Four Oaks Is A Candidate In Veridian’s Spark The Spirit Campaign

Critter Crusaders was the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor’s top vote-getting organization in Veridian’s Spark the Spirit giving campaign last year. CREDIT VERIDIAN

Veridian Credit Union is accepting votes for nonprofit organizations across Iowa and eastern Nebraska to receive $38,000 in celebration of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29, including five organizations in the Corridor.

Twenty organizations across Iowa and eastern Nebraska have been nominated for the Spark the Spirit campaign by Veridian employees, including these five in the Corridor: Deafinitely Dogs!, Four Oaks, Freedom Foundation, Trees Forever and Willis Dady Homeless Services.

Veridian’s annual Spark the Spirit campaign is designed to be a reminder that Giving Tuesday is approaching and an invitation for public input on where a portion of the credit union’s giving should be directed to celebrate.

Votes are being accepted through Nov. 11 at

“The holidays are often a time of increased need, and many in our communities are facing an additional, unique set of challenges,” said Renee Christoffer, Veridian’s president and CEO, in a news release. “Spark the Spirit is one way to make a difference and a reminder for all of us of the importance of giving locally.”

The top vote-getting organization in each region, including Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, the Des Moines Metro and Omaha/Council Bluffs, will receive $5,000 each. Organizations receiving the second- and third-most votes in each region will receive $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. Organizations receiving the least votes will receive $500. Details are also available at

Veridian Credit Union, founded in 1934 in Waterloo, Iowa, has 30 branches across Iowa and eastern Nebraska. For more information, visit or call (800) 235-3228.

Four Oaks Partners With The Waukee Community School District To Stop Child and Teen Vaping



WAUKEE, Iowa — The Waukee Community School District plans to add vape detectors to some of the bathrooms in its high schools sometime this school year.

That makes them the second school district in the metro to add vape detectors, the first is Valley High School in West Des Moines.

David Maxwell, Valley’s principal, said that the detectors have made a big difference in the four years since they were first installed.

But Valley High School isn’t just focused on catching kids vaping. It also has programs that students have to complete after they are caught to deal with addiction.

Josh Griffith, an Associate Principal at Valley High School said the school partners with Four Oaks Children and Family Services’ Healthy Lifestyles Program. Griffith said that when students are caught vaping they meet with a healthy lifestyle coordinator to work on addiction treatment.

Griffith also said the school partners with the West Des Moines Police Department when they catch students vaping illegal substances. If it is a student’s first offense they can participate in the Police Department’s Youth Justice Initiative Program which can help them get back on the right track.

Griffith said both programs have been successful.

“When students have gone through that program in conjunction with the healthy lifestyles program it’s been unbelievable. We have very very few repeat offenders,” Griffith said. “There’s a lot of restorative circle conversations students get to learn the impact that it has not just on themselves but anyone and everyone that cares for and works with that student.”