Community Care Auxiliary Donates $60,000 to local Teen Health CenterJackie Baker and Diana Price

(Ottumwa, IA) – On behalf of the Community Care Auxiliary, secretary Jackie Baker presented a $60,000 check to Diana Price, for the Ottumwa High School Teen Center at their recent Annual Winter Luncheon. The Auxiliary has been the major funding source for the Teen Center ever since the center’s main financial resource was cut over 7 years ago.
The Teen Center at OHS provides health services to students, some who are in dire need and even homeless. Health and dental care, medicine, assistance with purchasing eyeglasses, counseling, homework assistance, even hot showers, clothing and food for kids who face food insecurity. The staff regularly goes far beyond what might be expected to help kids stay in school and thrive. “We serve breakfast, but also send food home with students to ensure they are getting enough to eat,” said Price, who oversees the program. “But sometimes they don’t know how to prepare it so I take them next door to the Home Economics department for some cooking lessons.”
Dr. Hazel Ashraf, a local pediatrician is on site 3-4 days per week to help care for the 38-63 students seen daily. “We also have a dental hygienist that comes 2 days a week and if we can secure a larger location, we sometimes get access to an eye doctor,” shared Price. “We take all the help we can get for our kids.”
The Teen Center accepts monetary donations and is always in need of hygiene products such as deodorant and shampoo. Keeping the Teen Center open is essential to ensure students have a place to go when they are in need. The center, part of the American Homefinding Association, has been in operation for 26 years.