Bricks for Bridges Fundraiser

Bridges is kicking off our newest fundraising effort with Bricks for Bridges.

Like many nonprofits, Bridges Mentoring is sustained by grants, fundraisers, and generous donations. We’re fortunate to receive so much support from our community, whether its financial support or volunteer efforts.

For this year’s fundraiser, we wanted to sell a unique item that’s different than traditional fundraising products like wrapping paper and magazines. Lacey’s mother crafts custom garden bricks which is how we came up with the idea of Bricks for Bridges.

Each brick with one logo costs $30, while bricks with two logos cost $35. You can customize each one with your choice of name, sports team or logo.Every dollar that we raise will go towards sustaining our programming.

Bridges Brick Collage for Facebook

You can also choose other design possibilities. LeAnn has painted the following logos for customers: Minnesota Twins, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordan, Case International, Harley Davidson, and the Arizona Cardinals. For those with special requests, she has also painted knitting needles and balls of yarn, crosses, and people’s favorite pets.

Bricks for Bridges New Collage no title

Contact us for an order form. You can also email our Program Coordinator Lacey with questions about your brick design at It’s not too late to order a brick as a Christmas gift!

Final brick flyer 2 jpg

What Have Our Mentors & Mentees Been Up To In June?

We look forward to hearing about all of the ways our mentors and mentees spend time together each month. They reported so many fun activities during June, that we couldn’t help but share them with you:

Planting Flowers

image: barrethall

-Planting flowers

Trap shooting

-Playing checkers & drinking smoothies at Kountry Kupboard in Osage.

Opening a lemonade stand at a mentor’s garage sale. 

-Creating gravestone rubbings at the cematary.

Watching a movie and eating popcorn at home. 

-Attending a mentee’s sports game.

Having a spa day with manicures and pedicures at home.

-Getting ice cream from Stan’s Drive-In in Osage.

-Going on a picnic

– Working on Modge Podge crafts .

Making donuts

-Creating wood working projects such as birdhouses and bean bag game boards.

Baking red velvet cupcakes and apple crisp.

-Walking along the Harry Cook Nature Trail  and exploring Spring Park in Osage.

One of our mentees Alyssa made these beautiful art projects with her mentor Rae Anne. 

PicMonkey Collage

As you can see, the mentoring activity possibilities are endless! We look forward to seeing what they did in July.

Food, Fruit Art & Fun At Bridges’ Well Aware Event

On Monday evening, over 20 mentors and mentees attended Bridges’ Well Aware event to learn about health and wellness.

10561774_512878562179147_1428064989121915275_nThe Well Aware theme focused on teaching mentees how to take care of themselves from the inside-out. Four special guest speakers joined us to share their areas of expertise in fun and interactive ways.

St. Ansgar School Nurse  Emily Kuper shared tips for personal hygiene and each participant received a goodie bag filled with  a dental kit, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, deodorant, soap, lip balm and a comb.

Lea Brians, owner of Lea Brian’s Hair Styling Salon in Osage discussed hair and sin care, and, in addition to donating her time, donated some salon-quality shampoo samples.

Finally, Carla and Erin from the North Iowa Community Action Family Health Center facilitated a dinner of  “make-your-own” chicken taco wraps and a fruit art contest. They also talked about making healthy food choices and provided everyone with some easy recipes.


The evening culminated in celebrating everyone’s fruit artwork. We were beyond impressed with all of the mentors and mentees’ creativity and skill.

PicMonkey Collage
This evening was made possible, free of charge, by a generous grant from the Foundation for the Enhancement of Mitchell County. Thank you to all of our mentors, mentees and parents who participated, our four special speakers,Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and those who pitched in to help from cutting fruit to washing dishes.

We hope everyone will consider joining us for two upcoming workshops on cyberbullying and substance abuse prevention open to the whole community. The events are sponsored by the Foundation for the Enhancement of Mitchell County so admission is FREE and includes refreshments. Visit our post for more information or RSVP on our Facebook page.

