closely parallel those of Boys Town Washington DC. That made the Men of George Washington Carver Inc. a perfect fit when it began volunteering at the DC site last year. </p><p>"Four Black men came together and decided to found an organization that would instill in freshmen boys values based on the three pillars of Brotherhood, Manhood and Community Service," said Dante Ewell, the group's president. "An idea that came from four men would eventually grow into an impactful student organization with over 100 members who are dedicated to service to themselves, to others and to the community."</p><p>Dante said one of the organization's favorite activities at Boys Town was its Black History Month presentation. He said it was great to hear the Boys Town youth open up about their personal experiences and embrace the event. </p><p>"I also loved that the adults joined in the fun and encouraged the kids to be themselves and have as much fun as they wanted," he said. "The experience really showed me how close the community is here, and for a kid, a close family is one of the most important things that they can have."</p><p>As his organization continues its relationship with Boys Town Washington DC, Dante expects its members to develop closer ties with the youth as they serve as positive role models and help them find their voice. </p><p>"I believe it's important for me to volunteer at Boys Town because… having young Black men come and mentor the kids has a unique impact on them. I feel like the kids feel validated when we can relate to their experiences, both in school and in life in general, and we also help them to see that they are not limited by their race, and have the power to pursue their dreams.</p><p>"I would say (to other organizations) that if they wanted to make a real change in a child's life and learn amazing lessons from their experience, they MUST volunteer at Boys Town."</p>2019-06-03T05:00:00ZNewsWashington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Couple’s Personal Love Story Leads to Lifestyle of Service to Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Couple’s Personal Love Story Leads to Lifestyle of Service to Youth <p>For Mo and Dawn Sanni, serving as Family-Teachers in Boys Town Washington DC's youth residential care program is the culmination of a couple of different love stories. </p><p>Mo and Dawn met while working at Boys Town's New York site. Dawn was an Assistant Family-Teacher in the residential program and Mo worked in the short-term shelter. Both were later assigned to the Boys Town School. </p><p>Not long after, they began dating. When they later married, Mo and Dawn planned to become Family-Teachers at the New York site. But when it closed in 2016, they had to look for another opportunity to continue helping kids. </p><p>That's when they decided to move to Washington, D.C., where they fell in love with Boys Town's campus there. In 2018, the couple was hired as Family-Teachers in the site's Family Home Program.</p><p>Now they're doing what they love to do – changing the lives of young girls – together.</p><p>"Our calling is working with kids," Dawn said. "It is about fulfilling goals and passions."</p><p>"I love working at Boys Town because I love working with my wife," said Mo. "We have bumps and bruises, but she is the only person I would want to go through these things with. It's important to spend time together while doing what you love. This is the best part of the job."</p><p>As Family-Teachers, the Sannis meet the daily needs of the girls in their care, teaching them valuable social skills and how to build strong relationships with others. Those skills include practical things like shopping for groceries, budgeting for meals and cooking. But the instruction goes far beyond that, dealing with areas like self-advocacy, modern technology and women's issues. The Sannis also stress the importance of community service. For example, on weekends, the Dawn, Mo and their girls do what they call "givebacks," making sandwiches they distribute to the homeless or visiting residents of a nursing home.  </p><p>"It's amazing to see the girls have these moments of character-building, to know they have this integrity in them that they can use when they leave us," said Dawn. </p><p>Mo said the daily routine of getting the girls off to school, taking them to appointments, communicating with their families, monitoring study hours and finding time to have fun (including doing "comedy routines" during family dinners) makes working at Boys Town more than just a job.</p><p>"The Family-Teaching component is 24/7 at Boys Town," he said. "It's not like you go to work and then go home. It's all the time."  </p><p>But making a difference in the lives of young girls who desperately need a second chance and providing them with the warmth and security of a loving family is worth every moment of effort. </p><p>"Just because these children didn't come from us doesn't mean they don't deserve the same love," Mo said. </p>2019-06-03T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Sanni" src="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Sanni-pic.