2022 Women Helping Women event raises $223,000 for women, children and families who need access to mental health services

More than 500 guests participated in the Center’s 24th annual Women Helping Women event which raised $223,000. Funds will support mental health counseling, education, training and other services that impact women, children and families who are underinsured or from low income households. Sharon Goldford was our 2022 honoree and our inspiring keynote speaker was Jacquie Easley McGhee. Our 2022 planning committee co-chairs were Rachel Hardin and Laura Palmer.

2022 Women Helping Women Sponsors and Donors

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors for supporting the 24th Annual Women Helping Women luncheon on May 20, 2022! Your contribution ensures mental health services for women, children and families who are uninsured or underinsured. Through your generosity, the event raised $223,000!

On #givingtuesday, we give thanks for you!

You made a difference for one child.

Emily came to Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s Children Overcoming Obstacles of Life (C.O.O.L.) program when she was five years old. She had a difficult time focusing in school and making friends.

Thanks to you, children like Emily are provided with tools to manage her learning and get along with her classmates.

Your support for Emily says everything there is to know about your generous and caring heart. Thank you for your willingness to join in our shared mission to bring hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education.DonateNow

Thank you for supporting the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center!


Did you know?

  • 600 children and teens plus their families are served annually through the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s specialized services called C.O.O.L. (Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life).
  • The Center is a non profit organization serving more than 4,000 individuals annually through counseling and education — including psychiatry, psychological testing, renewal programs, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other services.
  • The Center is one of few mental health providers in Central Iowa who serves people from all walks of life, including those from low-income households who are uninsured or underinsured.
  • 40 percent of the Center’s services are subsidized, with thanks to a generous base of community support.

2020 Annual Report

We gratefully acknowledge and thank all who so kindly contributed to the Center in 2020. This generosity brings hope and healing to children, teens and adults in need of high quality mental health services.

VISIONARIES ($45,000+)
Polk County Health Services

CHAMPIONS ($25,000 – $44,999)
Delta Dental of Iowa of Foundation

DEFENDERS ($10,000 – $24,999)
American Enterprise Group
Doug Bruce
Carlson Family Foundation
Doug A. Fick
Polk County Board of Supervisors
W.T. & Edna M. Dahl Trust
Sally Wood

PATRONS ($5,000 – $9,999)
Bank of America
BWA Foundation
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Ann Flood
Sally and Tom Graf
William C. Knapp Charitable Foundation/Susan and Bill Knapp
The Viking Foundation of Lincoln
The West Bancorporation Foundation, Inc.
Sally and Sam Wallace
Wells Fargo

HEALERS ($2,500 – $4,999)
Susan and Mark Ackelson
Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey
Central Presbyterian Church
Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation
Ernest and Florence Sargent Family Foundation
Starr and Harry Hinrichs
Norma Hirsch
Trudy Holman Hurd
Rusty Hubbell
Nancy Main
Sue and Todd Mattison
Plymouth Congregational UCC
Shirley Poertner
Dr. Michael and Ann Richards
Rotary Club AM
Rachel Stauffer and Jim Lawson
Kitty Ellsworth Stoner
Susan and Carl Voss
Marti Wade
West Bank
Kathleen and Larry Zimpleman

NURTURERS ($1,000 – $2,499)
Linda and Bob Anderson
Sandra L. and Rev. Paul R. Axness
Dr. Barbara Beatty
Kristen Benge
Karin Beschen
Annie and Matt Brandt
Elizabeth Burmeister
Teree Caldwell-Johnson
James Carney
Chrysalis Foundation
Roxanne Barton Conlin
Patty Cownie
Des Moines University
Paula Duncan
Easter Family Fund
Nora and David Everett
Kathy Fehrman
Cindy and Tom Fischer
Jann Freed and John Fisher
Foster Group, Inc.
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
Barbara M. Gartner
Beth and Stephen Gaul
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Sharon Goldford
Mary Gottschalk and Kent Zimmerman
Katherine S. Hauser, M.D.
John and Jeannine Hayes
Sarah and Jim Hayes
Leslie and Steve Heimbach
Lynn Hicks
Ann and Thomas Holme
Charlotte and Fred Hubbell
Debbie and Michael Hubbell
Ellen Hubbell
Randy H. Hamilton and Bruce L. Hughes
Iowa Foundation for Education, Environment, and the Arts
Andrea James
Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Robert Josten and Susan Judkins
Junior League of Des Moines, Inc.
Nancy and Bill Knapp II
Silver Fox
Kristen and Joe Lee
Frank Levy
Tracy Lewis and Rick Gubbels
Janet Linn
Robbie and Rick Malm
Steve Marquardt
Jami Matice
LaDonna and Rich Matthes
Claudette M. McDonald
MidAmerican Energy Company
James Miller
Karla and Mark Minear
Dr. Bernard and Brenda Mouw
D.J. Newlin
Pauline and William Niebur
Oasis, A Paychex Company
Cynthia O’Brien
Jill Oman
Allison and Timothy Peet
Deb and Bob Pulver Foundation
Iowa Radiology
Lynn Rankin and Steve Karlin
Janis Ruan
David Safris
Salon Spa W
Jackie Saunders
David and Mari-Jo Shaw
Rebecca Shaw
Chris and Larry Sidwell
Cameron Shepherd and Peter Sloterdyk
Kathy and Ted Stuart
Mary H. Stuart and David Yepsen
Nanette D. Stubbs
Marsha Ternus
Toni Urban
Sheri and Dick Vohs
Dr. Teri Wahlig and Mark Feldmann
Cynthia and Kent Wanamaker
Karrie and Mark Weinhardt
Connie Wimer
Alan Zuckert and Joyce Dainty

