Helping Works by Anna Webb: Help the homeless 'beat the heat'

awebb@idahostatesman.comJuly 15, 2014 

Daytime temperatures in the high 90s and beyond can mean dangerous conditions for those who live on the street and don't have shelter during the hottest parts of the day.

The staffers at Interfaith Sanctuary are working to keep vulnerable people safe through their annual "Beat the Heat" drive.

The shelter, which houses men, women and families at 1620 W. River St., opens its doors at 6 p.m. each night. The newly renovated space is air-conditioned.

But Interfaith is also asking for donations from the community to help make hot days a little more comfortable. The shelter needs donations of: bottled water, small bottles of sunscreen and aloe vera, lip balm, and sun visors and baseball caps in adult and child sizes.

Cash donations to help pay additional electrical costs for air conditioning are also welcome. Utility bills spike in the summer at a time when donations typically decline.

Jayne Sorrels, executive director at Interfaith Sanctuary, said the nonprofit is exploring plans for daytime cooling stations that would open in 2015. Area faith groups and other nonprofits are working together on this project.

But in the meantime, donors can help a lot by dropping supplies at the shelter any evening after 6:30 p.m. They can make cash donations in person as well, donate online at or send check by mail to P.O. Box 9334, Boise, ID 83707.

Need more information? Call 343-4160.


Gardening is a huge and healthy pastime around here. Improving soil is a key part of growing good plants.

The city of Boise is offering a free composting presentation, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the Library! at Cole & Ustick, 7557 W. Ustick Road, Boise.

Foothills Learning Center staff and a master composter from the University of Idaho will lead the class. One cool note: the program will also offer instructions for worm composting. Even if you don't have a garden, worm composting is a great way to put kitchen scraps to good use to help your lumbricina friends. Um, that's fancy for earthworm.


Boise Public Library held its first Comic Con in 2013. It was a hit with its visiting artists, panel discussions, drawing contests, dress-up opportunities and comic book sales. The library is throwing its second Comic Con, Saturday, Aug. 30, at the main branch.

Albert Asker, one of the organizers of the 2013 event (and regular speaker on the history of comics in Idaho), is working on a grass-roots comics-related project to benefit Friends of the Boise Public Library. He's compiling an anthology comic book, "Tarzan and the Comics of Idaho," which will feature work from the best comic artists in Idaho.

Asker is paying for the book through an Indiegogo campaign. Donate $8 and you'll get a copy of the comic. Donate more, in increments up to $100 and you'll get that and other great comics shipped to your house.

Donate, read more about the project on the Indiegogo site. Link through this column.


The annual Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride, in which 2,200 cyclists pedaled through Idaho and Utah, recently concluded in Logan, Utah. The annual ride raised $1.4 million to support local people living with MS and support research for a cure. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter, hosted the ride. Seventy of the participating riders have themselves, been diagnosed with MS.

The good news is, that even though the ride is over, donors can still help the cause. If you'd like to donate or read more, visit (find a link through this column at

Click on BikeMS. Look for the blue bar that says "Donate to BikeMS."

The Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter is based in Salt Lake City. It has an office in Boise. The chapter serves more than 46,000 people affected by multiple sclerosis.


The annual event begins at 6 p.m., Thursday, July 17. Ticket holders will receive directions to the party site, a garden overlooking the city. This is the 24th year for the fundraiser, the society's largest of the year, which raises money for the shelter and its many programs. The evening will include a live and silent auction, live entertainment, a cocktail hour and a buffet dinner.

Tickets are $150 per person. To get tickets and information, contact Christine Pierson at the Idaho Humane Society, 387-2760.


The Foothills Learning Center's Sunset Series, free education programs for adults, is on the second and fourth Wednesdays at the center, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The next program will be the dedication of the center's newest piece of public art, "Medicine Wheel," a sculpture created by Boise artists Marianne Konvalinka and Lynn Fraley. The piece, which is based on an earth theme, joins "Aero Agoseris," a piece created by Mark Baltes based on air, and "Cat's Face Revival," a piece by Reham Aarti based on fire. As you might have guessed, a piece based on water will eventually complete the group.

The McCord family lived on the land that's now the Foothills Learning Center from 1966 until 1997, when the city bought the property for public use. The McCord children paid for "Medicine Wheel" as a tribute to their parents. They will participate in the dedication.

The Boise City Department of Arts & History is the project manager.


Beth Markley presents "Engaging Your Board in Fundraising," 4:30 p.m., Thursday, July 17, on the third floor of the Boise Public Library main branch.

The Idaho Nonprofit Center presents this free program for nonprofits on the third Thursday of each month. Topics vary but are always relevant to the way nonprofit organizations operate. Call 424-2229 for more information.


A local woman, Janet Bahora, has a stash of used greeting cards she'd like to give away to a nonprofit that could use them in a craft project. Interested? Call her at 388-4657.

© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Anna Webb: 377-6431

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