Youth Mentoring Match Spreading 'Joy' in Cresco - from The Decorah News


Published in the Decorah News.

"The youth mentoring program operated by Helping Services for Youth & Families out of its Decorah Office serves almost 60 youths in Winneshiek, Allamakee, Howard, and Delaware counties. The program sometimes produces unforeseen results.

That is the case with Cresco mentor Autumn Nolan and Cresco youth Khloe Stermer.  The two have been matched since February.

This holiday, the two created specialty gift bags they called "joy bags" that included hot cocoa, candy treats, Christmas pencils, handcrafted bracelets, Rice Krispie treats, and popcorn or cracker snacks. Then they safely distributed them to their neighbors and random households in Cresco by dropping them on doorsteps.

The unexpected gifts brought thank you messages from some of the recipients.  It also taught lessons to other youth about giving back, which is just what the youth mentoring program is about.

For more information about Helping Services' mentoring program, contact Colinne or Kathy at 563-387-1720 or"