ADVOCATES ($500 – $999)
Stephanie Asklof
Mollie Baker
Susan Ballard
Libby and Charles Becker
Janet Betts
Carol Bodensteiner
Renee Clippert
Beth Coonan
Suzanna de Baca
Marsha and Ellery Duke
Sondra Eddings
Denise Essman
Georgann Franck
Deborah Gitchell
Bonnie Green
Jill D. Greiner
Mary Pat Gunderson
Barbara Hein
Jody and Thomas Herman
Tim Hickman and Frank Vaia
Kathleen Hoegh
Martha James
Ms. Linda Jennings
Karen Jeske
Dianne and Roger Jones
Anne Kelly
Kemin Industries, Inc.
Lola and David Kenworthy
Diane and Keith Krell
Marla Lacey
Jennie LeGates and Fritz Wehrenberg
LMC Insurance & Risk Management
Shirl Melton
Robyn Mills
Cheryl Morton
Barbara and Dan Mueller
Barb and Andy Nish
Beth Nyguard
Jo Oldson and Brice Oakley
Jennifer Lock Oman
Lynsey Oster
Rita Perea
Olivia Rasmussen
Kay Riley
Estee Roe
Kelle Rolfes
Anne Roth
Patrice Sayre
Chris Shay
Marti Sivi
Laurie and Ashley Sloterdyk
Terri Mork Speirs and Robert Speirs
Randal and John Stern
Bob and Karen Unrau
Char Vukovich
Emily and Fred Weitz
Deb Wiley and John Schmidt
Jean and Bob Williams
Emily Williams-Bouska
Kim and Rich Willis
Connie Wilson Design

