“Overcoming The Storms Of Life” Youth Camps

“Overcoming The  Storms Of Life”  Youth Camps

By Melissa Keller

What a busy summer this has been for Hope4Healing Staff and Volunteers. This summer, we held a youth camp at each elementary school in Marshalltown, Iowa and worked with K-2nd graders who were attending summer school for reading/language proficiencies. Our camps were a joint collaboration between numerous volunteers, mental health therapists, Marshalltown police officers, equine helpers, and more. We all joined our talents together, and the camps were a wonderful success. Our camp theme was “Overcoming the Storms of Life.”  The goals for our camps included teaching youth methods to reduce worries and anxieties, and understanding how to be prepared for and respond to emergencies. Each camp had five stations, and youth were divided into small groups as they navigated each camp station.   

Pictured  above are two of our volunteers helping youth put together their own emergency/first aid kits, and make tie blankets out of a plush felt material with horse fabric. The kids absolutely loved the soft plush fabric, and were so excited to take these items home!

The camps also focused on ways to help youth reduce anxiety and be prepared when the storms of life come.  As Marshalltown, IA  is now 3 years post tornado recovery, our camp volunteers have found that many of the youth are not struggling with the aftermaths of the Marshalltown Tornado so much as youth and their families have been working to recover from many of life’s storms (such as Covid employment struggles, paying bills, food insecurities). Of course there are families that are still struggling with home repairs and dealing with headaches of insurance claims between both storms that hit in the last few years (the 2020 Derecho that hit Central Iowa with 140 mph winds and the 2018 EF3 Tornado that hit Marshalltown). Each youth left the camp with Hope4Healing pamphlets, and contact information and understood that if their families needed help, that Hope4Healing would be glad to help and that we would do our very best to help their families. We have received several calls since the camps, and contacted their families as promised.

Pictured Above is one of our therapists reading to the youth during the “Tell Your Story Time”,

Another fun activity was the “Tell Your Story Time” in which youth were able to listen to a story about a dragon who learned to overcome his anxieties. Youth were then able to draw and share about their own fears with their peers, and caring adults.  This was a moment of healing for many youth this summer as many of them were finally able to put their feelings into words.  

At each camp, youth were able to groom horses. Many youth were fearful of being up close to such large animals, but they learned to conquer this fear and many found themselves falling in “love” with the horses by the end of their time with them. Finally, each camp had a police officer teach about what to do in emergencies, read another story, and then youth were able to make a craft with the police officer. We are so thankful to have had the privilege to work with the youth this summer, and are considering ways to do other similar camps in the future in different parts of Iowa. It is our hope and prayer that each youth that we worked with will understand that there are adults who care about them and that when they feel scared, it is ok to reach out and talk to them and not keep their depression and anxieties bottled up inside. It is also our prayer that God will use the time we spent together to work in ways to help meet the spiritual needs of each student. 

 If you are interested in having Hope4Healing work with you in hosting a camp with your school, community group, or church, contact us at 866-584-4673 to find out more information. As our ministry continues to grow, we are in need of volunteers from various backgrounds to help us serve those who contact us. If you are interested in becoming a Hope4Healing Volunteer, please contact us for more information.

We appreciate your continued prayers for our ministry. We would ask that you consider financially supporting our ministry with a donation of any size. Our mailing address is Hope4Healing PO Box 48 Gladbrook, IA 50635. Your support allows us to continue serving children and families so that we can be there to assist them when they need us the most.

 

 

 

Healthy Family Fun Fair

Our staff and volunteers enjoyed meeting  many of you at the Healthy Family Fun Fair at the Marshalltown Public Library in June!  Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

“The Best Miracles in the World Are Often The Small Ones

written by Nicole Sanders

The best miracles in the world are often the small ones, the ones that we could, but should not, take for granted.  Hope4Healing strives to create those everyday miracles for those among us that need it most by working hard with our resource partners to do good for many people at once. 

Take the case of Pastor Christine.  Pastor Christine has served her community in many ways over many years, including by working with Hope4Healing.  One of Pastor Christine’s projects is called “No Strings Attached”.  Through this program,  Pastor Christine provides the opportunity to learn to play an instrument to low-income children who would not otherwise have exposure to music.  “No Strings Attached” has provided music lessons to elementary students, giving young children a love of music that they could take with them for a lifetime. 

