Posts Tagged 'Polk County Youth Services'

Birthday Party Hosts Needed

I was just talking with my co-worker, Mary Tomlinson, and she said that we needed a church/church group to host a birthday party at the Polk County Youth Services shelter.  Here is a document that outlines what is needed for that.  If you are interested in putting together a group for this month or in the future (or have questions) you can let me know by calling 321-5077 or e-mailing me at  You can also contact Mary directly at 321-7557 or


Thank you Ryan Cosgrove

Ryan playing hangman on the computer with a youth at the shelter. One of our informal mentors, Ryan Cosgrove, is graduating from Grand View College (which is right across the street from Polk County Youth Services).  He has mentored seven boys in the last two years he served with us at the shelter.

He is going on to seminary in Pennsylvania, and we wish him the very best.  Thank you Ryan for your service!  The staff at the shelter appreciate your sacrifice of time coming to meet with the boys, and so do we.

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Thank You!!!

We just wanted to thank those who helped make Christmas a little brighter for kids at Polk County Youth Services and Woodward Academy.

  • Nancy Swanson
  • Ashley Clark
  • Tom Hauser
  • Diane Chalfant-Drury & Mark Drury
  • Katherine Bayens
  • Meredith Drive Reformed Church
  • Valley Church
  • First Federated Church
  • West Des Moines United Methodist Church Youth
  • Katy Murphy
  • St. Theresa Catholic Church
  • Praxair
  • Cathedral Church of St. Paul
  • Wells Fargo Bible Study
  • Brandt Marshall & family
  • Hope Lutheran Church
  • Various Pella Churches – a lot was donated from Pella that was anonymous.
  • Olivet Baptist Church
  • Glen Echo Christian Church
  • Scott & Susan Shisler
  • Scott & Tami Vander Hart
  • Dan Kapler
  • Jim & Lori Kapler
  • Doug Kapler

Thank you so much!!!!!

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Thursday Nights

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Every Thursday night we hold Bible discussion groups at the PCYS Detention Center at 7:00pm.  The leaders meet at 6:45pm to pray and then usually stays around afterwards to talk with the kids individually.  Our leaders (from Left to Right): Scott A. Vander Hart (from Adelphi Calvary Baptist Church), Rich Thomson (from Hope Lutheran Church), Sy Chanthavong (from Asian Church of the Open Bible), and Shane Vander Hart (from Valley Church and on SOY’s staff).  Not pictured: Craig Quick (from Adelphi Calvary Baptist Church).  Interested in joining them?  Contact Shane to find out how.

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Christmas Progress

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Yesterday gift cards were delivered to Youth Homes of Mid-America.  We originally planned to provide Wal-Mart and McDonald’s gift cards for 12 residents.  We learned that they were going to have 14 residents (which is unusual for them).  Fortunately due to the generosity of people like you we were given an extra Wal-Mart card which the amount needed for two individual cards, and we also were given extra McDonald’s gift cards as well.  Praise God.  Chrys Bitting, the clinical treatment director (pictured above), who received the cards shared that the kids get so excited and are so thankful when people think of them over Christmas.  They always send thank-you cards to us, and we’ll look forward to sharing those later on.

We shared the progress made with the PCYS shelter in an earlier post, but SOY 010wanted to give a visual update now that most of the gifts are in.  The shelter conference room has been taken over.SOY 011




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Christmas Needs Update

A couple of photos from the conference room in the youth shelter at Polk County Youth Services where we keep all of the presents for the kids at the shelter.  We are doing very well, and we just received $275 in Target gift cards yesterday, as well as, we know more presents are coming.  Also we can praise God for the Detention Center needs are taken care of, as well as, the needs at Youth Homes of Mid-America.

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We will give an update at the final results, but we are excited about how people have responded this year!  Go God!

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National Mentoring Month Luncheon (Update – 1/3/08)

January is National Mentoring Month, and we would like to invite pastors, youth pastors, associate staff and/or lay leadership from churches in the Des Moines Metro area to have lunch on us. 

Update: We also want to invite any interested layperson in a local congregation or community stakeholder.

Our second annual lunch is on Tuesday, January 15 from 11:30am to 1:00pm.  An optional tour of Polk County Youth Services will be given after the lunch to any interested parties.

You will learn more about National Mentoring Month, Serve Our Youth Network, the benefits of mentoring and you and/or your church can get involved.  You will also be introduced to tools that you can use to help promote mentoring within your congregation. 

The lunch will be held at Polk County Youth Services’ Detention Center (SOY has office space there) at 1548 Hull Ave. in Des MoinesTo RSVP please contact Shane Vander Hart at (515) 321-5077 or e-mail him at by the evening of 1/10/07 we would appreciate it.  We are also providing bulletin inserts for the month of January and if you haven’t received yours in the mail and would like some you can contact us at with the name of your church and address.  We can also e-mail the electronic version to you as well if you think that would be helpful.

Update: We also have a Facebook Event Page were you can RSVP (you need to have a Facebook account)

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