Dave and Barb Skogen creating mental health legacy

What others have given before us, is what we have today and what links one generation to the next, is what we give to provide for future generations.

That sentiment is what Dave and Barb Skogen learned years ago and have carried forward their entire lives.

Dave and Barb began sharing their gift of time, talent and generosity with Family & Children’s Center 25 years ago when Dave served as a member of the Board of Directors. The tradition continues today, with Barb serving on the Board for her second term.

Improving mental health

For Dave, trust in the people within the organization, time serving on the board and understanding Family & Children’s Center’s mission has been what has kept him connected for all these years.

For her, Barb says, “It is the role that Family & Children’s Center plays in keeping the community emotionally healthy. It’s about FCC getting to the root cause of problems and helping individuals heal. It’s about breaking the cycles of abuse, providing education to parenting teens, and giving hope to adults with persistent mental illness. It is being there to support and offer a lifeline of hope, especially to the kids who didn’t ask for the life they started with. It’s giving skills to these people who want to help themselves and break the cycles they have found themselves in.”

Mental health key to community health

Barb’s passion for Family & Children’s Center stems from the knowledge that communities thrive when their members have the tools they need to become healthier, remove barriers and break cycles.

“Family & Children’s Center is so important in building relationships with individuals and letting them know it’s possible to move forward and to start on the path to becoming productive citizens,” says Barb. “I worry if we, as a community, don’t step-in to provide help to these programs that are solely reliant on private dollars, the community suffers and we pay a cost in a different way.”

Dave and Barb feel if everyone could take the time to understand the struggles, trauma, and abuse that has shaped the lives of individuals using these programs, and take just a moment to walk in their shoes, people would be more inclined to get involved.

A legacy of mental health

The Skogen’s believe that giving has a higher purpose in serving and enriching the lives of others. There is tremendous joy for them in giving without the expectation of receiving anything in return, just a simple smile and a thank you. Dave says, “You get back tenfold when you give someone a gift.”

Through their commitment to the community and their generosity, Dave and Barb have impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and families, making our community a stronger, healthier and better place for us all to live.