Changing the way America cares for children and families

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Boys townDepressed, sad and lonely, Jacob handed his mother a letter in 8th grade telling her that he wanted to kill himself. After several years of sending her son to counselors and psychiatrists, Jacob’s mother found hope for Jacob at Boys Town. Almost immediately there was a noticeable change in his demeanor. He was engaged and confident for the first time in years.

Jacob’s story, featured in the video above, is one of many successes you’ll find featured on Boys Town’s website, as we celebrate a century of helping children, strengthening families, and providing hope for communities.

For 100 years now, Boys Town has held true to the words of our founder, Father Edward Flanagan: "There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking." In 1917 he opened a home for wayward boys in Omaha, Nebraska, and from the start, his approach was a revelation. Unlike many orphanages or work farms of his day, Father Flanagan's home focused on academic achievement, the development of marketable skills, and teaching leadership through self-government.

Inspired by Father Flanagan's timeless values, Boys Town has continuously adapted to the changing needs of America's children and families. Since the 1970s, through our applied research and performance analytics, we have developed and refined an effective model and replicated it across the country. Today, in nine states and the Nation's Capital, the Boys Town Model:

  • Teaches life-changing skills to children - both boys and girls - and their families.
  • Helps children and families build healthy relationships.
  • Empowers children and families to make good decisions on their own.
  • Cares for children in a family-style environment.
  • Supports children and families in religious practices and values.

In recent years, Boys Town has increasingly focused on preventative services. We have taken lessons learned from our residential Family Homes and implemented them in the community, reaching into the neighborhoods, schools, and homes where America's families are fighting for self-reliance.

We continue to innovate as we use sophisticated MRI technology to make new discoveries in childhood brain development. The Boys Town National Hotline is engaging teens in crisis on the web and via mobile text-messaging. We are conducting applied research to learn what works best at the lowest cost, and we are sharing those findings with others.

While our primary objectives center on the safety, stability, and health of the children and families in our care, our mission ultimately calls for something bigger: Demonstrating that our approach works, replicating it at sites across the country, and bringing it to scale for maximum impact. In this way, like Father Flanagan before us, we are changing the way America cares for children and families.

Support Boys Town through Workplace Giving

As a donor, you can support Boys Town’s programs by donating to Boys Town through your employer’s workplace giving program (CFC# 12007 if you're a military or federal employee participating in the Combined Federal Campaign). Payroll pledges made through employer-sponsored charitable giving programs represent a cost effective and near effortless way to support Boys Town and those they help.

If your company would like to start a workplace giving program to support Boys Town, click here. Boys Town works through America’s Charities, a workplace giving federation, to promote its mission to employers' workplace giving programs nationwide, and America’s Charities has a portfolio of solutions designed to help large and small organizations give back to the causes they care about.

To learn more about Boys Town’s work, visit