SUPPORTERS ($250 – $499)
Anonymous (4)
Becky Anthony
Assured Life Association
Patricia Barry and Bryan Hall, In Honor of Mary Riche
Mary K. Bartine
Mary Beard
Connie Beasley
Christine Bening
Sandy Benson Johnson, Benson Family Foundation
Beth Bishop
Paula Bittick
Connie Boesen
Nancy Bone
Michelle Book and Woody Brenton
Margaret Borgen
Katie Bradshaw
Dory Briles
Shelley Brody
Mary Brooks
Suzie Glazer Burt
Phyllis and Richard Cacciatore
Bonnie Campbell
Tom Carpenter
Kevin and Julie Carroll
Marilyn Carroll
LaNae Ceryanec
Joyce Chapman
Diane and Tom Child
John and Holly Clark
Polly Clark
Alicia Claypool
Julie Ann Connolly
Chris Conyers
Stephanie Cornish
Kim Coulter
Holly Craiger
Cheryl Critelli
Cynde Cronin
Diane Cutler
Douglas Detrick
Dr. Christine Dietz
Denny Donnelly
Richard Douglass
Kelly Edmister
Lynn Ekblad
Dr. Kathy Elsner, D.D.S.
Karen Engman
Claudia Peyton Ewald
First United Methodist Church
Peggy Fisher
Judith Flapan
Fran Fleck
Allison Fleming
Julie Fleming
Robin Fortney
Heidi Foster
Richard Gibson
Judy Gilbert
Kathy Giles
Shawna Gisi
Linda Goeldner
Judy Goodwin
Mary Gordon
Carrie and Joe Hall
Carol Corning Hallquist
Rachel Hardin
Renee Hardman
Dennis Groenenboom and Scott Hartsook
Lori and Larry Hartsook
Lynn Heggen
Victoria Herring
Trudie Higgs
Kelli Hill
Rev. Martha Hill
Jennifer Hilmes
Barb Hirsch-Giller
Jill Hittner
Dixie Hoekman
Michelle Hogan
Julie Honsey
Beverly Hutney
Connie Isaacson
Connie Cook and Joe Jongewaard
Rosemary Jungmann
Maureen Keehnle
Suzan Kelsey Brooks
Pamela Kenyon
Char Kimball
Mary Ellen Kimball
Kitchen Collage
Kathi Koenig
Mary Kramer
Mary F. Kunkel
Caroline Levine
Tracy Levine
Christine Lewis
Theresa and Doug Lewis
Sheila Starkovich Lingwall
Julie Linn
Lisa Veach
Ann Lyons
Deb Madison-Levi
Cyril Mandelbaum
Kate Massop
Lorraine May
Cathy McMullen
Jan and John Mechem
Kristin Medhurst
Rebecca and Brian Metzger
Ann Michelson
The Middleton Family
Allen Miller
Lisa Minear
Jana Montgomery
Ann and Alfred Moore
Debra Moore
Polly Moore
Diane H. Morain
Jill Musin
Linda K. Neuman
Liz Neumann
Dawn Connet and Greg Nichols
Charlotte Noble
Jackie Norris
Jeanne O’Halloran
Noreen O’Shea and Thomas Benzoni
Katie Gibson Overby
Mary Pappajohn
Donna Paulsen
Gail Pearl
Phyllis Pearson
Sally Pederson
Sen. Janet Petersen and Brian Pattinson
Diann M. Peyton
Melissa Poley, Serendipity Spa
Deanna Questad, M.D.
Judy Ralston-Hansen
Lynette Rasmussen
Artis Reis
Mary Anne Rennebohm
Martha A. Reno
Helen Robinson
Steven Rosenberg
Janet Rosenbury
Katie Roth
Priscilla Ruhe
Katherine Safris
Priscilla Sayeed
Pam Schoffner
Eliza Ovrom and Mark Schuling
Melanie Scupham
Karen Shaff
Mary Kay Shanley
Loretta Sieman
Kendra Simmons
Rachel Sivi
Sue and Larry Sonner
Kelly Sparks
Kimberly Stamatelos
Joan Stark
Hallie Still-Caris
Jacqueline Stoken
Ellen Strachota
Gail Stubbs
Sarah Sullivan
Sarah Susanin
Cheryl Sypal
April Talbot
Joyce and Harold Templeman
Terri Vaughan
Susan Vujnovich-McRoberts
Marcia Wanamaker
Marilyn Warling
Linda Weidmaier
Tracy Wheeler
Michele Whitty
Malinda Wiesner
Willis Auto Campus
Martha Willits
Rena S. Wilson
Mary L. Wine
Janie Wine
Dr. Judy Winkelpleck
Roberta and Reg Yoder

FRIENDS ($100 – $249)
Anonymous (4)
Nancy and Jim Adrianse
Robin Ahnen-Cacciatore and John Cacciatore
Rebecca Albers
Jennie Allbee
Amy Anderson and Mark Hill
Ed Augustine
James Austin
Barb Bachman
Rabbi Emily Barton
Morgan Baumert
Benson Family Foundation
Kathy Bernreuter
La Verne and Blaine Briggs Donor Advised Fund at the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation
Rachel Bruns
John Bunz
Ellen and John Burnquist
Judith Burns
Tom Butterfield
Shelley and Joseph Chambers
Mary Sconiers Chapman
Eva Christiansen
Mary Cory
Patricia and Jay Cramer
Delta Dental of Iowa
Lori and Tim Diebel
M.J. Dolan
Amy and Tom Donnelly
Margaret Doyle
Mary Beth Drey-Buechel
Kathryn Wheeler Driscoll
Teresa Driscoll
Jane Fogg
Marianne Fons
Ruth Foster
Linda Franker
Paige and Jason Franzluebbers
Carol Fredrich and John Fairweather
Mary Ann Gardner
Mollie Giller
Sandra Githens
Eve and Darrell Goodhue
Celeste Goodrich
Mary Helen Grace
Kay Grother
Ann Harrmann
Mark Haverland
Kathleen Heinzel
Jane Hemminger
Denise Holck
Dale Howe
Dr. Alexandra Hubbell
Ted Irvine
Kathe and Bob Irvine
Joseph Jester
Joanne Johnson
David Johnson
Beth Stelle Jones
Megan Kading
Emily Susanin Kessinger
Brad and Lori Kiewel
David King
Jenna Knox
Susan Koehler
Angela Loomis
Marian and Ivan Lyddon
Glenys Bittick Lynch
Sharon and Susan Malheiro
Meghan Malloy
Ali Makris
Anna Mason
Linda and Nile McDonald
Kate Mead
Patricia Mikus
Joan Miller
Amy Mills
Rev. Rachel Thorson Mithelman
Cindy Mumm
Anna and Bobby Nalean
Jessica Nelsen
Charlotte Nelson
Ellen and Bruce Nelson
Nancy Nichols
Nancy Nunn
Mary O’Brien
Catherine Olesen
Linda and Gary Ordway
Leigh O’Tool
Diana and Daryl Pals
Katie Patterson
Muriel Pemble
Judy and John Perkins
Kim Poeppe
Donni Popejoy
Kathy Reardon
Cindy Chicoine and Morgan Rivers
Sunny Roeder
Victoria Roller
Harlan Rosenberg
Annette and Randy Roth
Don Rowland
Barbara Royal and Deidre Fudge
Linda Rullan
Marsha Rusch
Marilyn and Duane Sand
Laura Sands
Kathryn and Mike Sankey
Erica Schaefer
Sam Scheidler
Ann Olsen Schodde
Barbara Scholz
Erica Shannon Stueve
Cherry and David Shogren
Gina Skinner-Thebo
Chuck and Meg Smith
David and Betty Stout
Jan Stump
Martha Swanson
Sue Ann Tempero
Margaret Van Houten
Sierra Waddell
Chris Waddle
Ann-Charlotte Wade
Martha Ward
Whitney Warne and Erik Dominguez
Emily Webb
West Des Moines Christian Church
Christopher Wilson
Andrea Woodard
Barbara and Jon Yankey
Suzanne Zilber

