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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
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.”
Starting 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
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
By 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!
By 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
By 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
By Carol Hopp, Community Prevention Specialist |
As the weather conditions improve across the county, thoughts of spring and festive events come to mind. The party scene can also be on the rise during this time of year. Unfortunately for many, the improved weather conditions, special occasions, and parties can also lead to underage drinking and binge drinking which can result in numerous health consequences. (Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a day for a female and five or more drinks in a day for a male.)
Our team at Helping Services is partnering with the Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek County Sheriff Departments and Waukon and Postville Police Departments to help provide a safe party season, free from alcohol or other mind altering drugs. Law enforcement is heightening patrols during prom weekends, during the upcoming graduation season, and over Memorial Day weekend. The joint effort will allow law enforcement to have more officers patrolling the county to keep teens and adults safe.
I encourage everyone to prevent the consequences of underage drinking and irresponsible alcohol use from the get-go:
- Set an example by not letting alcohol be the center of every gathering.
- Talk about the risks of underage drinking, overconsuming, and intoxicated driving.
- Avoid penalties of Iowa’s law by not providing alcohol to minors or allowing underage drinking to occur on your property.
- Make your expectations clear. Talk to your kids about alcohol, and understand the pressures they face.