Unfortunately, like so many of our treasured activities, due to Covid restrictions, “No Strings Attached” had to close down for a year and Pastor Christine was not able to teach music; but from that disappointment good would come.  After Covid restrictions had lifted, there was a child that music had really missed having music lessons. The child’s grandmother reached out to Pastor Christine. and asked her if she could give her grandson private lessons.  She asked what Pastor Christine would charge for the lessons, and rather than take the money, Pastor Christine asked the woman to donate to a charity like Hope4Healing.  When Pastor Christine looked at the check, she first thought that the woman had given $30, but she soon saw that it was actually $300.

That $300 check proved to be a miracle for a lady that Hope4Healing and Pastor Christine had been working with.  This particular lady had been trying to live off disability alone for many years. Typically disability checks alone give only just what it takes to “eke out” a living, and this particular lady was no exception as she lived alone and never had extra funds left over at the end of the month.  One of her needs was struggling to find the extra change to go to the laundromat once a month.  Hope4Healing was able to find the resources to help this elderly lady find a gently used washer and dryer, saving her the monthly expenses of paying for laundromats, and an extra blessing occurred when someone else donated the lady a tv to help entertain the grandchildren that she often helped watch.  

As these needs were met, she then faced serious car repairs, and the cost of the repairs was impossible on her income, and she didn’t know where to turn.  So, when Pastor Christine was given the $300, she immediately thought of this lady and her needs, and the $300 went a long way toward easing the difficulties that this lady was facing in her life.  

Miracles can often happen in small ways, and Hope4Healing is in the business of making those miracles happen. Would you consider making a donation of any amount to Hope4Healing, and helping our organization be the “miracle” lifeline in someone’s life?  Contact Hope4Healing to see how you can donate your time, talents, or treasures today, and be a part of making a difference in the lives of children, families, and individuals in need.  

 

 

Hope4Healing’s Vita Program

Hope4Healing’s 2021 VITA Program

Written by Nicole Sanders

 During the last several months, attention at Hope4Healing has turned to its involvement in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program as they began their third year of tax preparation.   A joint venture of Hope4Healing, Hawkeye Community College, the Internal Revenue Service, and Iowa State University Extension, this VITA site provides free help understanding and filing taxes to low-come individuals families and workers.  It is an essential service for people who would otherwise not be able to fully access the tax benefits that they are due, and many that have utilized this service are immigrants.  For them, Hope4Healing has focused on overcoming language and cultural barriers that make it difficult for these families and workers to navigate the increasingly complex tax system.  It is a valuable service for many members of the community.    

Hope4Healing is thankful for our VITA Volunteers!

The challenges have been many.  Hope4Healing recruited volunteers who were willing to volunteer their time, then the VITA volunteers had the sometimes-arduous task of understanding the updated tax code.  It was necessary for them to pass a test to ensure that they were able to adequately prepare the taxes in light of all of the changes to the tax code within the last year.  Hope4Healing’s staff dedicated many volunteer hours to make the program a reality.   

The people that the VITA program is reaching are vulnerable.  Many are immigrants who have limited English skills and come from countries that do not have the complex tax structures that we have here in America.  This means that navigating the system is extremely difficult for them.  Hope4Healing’s VITA program ensures that individuals with linguistic and cultural barriers are not taken advantage of, providing safe space for low-income individuals and families where they can be assured that they will receive tax benefits that they are due.  This means that low-income workers will not pay more than they owe, and for many provides a desperately needed income through tax returns.  In many instances, the VITA tax program also helped keep families from fraudulently being taken advantage of as has been the case of families not understanding that they could receive a refund from both the State and Federal Return.  By providing tax assistance in the native languages, families feel more comfortable and better understand what materials are needed to prep their returns and also how the filing program works.  As the nation faces Covid, tax assistance has become even more important to low-income families as many of them can qualify for the EITC tax credit, and families and communities are helped in the long run

Coordinating the VITA Program has been a lot of hard work, but VITA is a win-win as both the students and the low-income workers have benefitted from the program.  And, through VITA, the whole community has won as well for when individuals and families are able to claim all their tax credits, it is a real boost to the local economy. 