COMPANIONS (gifts up to $99)
John and Laura (Ackelson) Christiansen
Jeff Anderson
Susie and Charlie Anderson
Mary Ann Moore
Beverly Apel
Ashley Asberry
Janice Bannister
Mary Barber
Dodie and Wayne Bauman
Teresa Baustain
Lois Beh
Julie Benson
Judy Blank
Jan Blessum
Patricia Boddy
Nan Bonfils
Lindsey Braun
Rose Breuss
Lisa Brovold
John Robert Burkhart
Beverly Butler
Sue Caley
Vero Chiropractic
Zach and Azure Christensen
Kathleen Clark
Annie Clarkson
Tracy Codel
Julie Coppock
Mark Courter
Rebecca Criswell
Judy Curtis-Latessa
Gina David
Judy Davis
Linda Dawe
Dave and Kristi Dawson
Kathleen Delay
Sheryl DeMouth
Lillian Dittrick
Erik Dominguez
Karen Downing
Jennifer Drake
Keeley Driscoll
Olivia Driscoll
Pamela Duffy
Beth Ann and John Edwards
Jim Egger
Joan Ellis
Beverly Evans
Mary Fanter
Rhonda Fingerman
Brenna Finnerty
Jane Flanagan
Annie Flood
Margaret Flood
Sheri Fogarty
Chris Frantsvog
Eileen Gebbie
Catherine Gillespie
Harlan Gillespie
Julie Good
Grace Green-Dickerson
Courtney Greene
Nancy T. Guthrie
Terri Hale
Sally Hampton
Jan Hardin
Tara Harms
Melissa Harris
Penny Heiss
Highland Park Christian Church
Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel
Larry Hoier
Cheryl Hood
Teri Hughes-Paulline
Janet A. Johnson
Laurie Jones
Diana Kautzky
Mary Keables
Deb Kline
Wendy Knowles
Kay Kopatich
Nancy Landess
Mary Daily Lange
Carol Leech
Ann Levine
Gary Lewis
Linda Railsback
Linda Liston
Jess Lundquist
Lindsey Mabe
Lynn Mankins
Joan Mannheimer
Diane McClanahan
Nancy McClimen
Lynn Z. and David G. McCreery
Ms. Louise McDonald
Carol McGarvey
Alissa McKinney
Michael McNeil
Bob and Sharon Meisenheimer
Matt Meline
M. Ann Mendleson
Reo Menning
Kendra Miller
Jami Milne
Karen Muelhaupt
Phyllis Mumford and Kent Sovern
Marilyn Musser
Stacie Neussendorfer
New Beginnings Christian Church
Fred O’Dell
Carla Offenburger
Vickie Olsen
Mary St. Onge
Laura Palmer
Mary Jean Paschen
Debra Peckumn
Cheryl Pederson
Sandy Percy
Sherri Pike
Kathy Quinn
Linda Railsback, M.D.
Wilma Richards
Lane Riggle
Tamara Rood
Sheila Rouse
Myrna and Kenneth Rummer
David and Lita Sagula
Debra Salowitz
Betsy Salsberry
Karin Sandahl
Abigail Schiltz
Jill Schreiber
Lois Schultz
Cory Scott
Bobbi Segura
Susan Seitz
Andrea Severson
Mary Sheldahl
Beverly Shirbroun
Kathy Shives
William Staplin
State of Iowa One Gift Program
Jan Stegeman
Joshua Steward
Mary Ellen Streyffeler
Sybil Sullivan
Robin Kline
Aundrea Suntken
Deborah Svec-Carstens
Veronica Swift
Sister Cathy Talarico, CHM
Peri Van Tassel
Ellen Taylor
John R. Taylor
Judy Taylor
Debra Tesson
Lisa Todd
Cecilia Tomlonovic
Jill and Derek Trobaugh
Elaine Van Dyck
Suzanne Van Englehoven-Wedeking
Mary Van Heukelom
Carole Venhaus
Christine Walker
Kjersten Walker
Jodie Warth
Jody White
Dee Willemsen
Sarah Noll Wilson
Ronda Wissink
The Reverend Paul Witmer and Lynn Heuss
Chris Woods
Katherine Sircy
Mary Yearns

