Helping Works: Many holiday volunteer opportunities available in the Treasure Valley

awebb@idahostatesman.comNovember 12, 2013 

Trinity Smith was among those who volunteered to prepare wreaths for veterans’ graves in 2012. The Idaho Civil Air Patrol is gathering donations for this year’s wreath laying ceremony on Dec. 13.


For the past eight years, the Idaho Civil Air Patrol has sponsored a holiday wreath-laying ceremony at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

In 2012, the organization gathered more than 3,000 wreath sponsorships, enough to lay a wreath on every veteran’s grave site. This year, organizer Dave Guzman, Idaho CAP Wing Project officer, anticipates a need for 3,800 to 4,000 wreaths.

A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

“Veteran service organizations and their auxiliaries as well as the community at-large have been very generous with their time and resources to assist in this program; however, the number of interments has increased by 600 this year,” said Guzman.

The Idaho CAP needs wreath sponsors and donors at any level, said Guzman.

Those interested in being part of the program can find more on the organization’s website or call Guzman at 283-8358.


Here’s a good community service project for families, civic groups and other organizations. The city of Boise is looking for volunteers to help rake leaves in local parks Nov. 16 as part of the annual “Rake Our Parks” event.

Volunteers can form their own teams or become part of an existing team. Volunteers will need to provide their own gloves and rakes to participate. The city will provide leaf bags.

Sign up online or contact Jerry Pugh, community programs coordinator, at or 608-7617.


Why not volunteer to teach a class through the Boise School District’s Community Education program?

The program is recruiting instructors for its winter 2014 Community Education session that begins in January.

Get more information online.


The organization, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, is looking for volunteer ski instructors for the 2013-14 ski season at Bogus Basin.

The only requirement: basic skiing ability. Volunteers will receive training to teach adaptive skills to beginning skiers.

The program provides two-hour ski lessons, morning and afternoon, for adults and children with special physical and developmental needs. Lessons take place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout January and February. Teaching clinics and training begin as soon as Bogus Basin opens for the season.

Find more online, or call 345-6262.


The Boise First United Methodist Church’s new speaker series will offer monthly talks featuring examples of faith in action and “bringing justice and peace to the marginalized” members of society.

The first talk is from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Emmaus Center at First Methodist, 717 N. 11th St.

The speaker is Allen Annett from Adullam Refuge Shelter in the Philippines. Annett will talk about a new resource, Adullam Village in Daveo City that will provide services for young survivors of human trafficking.

Attendees are welcome to come to First Methodist at 5 p.m. before the talk to enjoy a meal in the Fellowship Hall. There is no cost, but donations are welcome.


The 2013 Operation Wish Book campaign, which provides new books for children who would not have books otherwise, continues through Nov. 22.

Collection boxes are set up in all Boise and Meridian public schools, as well as in many charter schools, private schools and local businesses.

Operation Wish Book is a nonprofit organization operating in Ada County for more than 20 years. Volunteers work through the Salvation Army to distribute the books each December through the Salvation Army.

Cash donations are also welcome. For more information, contact Lucy Leavell (208-870-0254, or Betty Reimann (208-376-8687, ).


• Boise Rescue Mission: The organization is getting ready for the holiday season and needs close to 5,000 donated turkeys to give to local families and to serve at banquets for those in need.

Bring turkeys to the mission Ministry Center, 308 S. 24th St., or to any of the mission’s local shelters, including: City Light Home for Women and Children in Boise, the River of Life Rescue Mission in Boise and the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in Nampa. Call Megan Korthals at 861-9295 for more, or email her at

• Society of St. Vincent de Paul: The organization’s annual Thanksgiving Food Project is underway. St. Vincent is asking that donors put together food baskets with specific items, then drop them at participating churches during the weekend of Nov. 16-17. The baskets will go to families who have registered for assistance before the holiday. For details about basket contents and donation locations, call 571-3556.

• Idaho Foodbank: The organization set a goal of distributing nearly 2.8 million meals to Idahoans during the last three months of the year. That includes at least 15,000 turkeys.

Here’s how you can help:

• Donate frozen turkeys in November directly to The Idaho Foodbank (3562 S. TK Ave., Boise, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).

• Les Schwab has teamed up with the Idaho Foodbank for this year’s turkey drive. Les Schwab locations throughout the state will accept frozen turkeys through Dec. 20. Call the Foodbank at 336-9643 for more.

Anna Webb: 377-6431

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