 

 

Lauren’s Sweet Treats for the week of October 26th

I’m so thankful for your support in helping me reach my goals each week!  It makes me so happy that I can help others in need while doing one of my favorite things–baking!

Apple Bread

Did you know that Hope4Healing helps to preserve families and change lives?  They help with needs that are causing families to struggle. I can’t imagine enjoying this time of year without family, and am thankful that in some small way I can help bring other families together as well. I am giving 100% of the proceeds to Hope4Healing so they can help others in need!  This is one of their busiest times of year as cold weather often brings new challenges to families.  This week I am offering “sweet treats” that again remind me of family; so here is my list for 10/26/2020 to 11/2/2020:

Category Item Price
Cinnamon Swirl Sweet Bread $6.00/loaf
Apple Bread $6.00/loaf
Triple Chocolate Sweet Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Candy cane Chocolate Bread

$6.00/loaf

$6.00/loaf

$6.00/loaf

Rolls Cinnamon Rolls $10.00/dozen or $6 half dozen
Cakes and Cobblers (9×13) Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $8.00/pan
Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake  (8 to 9 inch round) (Graham Cracker Crust $10
Cookies and Candy Apple/Chocolate Chip Cookies All cookies $6.00/dozen
Snickerdoodle
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Pies (9 inch) Apple Pie (Dutch Apple or Regular All Pies are $10 each
Haw River Mud Pie (This is a chocolate pie)

 

Jams/Preserves 
1/2 pint Sweet Cherry Preserves $5.00 jar
1/2 pint Apple Butter $5.00/jar
Apple Pie Filling (1 Quart jar ….makes one deep dish pie) $8.00/jar
Apple Butter and Cherry Jam

Apple Bread

 

 

 

 

Cherry Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

 

Chocolate Brownies

To place an order you can use one of three options:

Please keep the comments coming, too!  I appreciate hearing how much others are enjoying the “sweat treats!”

P.S. All options can be made with a lower sugar option like Truvia for a $1.00 extra per item.  Breads, brownies, and cakes can be made with Whole Wheat Flour instead of White All Purpose Flour for an additional $0.50 per item.  If you have a favorite baked good that is not on the list, please let me know, and I will tell you if I can make it or if it is on the list for an upcoming addition.

I realize some people might not want to purchase an item, but would be willing to help me reach my goal; if you would like to make a monetary donation toward my goal, I want you to know I very much appreciate your help!  You can click the link below to donate toward my fundraiser.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for helping me both with my project and to help others!

Sincerely, Lauren.

Lauren’s Sweet Treats for the week of October 19th

I’m so thankful for your support in helping me reach my goals each week!  It makes me so happy that I can help others in need while doing one of my favorite things–baking!

Did you know that Hope4Healing helps to preserve families and change lives?  They help with needs that are causing families to struggle. I can’t imagine enjoying this time of year without family, and am thankful that in some small way I can help bring other families together as well. I am giving 100% of the proceeds to Hope4Healing so they can help others in need!  This is one of their busiest times of year as cold weather often brings new challenges to families.  This week I am offering “sweet treats” that again remind me of family; so here is my list for 10/19/2020 to 10/25/2020:

Category Item Price
NEW ITEM! Cinnamon Swirl Sweet Bread $6.00/loaf
NEW ITEM! Honey Spiced Sweet Bread $6.00/loaf
NEW ITEM! Triple Chocolate Sweet Bread $6.00/loaf
Back by popular demand!  Kolaches Peach, Apricot, Cherry, Blueberry, Apple,  Raspberry or assorted mix $8.00 dozen or $6.00 half dozen
Rolls Honey Buns  

$10.00/dozen or $6 half dozen

 

 Butter Braids Peach, Cherry, Blueberry, Apple, or Raspberry) $8.00/each
Cakes and Cobblers (9×13) Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $8.00/pan
Three Layer Red Velvet Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting (8 inch round cake) $12
Cheesecake (Cherry or Chocolate Swirl) (8 to 9 inch round) (Graham Cracker Crust or Almond Flour Crust for $1.00 more)  Almond Flour is lower carb $10
Cookies and Candy  