Gifts in Kind
Tom Fischer
Shirley Poertner
Business Publications Corp.
Integrity Printing
Connie Wilson Design

Honor Gifts
Gifts were given in honor of: Given by:
All the hard working staff in Iowa’s community health centers Nancy Adrianse
Susan Ackelson Mary and Lorlin Barber
Laura and John Christiansen
Cris and Dick Douglass
Ellery and Marsha Duke
Ann Flood
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Kathe and Bob Irvine
Marilyn and Duane Sand
Susan Seitz and Mike Smith
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
Suzanne Zilber
Beverly Apel Paul Bittick
Jan Berg Kruse Tracy Wheeler
Laurie Betts Sloterdyk Annie Sloterdyk Brandt
Peter Sloterdyk
Susan and Carl Voss
Mary Kay Bruce Michelle Book and Woody Brenton
Mary Brooks
Azure Christensen
Eileen Burtle Phyllis and Richard Cacciatore
CASH Potluck Group Diane and Tom Child
Shelley Chambers Shelley and Joseph Chambers
Renee Clippert Joan Ellis
Eva Christiansen State of Iowa One Gift Program
Dennis T. Cuthbertson Susan Ballard
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Staff Beth Bishop
Linda Goeldner
Christine Dietz Brenna Finnerty
Melissa Harris
Debra Peckumn
Barbara Royal and Deidre Fudge
Ellery Duke Beth and Stephen Gaul
Ann Flood Annie Flood
Mary Gottschalk Carol Fredrich and John Fairweather
Teree Caldwell-Johnson and Vernon Johnson
Lynn and David McCreery
Jerry Gubbels and Robert Lewis Tracy Lewis and Rick Gubbels
Harold “Hal” Higgs Kathryn and Mike Sankey
In gratitude of Christmas Traditions Richard and Robbie Malm
Diane McClanahan Susan Ballard
Teresa Baustian
John and Christine Burkhart
Beverly Butler
Cindy Chicoine
Christine Dietz
Eileen Gebbie
Harlan Gillespie
Diane Glass and J. Jeffrey Means
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Julie Good
Mary Gottschalk and Kent Zimmerman
Leslie Heimbach
Julie Honsey
Kendra Miller
Karla and Mark Minear
Terri and Robert Speirs
Joshua Steward
Susan and Carl Voss
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
Martha Ward
Paul Witmer and Lynn Heuss
Rachel Meier Paige Kennedy Franzluebbers
Mark Minear Kathleen Hoegh
Greg Nichols Nancy Nichols
Allison Peet, Terri Mork Speirs, Billie Wade Katherine and Andrew Hauser
Ashley Sloterdyk Peter Sloterdyk
Kathy Reardon Chris Frantsvog
Beth and Stephen Gaul
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Julie Honsey
Catherine Olesen
Beverly Shirbroun
Jan Stegeman
Deborah Svec-Carstens
Marti Wade and Benjamin Ullem
David Wright and Kathi Sircy
Mary M. Riche Jennie and Robert Allbee
Becky Anthony
Patricia Barry and Bryan Hall
Mary Ann Beard
Dory Briles
Mary Kay and Doug Bruce
Mary Chapman
Connie Cook
Kitty Ellsworth Stoner
Heidi and Rod Foster
Mary Susan Gibson
Katie Gibson Overby
Judy Gilbert
Sharon and Dennis Goldford
Mary Pat and Joe Gunderson
Carol Corning Hallquist
Ann Harrmann
Victoria Herring
Jane Hemminger
Connie Isaacson
Karen Jeske
Susan Judkins and Robert Josten
Maureen Keehnle
Pamela Kenyon
Jenna Knox
Tracy Levine
Ann Lyons
Richard and Robbie Malm
Linda Neuman
Allison and Timothy Peet
Audrey Rosenberg
Priscilla Sayeed
Sue Ann and Richard Tempero
Anna Van Heukelom Mary Van Heukelom
Susan and Carl Voss James Carney
Shannon Welch-Groves Allison and Timothy Peet
Memorial Gifts
Gifts were given in memory of: Given by:
Isabel Anne Dietz Myrna and Kenneth Rummer
Jan Berg Kruse Tracy Wheeler
Walt Githens Sandra Githens
Winnie Grace Hayes John and Jeannine Hayes
Troy Matice Delta Dental of Iowa
Jami Matice
Victoria Roller
Tim Means M. Ann Mendleson
Don Pinkley Karen and Larry Holer
Ray Speas Anonymous
Margaret Swanson Mara Swanson
Kris White Linda “Sunny” Liston

