Drive to Raise $10,000 for Family Support Services

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By David Runyon, Executive Director |

It is fun to watch children grow and develop, to be part of their life as they learn about their world, and to help guide them in their choices. Many of us on staff are parents and grandparents, and we can identify with you the joy and difficulty of raising children in today’s world.

This is why Helping Services devotes resources for passionate coordinators and family educators to host parenting classes and provide in-home services to parents of newborn children–everything from health checks for babies to counseling new parents about child care. However, we need your help. Continue reading

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What Is It Like to Be A Mentor as a High School Student?

Delaware High School Volunteer Mentors“My mentoring experience has been a great one so far. I look forward to Wednesday’s after school to get to “hang out” with my mentee.

My mentee and I enjoy playing board games and doing fun crafts together. It is nice catching up with him, and he enjoys telling me about his weekend or what fun video game he got to play.

We’ve only been paired up for a couple weeks now, but I can tell that he opens up to me more and more every time. It always makes my day to see that he is happy to see me and excited to spend some time together every week during the school year.”

—Megan Downs, high school mentor

Delaware County high schoolers: This next year, spend one day a week after school to be a role model for a younger student. Together you can play board games, do crafts, work on school assignment the mentee has, or play on the playground.  Apply to become a mentor!

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Online Domestic Violence Awareness Training and Purple Ribbon Members on KCRG

“[Domestic violence] is a crisis in the US. If we can stop/reduce it, we will help reduced the negative impact of this vicious cycle. It ruins lives and increases costs on society. The potential benefits are outstanding for humanity if we all understood the impacts and how to prevent it.”

—2015 Online Training Participant

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WMC Foundation and Helping Services Support Victims of Abuse with Artful Healing

Art Therapy Award Fall 2014.  Registered Art Therapist Karen Misseldine, ATR, MA, (left) is pictured with WMC Foundation Coordinator Holly Kanengieter (center), and Kathleen Davis, director of the Domestic Abuse Resource Center (right).Guest Post by Mary Marx, WMC Foundation | 

Last November, the Winneshiek Medical Center Foundation was fortunate enough to award five grants to local groups or agencies working to serve the mental health needs in our community. The grants were part of WMC’s Commemorative Fund for Community Mental Health and were raised with the purpose of giving back to the community around an identified need.

Helping Services was one grant recipient for their project titled “Artful Healing.” Kathleen Davis, director of the Domestic Abuse Resource Center, says,

“Artful Healing uses art therapy to help clients confront anxiety, stress, and trauma that can often accompany being in an abusive situation. In our seven-county service area, the Resource Center has six staff and many volunteers who have assisted 188 clients in the past six months, so that averages at least one new client each day. Artful Healing is an effective therapy for victims of abuse, and we are fortunate that, with help from the WMC Foundation, we are able to offer it. Other agencies around the state wish they could offer this program to their clients.”

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Upcoming Training | Stewards of Children

Stewards-of-Children-Training

Training Overview  | Location | Register

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June 18 Open House Honors Executive Director Change

Dave CarsonStarting in June, Helping Services for Northeast Iowa will be led by a new executive director. After 29 years guiding the nonprofit’s mission, David Runyon has announced his retirement. Runyon says, “My work on the agency’s mission did not begin at my ‘start date’ and will not end with my retirement in June…Starting in high school, I wanted to make a difference, and I looked for opportunities to do so. Joining Helping Services’ mission of serving children and families felt like a good and natural fit…I have gained much over these 30 years and have appreciated the opportunity to give back to others.”

His successor, Carson Eggland, has been hired and will begin serving on June 15. “I look forward to continuing the tradition that Dave Runyon has shaped during his many years of service at Helping Services as he transitions into a well-deserved retirement this summer,” shares Eggland. Continue reading

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“My Work Will Not End with My Retirement”

NiagaraChristmas 2012 Kids and Thomas 2

By David Runyon, retiring executive director |

Three decades, almost that is. That is the amount time, a lifetime of sorts, that I have spent here at Helping Services. My work on the agency’s mission did not begin at my “start date” and will not end with my retirement in June. I came to the mission naturally through my Christian faith and the training in my childhood home from my parents. By the time I came to the agency in 1985, my commitment to helping children and families was deeply rooted in my personal mission. Continue reading

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Greetings, I’m Carson, the New Executive Director

CarsonBy Carson Eggland, executive director |

Thank you for the opportunity to lead the wonderful team at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa. As a volunteer, staff member, donor, friend, or advocate for this organization, you have provided significant impact to families and children in the area. I look forward to continuing the tradition that Dave Runyon has shaped during his many years of service at Helping Services as he transitions into a well-deserved retirement this summer. Congratulations Dave!

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Why Youth Abuse Prescription Drugs and How to Prevent It

youth prescription drug abuseBy Katie Kust, Substance Abuse Prevention Intern |

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some prescriptions drugs like those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders, and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana. And who abuses these drugs most? The young adults in our lives. Continue reading

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Clearing the Smoke

Marijuana Myths Helping Services for Northeast IowaBy Carol Hopp, Community Prevention Specialist |

Heard about marijuana in the news lately? That’s because there is a national debate on whether to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes. It may not seem like it, but it won’t be long before Iowans are asked for their opinion on this topic.

It is your responsibility to learn enough about this topic to make an educated decision when the time comes. Helping Services and local coalitions are partnering with schools and community venues to ‘clear the smoke’ and get accurate information out about the health and safety risks of marijuana. Marijuana has been shown to have medicinal properties when used as directed with a prescription, but that’s a topic for another article. Recreational use is never safe and is always a risk to the health of the community. There are still a lot of unknowns about marijuana, but there are some things you should know: Continue reading

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