Snickerdoodle 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Out of this world Peanut Butter Cookies

All Cookies $6.00/dozen
Pies (9 inch)  

Apple Pie (Dutch crumble or Regular/0

Haw River Mud Pie

Cherry Pie

 

All Pies are $10 each

 

 

Jams/Preserves  1/2 pint Sweet Cherry Preserves $5.00 jar
1/2 pint Apple Butter $5.00/jar
Apple Pie Filling (1 Quart jar ….makes one deep dish pie) $8.00/jar
Apple Butter and Cherry Jam

Apple Bread

 

 

 

 

Cherry Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

 

Chocolate Brownies

To place an order you can use one of three options:

Please keep the comments coming, too!  I appreciate hearing how much others are enjoying the “sweat treats!”

P.S. All options can be made with a lower sugar option like Truvia for a $1.00 extra per item.  Breads, brownies, and cakes can be made with Whole Wheat Flour instead of White All Purpose Flour for an additional $0.50 per item.  If you have a favorite baked good that is not on the list, please let me know, and I will tell you if I can make it or if it is on the list for an upcoming addition.

I realize some people might not want to purchase an item, but would be willing to help me reach my goal; if you would like to make a monetary donation toward my goal, I want you to know I very much appreciate your help!  You can click the link below to donate toward my fundraiser.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for helping me both with my project and to help others!

Sincerely, Lauren.

NEW ITEMS NOW AVAILABLE! Check Out Lauren’s Newest Sweet Treats

I’m so thankful for your support in helping me reach my goals each week!  It makes me so happy that I can help others in need while doing one of my favorite things–baking!  This week I will be busy making homemade apple pie filling!  These jars are wonderful to take out of your pantry on a cold winter day and remember the smells of Fall!  My Pie filling jars also make great gifts too!

Did you know that Hope4Healing helps to preserve families and change lives?  They help with needs that are causing families to struggle. I can’t imagine enjoying this time of year without family, and am thankful that in some small way I can help bring other families together as well. I am giving 100% of the proceeds to Hope4Healing so they can help others in need!  This is one of their busiest times of year as cold weather often brings new challenges to families.  This week I am offering “sweet treats” that again remind me of family; so here is my list for 10/13/2020 to 10/19/2020:

Category Item Price
NEW ITEM! Homemade Apple Pie Filling (Makes great Christmas Gifts!) $10 Quart Jar
NEW ITEM! Mint Brownie Cupcakes $8.00 dozen
NEW ITEM! Pumpkin Bread $6.00/loaf
 Bread Apple Bread $6.00/loaf (pictured below)
Rolls  Cinnamon Rolls

Honey Buns                 NEW ITEM!

$10.00/dozen or $6 half dozen (pictured below)

$10.00/Dozen or $6 half dozen

Bars and Brownies  (9×13) Buttermilk Brownies with Chocolate Frosting $8.00
  Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting $8.00/pan (pictured below)
  Apple Bars (With Cream Cheese Frosting $8,00
 Butter Braids Apple $8.00/each
Cherry $8.00/each
Cakes and Cobblers (9×13) Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting $8.00/pan
  Apple Harvest Cake $10.00
Cookies and Candy Snickerdoodle $6.00/dozen
  Butter Meltaway’s NEW ITEM!!!

Cinnamon Crackle Cookies NEW ITEM!!

$6.00 Dozen
  Fudge (8×8 pan) $12.00/pan
Pies (9 inch) Dutch Apple Pie $10.00/each
  Apple Pie $10.00/each
Cherry Pie $10.00/each
Jams/Preserves 1/2 pint Sweet Cherry Preserves $5.00/jar
Apple Butter $5.00/jar
Apple Butter and Cherry Jam

Apple Bread

 

 

 

 

Cherry Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

 

Chocolate Brownies

To place an order you can use one of three options:

Please keep the comments coming, too!  I appreciate hearing how much others are enjoying the “sweat treats!”

P.S. All options can be made with a lower sugar option like Truvia for a $1.00 extra per item.  Breads, brownies, and cakes can be made with Whole Wheat Flour instead of White All Purpose Flour for an additional $0.50 per item.  If you have a favorite baked good that is not on the list, please let me know, and I will tell you if I can make it or if it is on the list for an upcoming addition.

