As we kick off 2018, we wanted to take some time to reflect on and celebrate the events of 2017. It’s hard to believe that 2017 marked our twentieth anniversary. While we have weathered many changes over the last twenty years, our core mission and principles have remained constant: We are dedicated to helping families and individuals rebuild their lives after trauma and we strive to empower individuals, families and the community to end all forms of violence. CIS offers comprehensive sexual assault, emergency shelter, and housing services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and violent crimes, as well as prevention and educational outreach in our 12 county service area. Your support and involvement are essential to the continuation of our mission and organization. From everyone at CIS, we wish you all the best in 2018!
Crisis Intervention Services commemorated its 20th anniversary with balloons and popsicles at the Sweet Corn Serenade festival
A Few Numbers...
In 2017 CIS
Served 1,361 victims of sexual assault, domestic violence or violent crime
Implemented prevention programming in 13 schools in 5 different counties
Paid $9,413 in rent and utility assistance, to help families move to or stay in safe homes
Provided 5,763 nights of safe shelter to survivors and their families
Drove 180,647 miles to provide services and prevention education in our 12 county service area
CIS in the Community
Our sexual assault team works hard to bring programs and events to our communities which address abuse and violence. In 2017, CIS organized Speak Out, an event to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact sexual assault has in our communities. The event was hosted in conjunction with DMACC in Newton. The event speakers included a survivor of sexual assault, a secondary survivor, and a pastor. Roughly thirty community members attended the event which was described as positive and eye opening.
For Sexual Assault Awareness month in April, CIS hosted Reveal the Teal. We invited community members to join us in wearing teal to raise awareness around sexual assault. We also initiated a new campaign and lit up the Oskaloosa square in teal. We collaborated closely with Musco to implement this event and are very thankful for their support of our mission and commitment to raising awareness for victims of sexual assault in our communities.
Sexual assault advocate Clara Moser volunteering with other CIS team members for United Way's Day of Caring
In 2017, CIS staff recorded over 700 hours of community service, with activities varying from organizing blood drives to volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Striving to support those in need is an essential tenant of who we are, one which permeates not just our professional actions and career choices, but our personal ones as well: 80% of our staff at CIS recorded volunteer activities in 2017. Our Sexual Assault Coordinator, Michella Friesen, stood out in particular—Michella volunteered over 300 hours. It is this commitment to helping others and lifting up our communities which lends CIS so much strength as an organization.
Michella Friesen, Sexual Assault Coordinator, logged an impressive 300 hours of volunteering in 2017.
Crystal Sodak celebrated her 20th year with CIS in 2017. She recalls starting at Crisis Intervention Services in 1997 when she worked as an outreach advocate . In 2000 CIS was able to raise the funds to purchase the shelter and Crystal moved to working as a shelter advocate. “I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love every day,” Crystal says, “it doesn’t feel like it’s been 20 years.” Thank you for your dedication and passion, Crystal!
Thanks to funding from Walmart's community grant program, we transformed the smallest bedroom in our shelter to a confidential meeting space. We use this space for one-on-one client meetings, financial empowerment classes and support groups. The room includes toys for children to play with, so that parents can attend meetings in a space which caters to both of their needs. The renovation has significantly enhanced the services we provide. The intimate and private setting of the new office space affords clients a sense of safety and comfort in a less distracting environment where they can begin to heal and move forward.
PADDY CAKES BREAKFAST, March 17th, 7AM-10AM: Join us for pancakes and kids' activities at St. Mary's Parish Center in Oskaloosa. Entrance fee is $5, kids 5 and under eat for free.
REVEAL THE TEAL, April 10th: Wear teal to demonstrate support and raise awareness for sexual assault.
SPEAK OUT, April 12th, 12PM: Come hear survivors' stories and show your support. The event is hosted in conjunction with DMACC at their Newton campus.
CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHT WEEK APPRECIATION DAY, April 12th, 3PM: Join CIS in honoring community members who have gone above and beyond for victims of crime. The event will be held in the Fox and Sac Room at Hotel Ottumwa.
Interested in becoming more involved? Visit https://www.stopdvsa.org/volunteer-and-donate to learn more about donation and volunteering