YOUTH MENTORING NEWSLETTER | Allamakee, Howard, Winneshiek

December 2018 


Isn’t it great when we can have fun and learn at the same time?! That is exactly what will be happening at our next group event being held on Saturday, December 8 in Postville.

Mentors, mentees, Mentors For A Day, and waiting youth are invited to come and explore traditions from different cultures. Mette Hammer will be sharing about her native country of Denmark. Italee Castellon and friends from Luther College will be sharing with us about Day of the Dead and Mexico. This event will be a time to learn new languages, hear great stories, and create and taste new foods.

In order to prepare for the day, it is very important to RSVP in a timely manner. Please RSVP to Kathy by Monday, December 3.  


Carloads of families and friends are coming through Holiday Lights nightly with their eyes all aglow!

Holiday Lights 2018 began with a grand kick-off with the ever popular walk-through night on November 21. Over 1,500 people enjoyed hot soups, beverages, and treats donated by local businesses. There was a live nativity scene from St. Benedict Church and rides on Pokey Pete. On Saturday, November 24 there were grand fireworks donated by a local family.

Holiday Lights is open nightly at the Pulpit Rock Campground in Decorah from 5:00-9:00 pm. Santa is at the event every Thursday-Sunday from 5:30-8:00 with his last night being December 23. Free-will donations accepted at the display help support all of the services Helping Services for Youth & Families offers including: domestic abuse advocacy, family education, substance abuse prevention, and YOUTH MENTORING.

Make plans now to visit the lights with your friends and family. There is always so much to see that you may want to plan multiple visits. We would also appreciate you sharing about the display with others so that they can begin or continue traditions of going to the lights. Enjoy the fun!
          Holiday Lights would not be possible without the support of over 200 gracious and helpful volunteers. Community groups, businesses, families, and friends come together to support Helping Services for Youth & Families.  



December 3

  • Mentor Monday,  5:30-6:30 p.m., Decorah Public  Library, Decorah 

    December 8

  • Holiday Traditions Group Event, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 116 E. Military Road, Postville


December 17

  • MY Club, 4:00 p.m., Cresco Public Library, 320 N. Elm Street, Cresco   

January 15

  • Building Bridges Through Mentoring, 4:15 p.m., Helping Services, 805 E Main Street, Decorah 

January 28

  • Allamakee Mentoring Program, 4:00 p.m., NICC/WWC, 120 3rd Avenue NW, Waukon


This is Kathryn and I am 9 years old. I live in Cresco. I like to swim, play, knit, and carve.     

Hello! I am Carla. I live in Ridgeway and I am 10. I like to bike, swim, go to the park, and sports. .   

 I’m Alex and I am 10. I enjoy soccer, swimming, drawing, and eating spaghetti. I live in Lansing.    


This is a publication of Youth Mentoring at
Helping Services: Allamakee Mentoring Program, Building Bridges Through Mentoring, and MY Club.


Kathy was able to attend an event in November at our governor’s mansion representing mentoring!   


Youth Mentoring loves to touch base with program participants to determine how the match is going.

As part of our efforts to continue the quality of our programs, we have begun to ask a question that allows us to dig a bit deeper. In the upcoming months, Youth Mentoring will be asking a brief question when contacting mentors, mentees, and parents/ guardians about one of these topics: child safety, program satisfaction, communication, challenges of the match, and others.  

Please know that Youth Mentoring is not looking for a right or wrong answer. We just want to know your experiences and want to continue to support you in the best manner possible. Thank you for all you do!  


An important conversation starter

What do you do if someone is behaving in an unsafe way?

Proclamation signings will take place at the County Courthouse in the Board of Supervisors Room.

Allamakee - Monday, January 14, 9:40 am

Howard - Monday, January 7, 9:30 am

Winneshiek - Monday, January 7, 11:00 am

Plan to attend!



Help us spread the word! National Mentoring Month is a time to acknowledge mentoring and the effect it has on youth. Our goal is to also raise awareness of the power of mentoring, and to encourage volunteers to become mentors as individuals, to team up with someone else, such as a spouse or friend, or as a family.

Mentoring is simple, exciting, rewarding, and life-changing! If you have quotes, stories, photos, selfies or videos that you would like to share about your match relationship, January is an ideal time to do so. Some of you may also wish to share the impact mentoring has had on you, your family, or a loved one. Please share these on your social media or send them to Kathy. See other special events below.

Proclamations will be signed by the County Board of Supervisors, mentors, mentees, parents of mentees, Steering Committee members, and mentoring friends are all encouraged to attend. Proclamations are a formal document that announces the importance of something.

                Kaden and Roger get serious about pumpkin carving.


Youth Mentoring will be hosting two special events in January. A potluck dinner will be held on Friday, January 4 at First Lutheran Church to kick-off National Mentoring Month. The event is for all program participants and will be held in the Fellowship Hall from 6:00-7:30 p.m. We will provide a main dish and table service. Mentors are asked to bring a dish to pass.  

The “Understanding ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression” training will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at First Lutheran in the Fireside Room from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Greg Schutte, School Psychologist from Keystone AEA will present.  

Helping Services for Youth & Families-01.png


Kathy Schwartzhoff, CPS
Mentoring Coordinator 

805 E Main Street, Decorah • 563-387-1720