Mentoring Video Series | Part 4 Improving Attitude and Performance at School

Why do volunteers put 4-5 hours in a month, coordinators invest thousands of hours, and donors send their gifts each month? It’s all about the kids! Continue reading

Posted in General Helping Services | Leave a comment

PARENTS: Help Your Teen Enjoy Fun, Safe, and Drug-Free Gatherings

PWH logoBy Carol Hopp |

Parents play a major role in their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. In a survey to parents and teens from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one-third of teen party-goers have been to parties where teens were drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or using cocaine, ecstasy, or prescription drugs while a parent was present. Continue reading

Posted in Substance Abuse, Underage and Binge Drinking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2014 Was Best Holiday Lights Year Ever- Thank you

Holiday Lights 10th annivesary-01By Dennis Osmundson (Oz) |

Best. Year. Ever. We are grateful to the community for making the 2014 Holiday Lights the most successful year ever.  “The 203 volunteers and thousands of visitors made the 10th annual Holiday Lights a record year,” said David Runyon, Executive Director. “We also praise the support from our corporate sponsors, Decorah Bank and Trust and Olson Explosives Inc., as well as the display, 5K, media, giveaway, and nightly sponsors, the Santas, and fireworks donors, the Jerry Kelly family.”

Visitors came in record numbers and were wonderfully generous. Continue reading

Posted in Donation Stories, Holiday Lights, Magical Nights | Leave a comment

Calmar Promotes Healthy Lifestyles Makes Trails Tobacco-Free

By Tessa Willie |

The next time you think about using tobacco of any kind on the city trails in Calmar, resist! The Calmar City Council voted in favor of the health of Calmar citizens by making all city trails tobacco-free. Effective January 5, 2015, no person will be allowed to use any form of tobacco on trails under this new policy. The Calmar City Council, South Winneshiek SODA (Students Opposed to Drugs and Alcohol), Winneshiek County ERASE Coalition, and Helping Services for Northeast Iowa support this policy.

Why the policy?

Calmar Council members adopted this policy because Continue reading

Posted in Tobacco | Leave a comment

Mentoring Video Series | Part 3 Countering Bullying, Benefiting Families

Mentoring-Works-Video-3Families are an important part of mentoring.  The families of mentored youth enjoy the relationship with the mentor and staff.  They also have a sense of belonging, knowing they are part of a community that cares about them and their child. Such is the case of Joel and his son Chase. Continue reading

Posted in Mentoring | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mentoring Video Series | Part 2 Fulfillment

Mentoring Works Video 2-01Have you wondered what qualities do you need to be a good mentor? Bob gives his thoughts on the skills you need.

Continue reading

Posted in Mentoring | Tagged | 1 Comment

Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters | National Mentoring Month 2015

Web Invitation to Celebrate National Mentoring Month-01

Because giving youth a role model and friend is so important, Youth Mentoring at Helping Services is taking an entire month to celebrate their mission and invites you to join in. To do this we are proudly participating in the 14th annual National Mentoring Month. This celebration raises awareness of mentoring in formal and informal ways in hopes to add more mentors, youth, and supporters to the mentoring mission.    Continue reading

Posted in Mentoring | Tagged | 1 Comment

Brand New Mentoring Video Series | Part 1 A Great Experience

Mentoring Works Helping Services for Northeast Iowa-01

Mentoring is more than playing games and hanging out. It changes lives, families, and communities. To show the YouTube world how Mentoring Works, Luther College students asked questions to real people in Youth Mentoring and then showcased their spontaneous and unrehearsed responses in this seven video series.

These powerful stories, shared by mentors, a parent, and mentees, show the passion and the impact mentoring has on youth and adults alike. We hope you will not just be inspired and touched, but that you’ll be excited to join in because Mentoring Works! You can become a volunteer, donate, or help promote our cause.

Part 1 | A Great Experience

In this video you will meet Gene, a mentor of seven years. Continue reading

Posted in Mentoring | Comments Off

Attention Parents:  Check your Facts about Pot

Marijuana Brain
By Jen Stolka |

You can’t get addicted to pot. Smoking a joint doesn’t hurt you – WHAT??  This is what our kids have shared that they believe. We must stop this way of thinking before they try marijuana, experience the negative effects of marijuana, or become addicted. Continue reading

Posted in Substance Abuse | Tagged , | Comments Off

Using SBIRT for Substance Abuse Prevention Improves Overall Health

By Carol Hopp |

Alcohol abuse or dependence costs the U.S. economy $185 billion each year.  This is more than double what the USDA recorded was spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as the food stamps program, in 2013.  More concerning is that, even with spending this large  amount, out of the estimated 23 million Americans that need treatment for a substance use disorder, only 10% actually receive services. One of the reasons for this gap in treatment is the lack of diagnosis. There is some good news, however. The Iowa Department of Public Health has identified an evidenced-based program to help identify, reduce, and prevent misuse, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and other drugs.  It’s called SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. The program consists of: Continue reading

Posted in Substance Abuse | Comments Off