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@dmpcc.org.

Thank you for your consideration!

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

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