2021 Women Helping Women raises $218,000 to support mental health counseling and other services for women, children and families

More than 500 guests participated in the Center’s 24th annual Women Helping Women event which raised $223,000. Funds will support mental health counseling, education, training and other services that impact women, children and families who are underinsured or from low income households. Sharon Goldford was our 2022 honoree and our inspiring keynote speaker was Jacquie Easley McGhee. Our 2022 planning committee co-chairs were Rachel Hardin and Laura Palmer.

Thanks to you, Mikey smiles again

You made a difference for one child.

Thanks to you, Mikey smiles again.

Pandemic. Divorce. Sadness. Some things seem impossible to explain to a seven-year-old, but Mikey is OK because you gave him the gift of counseling.

Through telehealth mental health therapy, Mikey has learned he is loved. His parents have learned to co-parent in two households. It isn’t easy but it is possible, thanks to you.

On #givingtuesday — we give thanks for you!

Did you know?

  • 700 children and teens plus their families are served annually through the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s specialized services called C.O.O.L. (Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life).
  • The Center is a non profit organization serving more than 4,000 individuals annually through counseling and education — including psychiatry, psychological testing, renewal programs, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other services.
  • The Center is one of the only mental health providers in Central Iowa who serves people from all walks of life, including those from low-income households who are uninsured or underinsured.
  • 40 percent of the Center’s services are subsidized, with thanks to a generous base of community support.

You can make a difference for another child.


Generous Spirits

“Generosity is the virtue of giving good things to others freely and abundantly. It is a learned character trait that involves attitude and action entailing both the inclination and actual practice of giving liberally. It is not a haphazard behavior but a basic orientation to life. What generosity gives can vary: money, possessions, time, attention, aid, encouragement, and more but it always intends to enhance the true wellbeing of the receiver. Like all virtues, generosity is in people’s genuine enlightened self-interest to learn and practice.”  – Christian Smith, The Generosity Project

I spent a good bit of my time in 2018–my sophomore year at the Center–developing deeper relationships with various stakeholders. Deep relationships are what make this place go. Clients sharing their stories with therapists, career counselors and spiritual directors. Peers diving into the healing process in various groups. Board members and volunteers giving of themselves through sharing of the precious resources of time, talent and treasure. And so it goes.

Much of my time is spent deepening relationships with our generous donors. These wonderful souls have grown committed to the organization for a variety of reasons. Some recently, others over decades. My relationship with them often begins with a simple question: “How did you get connected with the Center?” Answers are rich and varied. They or a member of their families may have accessed our services. Others deepened their spiritual lives through the Prairie Fire program. Some were invited to a fundraiser by a friend, which led to inspiration as people heard the stories and of the good work that goes on at the Center. Many times it was a relationship with one of our staff and a desire to help people of good character to carry on such committed work.

The answers and commitments vary, but the underlying, foundational spirit of all these relationships is generosity. Folks generous in sharing their stories; folks generous in the time it takes to listen deeply; folks generous in donating hard-earned resources in order to help us help those who might otherwise struggle to afford our quality services.

All of this was on my mind when I recently encountered the author quoted above, Christian Smith. His 2014 book, co-authored with Hilary Davidson, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We lose, is a sociological study of why, when and to whom people feel compelled to be generous. Their examination involves not only financial giving, but the many diverse ways folks live generously. The research shows consistent links between generosity and being fully alive. One of the most interesting outcomes of generous spirits is that they have positive mental health outcomes.

