Legislation to honor Boys Town has passed the United States House of Representatives.
The legislation would authorize the U.S. Treasury to issue a series of commemorative coins in honor of Boys Town’s centennial in December of 2017.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry sponsors the legislation, co-sponsored by nearly 300 representatives.
“Boys Town was founded in 1917 by Father Edward Flanagan and has since grown from a small, local home for children who found themselves in difficult circumstances in Omaha to one of the largest non-profit, non-sectarian child and family service organizations in America,” Fortenberry told colleagues during a speech from the House floor.
According to the history supplied by Boys Town, Father Flanagan grew discouraged working with homeless men in Omaha and shifted attention to the youth of the area. He borrowed $90 to rent a boarding house which became Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys on December 2nd of 1917. By spring, 100 boys lived at the home.
Father Flanagan bought Overlook Farm outside Omaha in 1921 and moved Boys’ Home there. The Home became known as the Village of Boys Town and, in 1936, the state of Nebraska recognized it as an official village. Fortenberry called Boys Town a remarkable model for academic and spiritual engagement, which gives its graduates the life skills to stay on the right path.
“Boys Town is so impactful that about 90% of the children who come there integrate successfully back into their communities and, historically, many over time have joined the military,” according to Fortenberry.
Fortenberry said Boys Town lives up to its motto of saving children, healing families.
“The success of Nebraska’s Boys Town has recently been duplicated across many, many communities in our country,” Fortenberry stated. “Their network of 11 national sites and national hotlines touches the lives of more than two million Americans each year.”
Similar legislation has been filed in the Senate by Sen. Deb Fischer.
The Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act authorizes the U.S. Mint to produce a series of commemorative coins with a design emblematic of Boys Town’s 100-year history. The purchase of the coins will offset the cost of minting them.
Video supplied by Congressman Fortenberry’s office.