Brand New Domestic Violence Online Training to Be Released September 2014

Domestic Violence OnlineTraining by Helping Services-01This September, for the first time in the State of Iowa, the Domestic Abuse Resource Center at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa will present the 30-hour Domestic Violence training for community members and professionals in a flexible, convenient online format. This online training will use engaging video, real life scenarios, and interactive elements to help you understand domestic violence as well as our responsibilities as a culture to react, serve, and support victims of this crime. Continue reading

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Fayette County: Why the Signs? Find a Sign, and Enter to Win.

By Stacie M. Schroeder, SPF SIG Coordinator |


The Concern: Youth Access | The Law | The Solution | The Contest: How to Enter to Win

It’s the season of softball, family reunions, river tubing, and grill outs. Along with these summer festivities often comes the beer coolers and with that youth access to alcohol. Continue reading

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Will You Help Us Raise $28,000 During June?

JUNE 30 UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who gave this month. We came just under $6,000 short of reaching our goal for the 2014 Fiscal Year. Now on to achieving 2015 Fiscal Year’s goal!

As we’ve shared with you before, our funding comes from a variety of federal, state, and local sources. However, these funds don’t make up our total budget. To pay all of our bills and still provide quality programs to everyone we serve, we must raise the missing dollars.

To meet the annual goal*, we hold various fundraisers, like Holiday Lights. We’re extremely thankful for the people in the community who donate or hold their own fundraisers to support our mission.

As of June 1, we must bring in a remaining $28,000 to complete this year’s goal. Our staff, volunteers, and the people we serve appreciate your help. – Thank you.

Here’s the progress

You can give online through the form below, or send a check to Helping Services, P.O. Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101.

Donate Now

*Our annual goal runs from July 1 to June 30 each year.

Note: Our management and general costs last year were 6.2% of the budget. This means the services you care so much about receive 93.8% of your gift. Donations made may take a day to show up on the progress chart.

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Find Your Creativity Winneshiek County

Find Your Creativity Winneshiek County

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who experience stress in their childhood have a higher brain sensitivity to stress. This means that throughout their life, they seek relief from stress more than others who used healthy ways to minimize stress when they were young. Children experiencing stress are more likely to start using and abusing drugs at an early age. It’s no surprise that when under high amounts of stress, people look to alcohol and other drugs for relief, but substance abuse has not been found to improve stress levels, health, or well-being. Taking time for creativity is a positive way to relieve stress at home, work, or school. It allows us to discover new things about ourselves in a productive, relaxing way. This month, encourage friends and family to try something new to get their creative juices flowing!

Continue reading

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Attention Event Planners: Increase Profits, Decrease Problems, Prevent Underage Drinking


By Carol Hopp |

The spring and summer months offer a great opportunity for community members and visitors to get out and enjoy the fairs and festivals local residents work so hard to make possible.  In order to continue hosting successful events, it is important to develop and update policies and procedures to protect attendees, as well as event staff and volunteers.

Fair and festival coordinators are encouraged to take steps in alcohol management, illegal drug use prevention, and enforcement of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. Continue reading

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“Friendship Day” Shares Across Faiths

Area Decorah church women unite in a “friendship day.”  The group is part of a larger national organization known as Church Women United which includes the local Decorah churches of First Lutheran, Decorah First Lutheran, Good Shepherd, St. Ben’s, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist.  The day includes a special service, with prayer and fellowship.

Church Women United sponsors two events, the March World Day of Prayer, and the May Friendship Day.  A different charity is chosen every time, and this year Helping Services for Northeast Iowa was selected as the recipient. David Runyon, executive director of Helping Services, is shown accepting the ecumenical group’s offering.

L to R:  Doris Heikes, David Runyon, Joan Schissel, and Sherry Schilling.

L to R: Doris Heikes, David Runyon, Joan Schissel, and Sherry Schilling.

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Bronze Project Is a Golden Opportunity

Guest Post by Mike Van Sickle, Union Editor   |

Elgin Troop 6535 Girl Scout Juniors Kenlin Schmitt, Valerie Boleyn, and Emma Cram

A portion of the Girl Scout Promise is “to help people at all times.”  

Elgin Troop 6535 Girl Scout Juniors Kenlin Schmitt, Valerie Boleyn, and Emma Cram are inviting the public to help them provide assistance to the Domestic Abuse Resource Center at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa. Continue reading

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No County-Wide Social Host in Howard…For Now

By Carol Hopp  |

On May 5, members of the Prevention 5 Coalition met with the Howard County Board of Supervisors in hopes of passing a county-wide Social Host Ordinance.   The Coalition partnered with the Howard County Attorney to prepare the ordinance proposal as an effective approach to deter and reduce underage drinking.  That day the Board of Supervisors decided to wait and see what impact the new state Social Host Law will make, and they plan to revisit the proposal in one year.

While I respect the decision of the Board and appreciate the support they have given to the Coalition’s mission of maintaining safe and healthy communities, I disagree with their decision.  Continue reading

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Helping Services Now Offers Even More Family Education

By David Runyon, Executive Director at Helping Services |

HAWC Partnerships for Children and Helping Services for Northeast Iowa have been collaborating on a program transfer. This move will bring the Family Education program housed at HAWC over to Helping Services, a move necessitated by a change in state code. The Family Education program fits well with our Family Support services and our agency’s mission to promote the health and safety of children and families in Northeast Iowa. Continue reading

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Celebrate Family: What’s for Dinner?

Celebrate Family: What's for Dinner

Family mealtime is an important bonding experience. It is around the kitchen table where kids will open up about their day and parents can forget about their busy work schedules. Mealtime not only brings your family closer together, it also lowers the risk of your child turning to alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. Did you know, one of the reasons youth say they don’t use drugs is because their parents have talked to them about their values? Often times this happens over a plate of spaghetti.

The ERASE coalition challenges your family to set aside at least three nights a week where you can sit down, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. Continue reading

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