I hope to spend some time in my newsletter reflections this year investigating the ways generosity helps us to experience life more fully. Let me know if you’d like to share some thoughts or experiences on this topic, which you think might enrich the conversation.

If we didn’t get a chance to hear your story in 2018, I hope 2019 affords us an opportunity to understand your connection to the Center. We’re all in this together, bringing understanding, hope and healing through counseling and education—and generosity.

Thank you for giving liberally in this important mission.

Click image to read more blogs posts from Jim


Carlos’ story

To demonstrate the power of counseling, we share the story of Carlos. We have changed the name and identifying details to preserve privacy.

“Sometimes it feels like my life is a roller coaster and counseling is my seat belt.” ~ Carlos

Carlos has experienced great hardship in his young life. He came to the United States five years ago at age three. He came with his mother, who migrated from Mexico to search for a job and security. But it hasn’t been easy for Carlos or his mother. Sadly, there has been much heartbreak. Carlos experienced abuse by another adult, and he witnessed violence upon his mother. Trauma has long-lasting effects on people, especially when it happens in childhood.

Carlos’ mother did not know where to turn for help. She works the nightshift at a low-wage job and has very little household resources, yet she found her way to a bilingual children’s counselor, Alicia Krpan, at the Center’s through it’s specialized services for children and adolescents, C.O.O.L. (Children Overcoming the Obstacles in Life). COOL is an experienctial approach to therapy, integrating art, play, food, sports, nature and music into the counseling process. Alicia provides services at the Center’s home facility and also at a satellite center in the Drake neighborhood. Both locations provide the a safe, welcoming place for children like Carlos to find hope and healing.

Alicia Krpan, t.L.M.H.C., bilingual counselor

“It has been such a privilege to help Carlos to know that the trauma he and his mother experienced was not his fault,” said his counselor Alicia. “He now knows that he did nothing wrong. In his counseling sessions I can remind him he is brave and beautiful and awesome.”

Alicia employed the use of a therapeutic sand table (more info here) to help Carlos communicate his concerns, and to help Carlos to understand that he can heal and become whole again.

Carlos and his counselor Alicia communicate in English, but his mother only speaks Spanish. It is scary for a parent to sign up their child for a service in a language they don’t understand. It could put the child in an awkward position of translating their own counseling sessions for their parents. However, counselor Alicia is able to speak with Carlos’ mother in Spanish and help her to understand the process. Carlos only needs to think about his own healing, and not how to explain it to his mother. Carlos can stay focused on being a child.

In gratitude to Betty Durden

Betty Durden: Leaving a legacy for the Center’s future

Betty Durden (photo courtesy of her family)

(October 2017) – Betty Durden lived large and gave generously. A woman of extensive accomplishment, she led with courage even when personal risk was high and rewards limited.

Of the many organizations Betty supported, she gave to the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center throughout her lifetime including serving as a member of the Center’s Foundation Board and advising on human resource best practices. At the time of her death she left a large legacy gift to the Center – a bequest that will help ensure access to counseling services for others, for years to come.

On October 12, 2017, the family of Betty Durden hosted a reception at the Center to honor Betty, and to present a large bequest check from Betty’s estate to fulfill her philanthropic wishes. Center staff were grateful for the invitation to join in the celebration of Betty’s life, and to witness the gift presentation following comments offered by Betty’s daughter, Barbara Durden Davis (see transcript below).

We are forever grateful for Betty Durden’s vision, support and remarkable legacy — supporting our shared mission of understanding, hope and healing far into the future.

The full transcript of Barbara Durden Davis’ presentation

The family of Betty Durden, along with the Center’s executive director Jim Hayes, board vice chair Sally Wood, and Center founders Ellery Duke and Eileen Burtle.

Good Afternoon –

My name is Barbara Durden Davis and I am the daughter of Betty J. Durden.  My oldest brother, Rick Durden is here as is my other brother, David.  Along with David is his wife Loretta and with me are my husband Mark Davis, my daughters Erin and Erika Romar and my granddaughter Kiylah Reed. My first cousin, my mother’s nephew Ron Morden is also here (see family photo above). My brother Rick’s wife, Karen, was going to come but unfortunately was unable to do so at the last minute.

Our Mother, Betty, died on February 20th of this year and my brothers and I are carrying out the wishes she specifically delineated in her will.  But before we make the check presentation, I’d like to tell you a bit about her.