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Class of 2019 Graduation Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Class of 2019 Graduation <p>"We must agree, I think, that we do not build schools, either public or private, for the purpose of turning out diplomas, but rather for the purpose of turning out young men and women shaped for life." –Father Edward J. Flanagan, Boys Town founder. </p><p>On Sunday, May 20, Boys Town celebrated 100 young men and women as they graduated from Boys Town High School in a ceremony held at the Music Hall on Home Campus. </p><p>The students graduating are from 17 different states across the United States who entered the Boys Town program in order to find their second chance at a successful life. Twelve of the graduates are members of the National Honor Society and two students received a National Service Award. </p><p>This year's commencement speaker was Congressman Don Bacon. Bacon is a retired United States Air Force Brigadier General and current U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2<sup>nd</sup> congressional district. </p><p>After graduation, almost 80 percent of students plan to enroll in a two-year or four-year college program. The remaining graduates will enlist in the military, join the Job Corps or enter the workforce in a skilled position. </p><p>Boys Town supporters had the opportunity to share words of advice and congratulations for the graduates by filling out ecards. These cards were sent in from people all over the country, showing the seniors that support for them goes beyond the Boys Town campus. Big thank you to those who took the time to send in words of encouragement for all of the recent graduates. </p><p>Now, join us in congratulating the Boys Town High School Class of 2019. Their hard work along with the support and guidance of Boys Town has brought them to this moment of success. Boys Town wishes all the graduates a happy and healthy future. <br></p>2019-06-03T05:00:00ZNewsNebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Local foster family shares their story about foster care experience Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Local foster family shares their story about foster care experience <p><em>This article is written by Brittany Barnett. </em><a href="https://www.wtxl.com/news/local-news/local-foster-family-shares-their-story-about-foster-care-experience?fbclid=IwAR3eb6KIEo4aKVoxOZryl-6_CqDDzorE-bT_dmlX8kYW8hI9GFC22VHr5o0" target="_blank"><em>It was published to WXTL Tallahassee on May 29, 2019.</em></a><em> </em></p><p>QUINCY, Fla. — There's a huge need for foster families in our community. </p><p>According to Boys Town North Florida, just last year, the agency had to refuse over 300 child placements due to the lack of foster homes available. </p><p>Brittany Barnett sat down with a family that has been fostering children for six years and is forever changed by the process. </p><p>"I love them to death. I wouldn't let them go for nothing, for no one. This is home to them and I want them to stay," said Calvin Ellis, a foster parent. </p><p>Six years ago, a family out in Quincy decided to take a chance and open up their doors to foster children. Three kids later, they can both say they are forever changed. </p><p>"Foster care has really changed me as a person and as a mother, even spiritually," said Darlene Cunningham, a foster parent. </p><p>It's an experience they wouldn't trade for the world, but it hasn't been without struggle. </p><p>The couple is currently fostering children ages 10, 12 and 13 years old, all from Boys Town North Florida's foster program. </p><p>Cunningham owes a lot of her success as a foster parent to Boys Town North Florida. She is especially thankful for the 24/7 support the agency provides. </p><p>"We had one situation where we were like, 'Okay, we are new at this. We aren't sure.' So we called our consultant. Within 15 minutes our consultant was here," said Cunningham. </p><p>Despite the ups and downs, Cunningham knows she would not be the same person if it wasn't for stepping out of her comfort zone to care for others. </p><p>"Doing foster care and really seeing the different things kids go through really opened by heart," said Cunningham. </p><p>The foster family is taking it one step further and plan on adopting two of their current foster children.</p>2019-05-31T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Foster Family Story North Florida Boys Town" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NF_Story.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#

Kara Neuverth
Media Relations Director
531-355-1305
Kara.Neuverth@boystown.org

Jordan Weinandt
Media Relations Specialist
531-355-1273
Jordan.Weinandt@boystown.org

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