The Treasure Valley is joining communities around the world to mark World Refugee Day, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, on The Grove plaza.
The centerpiece of the day, as it has been for three years running, is a ceremony at 11 a.m. when a group of new Americans will take their citizenship oath. This year, 25 people will participate in the ceremony, said Kara Fink at the Idaho Office for Refugees.
The day will also include performances dance, handicrafts, song, poetry and something new this year: puppets.
Puppetry artist LeeAnn Garton has been working with members of the refugee community for just under a year helping them translate folk tales into performance. Come see the results of all the hard work.
In the last year, the three largest populations that have resettled in Idaho have come from Bhutan, Burma and Congo. In 2011, 813 refugees arrived in Idaho.
BLOOD SUPPLY CRITICALLY LOW; RED CROSS NEEDS DONORS
Blood types O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed, according to a Red Cross press release.
The agency is asking people who are eligible to donate to call the toll-free number, find a donation location close to them and give blood as soon as possible. Call 1-800 RED CROSS (800 733-2767) to schedule an appointment, or find more online.
Blood donations are down in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period last year, say officials.
NEW LIBRARY IN THE WORKS; BOOKS NEEDED
The Idaho Inmate Education Fund is collecting books for new jail libraries in Ada, Canyon, Washington and Valley counties.
Project organizer Denise Arellano said the most-needed books include soft-bound self-help books, especially on vocational topics and substance abuse recovery. Arellano said donors can drop books at Ada and Canyon county jails.
Other books on a wider range of topics can be donated to IIEF at Trip Taylor Bookseller, 210 N. 10th St.
IIEF is a nonprofit dedicated to building self-help libraries in Idaho's county jails. If you have any questions about the fund or need more information about donations, email Arellano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEVENTY BOYS ARE ON A WAITING LIST FOR MENTORS IN NAMPA
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho is actively in search of volunteer mentors, especially men, said Director Nora Carpenter. More than 70 Nampa boys are currently on a waiting list to be paired with a compatible role model and mentor.
Volunteer mentors meet with their Little Brother or Little Sister two or three times a month and spend a couple of hours doing activities that interest both of them. Volunteers can be any age, 18 and up. Find more info online. Link at idahostatesman.com.
SCHOLARSHIP UPDATE: BLAINE COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION
You may have read a recent story in the Statesman about Jozey Mitcham, a Boise State grad who succeeded in the math program because of her hard work but also because of financial support from a grass-roots group of donors in the Wood River Valley where she grew up.
That group is staying together. The Blaine County Education Foundation is overseeing a scholarship named for Carol Harlig, who created the group that supported Mitcham through her college career. The group has already raised close to $10,000 for another young woman from the Wood River Valley. Kaitana Martinez will be a freshman at Dartmouth in the fall.
GET A PIECE OF IDAHO HISTORY, SUPPORT THE ARTS
Items rich with Idaho lore are on the block in the J.R. & Esther Simplot Benefit/Estate Auction. That includes JRs 1990 Lincoln Continental, his Mr. Spud license plate, his saddles and chaps and hard hat.
Bidding is open, proceeds will go to Ballet Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic and Opera Idaho.
Check out the bidding online at idahostatesman.com. The auction closes at 8 p.m., June 22.
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Anna Webb: 377-6431