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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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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Increase in Law Enforcement Presence to Curb Underage Drinking

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.

 

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Community Prevention Efforts Can Trump ACEs

By Carol Hopp |

If you had the opportunity to make a difference in the future health and behavioral outcomes of children in your community, would you? Of course! That is why understanding the ACE Study is so important. It shows how experiencing trauma as a child can lead to behavioral and health issues as an adult. With this knowledge, you can recognize, respond, or even prevent a possible traumatic situation, making a difference for your child and their friends.
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Child Well-Being: Communities Must Do More

By the Child Abuse Prevention Team |

We all want children to have great childhoods, to succeed in school, and to grow into healthy, productive citizens. Yet, recent studies suggest that we are far from achieving this vision.

According to UNICEF, the United States ranks 26 out of 29 wealthiest nations in the world in terms of child well-being, and 32 out of 34 industrialized nations in terms of children living in poverty. In Iowa, 55 percent of adults experienced at least one traumatic event, such as abuse or neglect, as children, and 14 percent had four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Recent research suggests that our children are growing up with largely the same rate of ACEs as previous generations. Continue reading

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