I realize some people might not want to purchase an item, but would be willing to help me reach my goal; if you would like to make a monetary donation toward my goal, I want you to know I very much appreciate your help!  You can click the link below to donate toward my fundraiser.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for helping me both with my project and to help others!

Sincerely, Lauren.

Family and the Sweetness of Fall

This time of year reminds me of getting together with family; and when family gets together, there is always memories of mom, grandma, and extended family baking and cooking wonderful food.  It is always interesting how food tends to bring people together.  I hope that the “sweet treats” I have been baking is helping to bring families closer together.  It has been hard this year when we have been asked to social distance; but family always seems to find a way.

Did you know that in supporting Hope4Healing, you are also helping families?  I was told that in 2019 Hope4Healing helped with over 4,000 request across the state of Iowa, and that most of the request that come in impact families.  Sometimes it is the simple things in life that separate us; food, shelter, and clothing.  Hope4Healing helps bring families together as well by helping to find the things that are causing families to struggle.  I can’t imagine enjoying this time of year without family, and am thankful that in some small way I can help bring other families together as well.

This week I am offering “sweet treats” that remind me of family; so here is my list for 10/05/2020 to 10/12/2020:

Category Item Price
Breads White Bread $6.00/loaf
  Wheat Bread $6.00/loaf
Sweet Breads Banana Bread $6.00/loaf
  Apple Bread $6.00/loaf (pictured below)
Rolls and Muffins Cinnamon Rolls $10.00/dozen (pictured below)
  $6.00/ half dozen
  Blueberry $8.00/dozen
  Apple $8.00/dozen
 Butter Braids Apple $8.00/each
Cherry $8.00/each
Cakes and Cobblers (9×13) Peach Cobbler $8.00/pan
  Chocolate Cupcakes with CreamCheese Frosting $8.00/dozen
Cookies and Candie Sugar Cookies $6.00/dozen
  Snickerdoodles $6.00/dozen
  Fudge (8×8 pan) $12.00/pan
  Caramel Corn $6.00/bag
  Chocolate Chip Cookies $6.00/dozen
  Apple Chocolate Chip Cookies $6.00/dozen
Bars and Brownies (9×13) Buttermilk Brownies with Chocolate Frosting $8.00/pan
  Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting $8.00/pan (pictured below)
Pies (9 inch) Dutch Apple Pie $10.00/each
  Apple Pie $10.00/each
  Cherry Pie $10.00/each
Jams/Preserves (1/2 pint) Sweet Cherry Preserves $5.00/jar
  Apple Butter $5.00/jar
Cherry and Apple
Apple Bread
Pumpkin Bars

To place an order you can use one of three options:

Please keep the comments coming, too!  I appreciate hearing how much others are enjoying the “sweat treats!”

P.S. All options can be made with a lower sugar option like Truvia for a $1.00 extra per item.  Breads, brownies, and cakes can be made with Whole Wheat Flour instead of White All Purpose Flour for an additional $0.50 per item.  If you have a favorite baked good that is not on the list, please let me know, and I will tell you if I can make it or if it is on the list for an upcoming addition.

I realize some people might not want to purchase an item, but would be willing to help me reach my goal; if you would like to make a monetary donation toward my goal, I want you to know I very much appreciate your help!  You can click the link below to donate toward my fundraiser.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for helping me both with my project and to help others!

Sincerely, Lauren.

“Always Act In A Way To Do Good”

By Melissa Keller

After several months of closure due to Covid-19 restrictions, I was excited that one of favorite Chinese Restaurants had finally opened its doors again.  As we were preparing to leave the restaurant, the waiter brought our fortune cookies to the table, and as I opened my cookie, I smiled as I read the words “Act Always in a way to do Good”.

Continue reading ““Always Act In A Way To Do Good””

A Fresh Harvest that Helps Others

For those who have been following Hope4Healing on Facebook, you know that I have been busy baking up a lot of “sweet treats.”  I am so thankful to everyone who has been buying my baked goods, and helping me support Hope4Healing so they can stay focused on helping families.  I am so thankful to announce that with the support of many, I was able to meet my goal this past week.

Continue reading “A Fresh Harvest that Helps Others”