She received her BA in English from Drake in 1948 after having a couple of hiccups in her education due to time spent at the FBI in Washington D.C. in the steno pool and serving as a Yeoman in the WAVES.

She received an MSE in Guidance and Counseling in 1971 and then an Ed.D in 1990 when she was 67 years old.  Both of these were from Drake University.

While she was in a volunteer position at the Des Moines YWCA, she was approached during the summer of 1969 to join Drake University as Director of Women Programs where she was to set up a program of continuing education for women.  She accepted and was appointed Assistant to the Dean of Continuing Education.  She stayed with Drake through 1988 retiring as Director of Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs.

In 1984 she had been honored as a YWCA Woman of the Achievement.

In her “spare” time, she organized and chaired Governor Robert D. Ray’s Commission on the Status of Women, was the State Chair of ERA of Iowa, sat on boards of Interstate Association of Commissions of Status of Women, Children and Families of Iowa, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.

In talking with your Director Emeritus, Ellery Duke, I found out how our Mother began her relationship with Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.  Although he didn’t remember who had recommended for her to come on the Board, it was her knowledge of personnel issues which made her a valuable asset to Ellery and the Center.  She and the Personnel Committee of the Board reviewed the employment handbook and helped make sure the Center was complying with employment rules and regulations.  Ellery said he relied on her for her expertise in the area of Human Resources.

When her term as a regular board member was coming to an end, she wanted to become a Foundation Board member and did so.  Which she then became the President of.  A former employee here recalls our Mother’s tremendous organizational skills and the follow-up she provided.  She always had an agenda ready for the meeting and provided typed minutes to the Board members thereafter.  Although no longer the President, Mother was an active member of the Foundation Board during the time of the Capital Campaign which resulted in the facility we are in now.   And, fortunately, she was able to live the benefits of this new facility through partaking in the therapy services herself and personally knowing that others were receiving the help they needed.

A little insight into her private life: She had her hair done weekly. She would not go anywhere without her lipstick on.  She had a passion for fine jewelry and Persian rugs.  When most people walk into a room they notice the walls, the furniture and maybe the lighting.  Our mother walked in with her head down, inspecting what covering was on the floors.  She collected teacups and saucers.  She loved eggs made out of all kinds of substances; stone, malachite, porcelain, glass…  She felt that eggs were a representation of life’s renewal.  She studied and educated herself on various religions. Oh, and she was a published author at age 90.  She wrote “Sanity after Seventy, a humorous and poignant look at life in the very mature years….by a woman who is living them.”

At times she was quite haughty and a snob.  She was almost the spitting image of Queen Elizabeth II and in our family, she WAS the Queen. But she was a very loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was an excellent role model for women and she had an adage for us: if you join a group and don’t like how it is run, either quit or take it over!

Our Mother was a huge believer in education and in helping others.  She had a deep sense of faith.  Ellery Duke told me that Mother was especially pleased with Des Moines Pastoral Counseling because of your ability to integrate spirituality and human need.  This bequest to Des Moines Pastoral Counseling was not a last minute decision nor was it made lightly.  I was her attorney for many years and every time we dealt with her estate planning, she made sure that she would be providing for this Center.  And as such, our Mother presents to you a check.


For more information about the benefits of estate giving, please visit www.dmpcc.org/legacy.

Oliver’s Story

Oliver is a thoughtful, curious first grader. With a backpack full of school supplies and a renewed sense of resilience, Oliver is classroom ready. But last year was different. He grew uninterested and aggressive. One day he stood in the middle of his kindergarten classroom and screamed. His worried parents knew he needed professional counseling but they worked multiple jobs and relied on public transit. It seemed impossible to find a qualified children’s counselor on a bus line, plus take unpaid time off from work.

This is where the good news comes in. Oliver’s teacher referred the family to the Center’s new counseling outreach program located in the same building as Oliver’s free afterschool program, in the heart of urban Des Moines. His parents signed him up and Oliver met with his counselor once a week. Oliver found a way to communicate his fears through art and play. His counselor taught him age appropriate methods to work through his anxiety. Now, Oliver is back to school and feeling strong.

We launched the counseling outreach program in February 2017 in partnership with Grace United Methodist Church and Trinity/Los Americas United Methodist Church. Referrals also come from Free Clinics of Iowa and the Des Moines Public Schools. We are excited to grow the program to serve more children like Oliver, and we invite you to join us. Will you please give a gift to help more children and families access quality counseling?


If you have questions or ideas, please contact Terri Speirs, director of development and marketing at (515) 251-6670, tspeirs@mindspiritcenter.org.

Thank you for your consideration!

(Name and identifying details have been changed to protect privacy.)