Save the Dates! Cyberbullying & Substance Abuse Workshops

Save the dates! We’re thrilled to share that we just finalized two upcoming workshops on cyberbullying and substance abuse prevention among youth. These events are open to the whole community and are FREE because of a generous grant from the Foundation for the Enhacement of Mitchell County. Don’t miss these opportunities to interact with these North Iowan experts in Mitchell County:

Sara BroersCyberbullying

Date: Monday, August 18th, 2014
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Osage Middle School Cafeteria, 820 Sawyer Drive, Osage, IA 50401
FREE. Refreshments will be provided.

Sara Broers has been active online through social media for 5 1/2 years. She blogs at All In An Iowa Mom’s Day and Travel With Sara. Through social media she has met and worked with some of the top cyberbullying/bullying experts in the industry. Sara will educate you on what apps are bullying platforms and offer advice on how to avoid cyberbullying and bullying in the workplace. Sara will define what bullying and cyberbullying are so you can work in a safer, smarter work environment. She is the owner of Social Connections, LLC out of North Central Iowa. Click here to RSVP on our Facebook page.

imgresPreventing Substance Abuse

Date: Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 833 Ash Street, Osage, IA 50401
FREE admission & butterfly pork chop dinner courtesy of Signatures Supper Club.

Jay Pedelty, CPS, is a Prevention Specialist at Prairie Ridge-Addictions Treatment Services and certified instructor for Prime for Life program. He will present about preventing alcohol and drug abuse among young people.

Click here to RSVP on our Facebook page. Contact us or call (641) 732-3566 if you have any questions or want to RSVP to either of the events. We hope to see you there.

Mentor Spotlight: Meet Craig

Mentor Spotlight GraphicWhen people consider becoming mentors, they often wonder things like, “What type of people choose to mentor?” and “Why mentor?”

We thought it would be fun to introduce some of our mentors so they can share more about who they are and their mentoring experiences.

Bridges mentors live in all parts of Mitchell County. Some have mentored since the programs began in 1999 while others have joined us recently. Our mentors range in age from young adults to those who are retired. Some choose to mentor by themselves while others mentor as a couple.

What these mentors all have in common is that they enjoy spending time with children and youth. Since we’re always in need of men or couples who are willing to mentor boys, we’ll introduce you to one of our male mentors, Craig.

Craig Bridges
Craig has been a mentor for two years. He and his family live in Osage. He coached sports for 10 years and is currently a State Farm Agent. 

What motivated you to become a mentor?
I’ve always been involved in my children’s lives and enjoyed watching them grow. I felt like it was a good time to mentor when my kids went to college.

Kids need caring adults. Mentoring helps our community and keeps me in touch with youth.

What types of hobbies do you do for fun?
Watch Hawkeye games, fish, and bike.

What are your favorite things about summers in Mitchell County?
I enjoy all of the outdoor activities like canoeing, biking and hiking. I also enjoy Osage’s Friday Nights Out.

How do you and your mentee come up with ideas for activities?
Once you get to know your mentee, it’s easy to figure out what activities are compatible to both. We enjoy doing lots of outdoor activities like fishing on the river and trying new things.

How do you make time for mentoring?
We check in with each other about our schedules. For example, if I can’t meet during one week, we’ll meet longer the next time. Meeting can become tough as mentees become older, but there are many ways to connect such as talking on the phone or communicating through social media. Oftentimes, I invite my mentee to join me in everyday activities such as eating at Subway or coming over for dinner to eat with my family.

How has mentoring affected your life?
Mentoring has given me an opportunity to stay connected to youth. Oftentimes, my mentee’s friends will join us. I’ve been able to watch my mentee grow and see that mentoring is working. People see mentees as troubled youth, but they’re really just youth that need another adult contact.

What questions do you have for our mentors? Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.We’ll introduce you to another mentor soon.