As I reflect on the past year I continue to be amazed by the support we receive from community members, both through time and resources. A prime example of this is Holiday Lights, where we had another record year with over 4,500 cars visiting the park. Additionally, over 400 individuals volunteered to play a role in the success of the event. The sponsorship for the event and free will donations at the door continue to support our programs across northeast Iowa. Thank you to all who sponsored, volunteered, donated, and attended Holiday Lights!
As great as 2018 was, this year is starting out great with advancements in our programs. I want to highlight a partnership with Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health, which will expand our substance prevention work into Clayton County. This work will prioritize prevention strategies surrounding alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications, problem gambling, and tobacco. Watch for more news to come about this.
I continue to be proud of the lasting and impactful work our Domestic Abuse Resource Center (DARC) team does each day. Just last month an advocate shared with me a recent success story. Upon meeting her client, our advocate went over a variety of options. Ultimately our advocate was able to help her client and two children move into a safer place. During this process Helping Services was able to provide the client’s first month rent, perishable groceries, supplies, and additional one-one-one support the client requested. This demonstrates the important role that donations provide so that our advocates can best serve victims of domestic abuse.
To keep up to date on our ongoing work throughout the year, I invite you to continue to check out this blog we (re)launched. It is a great way to understand the work happening to make NE Iowa healthier and safer for all.
Until next time,