Helping Works by Anna Webb: Choir will perform at Holocaust remembrance; Idaho Gives seeks volunteers

Anna Webb.
Anna Webb.

We’ve been keeping you posted in this column about Idaho Gives, the statewide day of online fundraising organized by the Idaho Nonprofit Center. Donors can log on to one site and give any amount to one, or several of their favorite charities, all in one easy place. This year, the Day of Giving is May 7.

The Idaho Nonprofit Center needs volunteer help in the days leading up to the event and on the day itself. Tasks include doing outreach to local businesses, distributing posters, being part of a fleet of street teams that will fan out around town to help get the word out, assisting in the Center’s main office, and more. If you’d like to be part of this always-fun, always-high-spirited, even suspenseful event (nonprofits compete in a good-natured way to bring in the most donations), contact Erin Hutto at 424-2229 or

On a related note, the Idaho Nonprofit Center hosts its 12th Annual Idaho Statewide Nonprofit Conference Sept. 15-16 at Boise State University. The conference draws attendees from nonprofit organizations around the state. The Center is inviting potential presenters to submit applications.

Organizer Erin Hutto said the Center would like to hear from people who can lead “energetic, engaging and interactive sessions that cover a broad range of topics. Some of those topics could include trends, fundraising based on new models or research, advanced social media strategies including crowdfunding for charities, partnerships, strategies for small organizations and more.

If you think you’re a fit, applications are due by May 27. Find an application online or call 424-2229 for more information.


Idahoans will have the chance to hear a first-hand story of survival during the Holocaust from Ela Weissberger, who visits Boise this week. She will speak from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9 at the Borah High School Auditorium, 6001 W. Cassia St. in Boise. The talk is free and open to the public.

As a child, Ela Weissberger, her sister and her mother, were prisoners of the Nazis at Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia. The camp was unique, notable for its large numbers of artists, musicians, children and the elderly. Theresienstadt was one of the few camps that Nazis were willing to open to Red Cross inspectors. The Nazis wanted to give visitors the impression that they were treating their prisoners well. They ordered prisoners to perform various concerts for guests, including the children’s opera “Brundibar.” The opera tells the story of children and animals rising up against the town bully, a quiet, but pointed commentary on the Nazis. The cast, which included Weissberger in the role of the cat, performed the piece 55 times. She is the only person still alive from those performances inside the camp.

Weissberger is in Boise to work with the Opera Idaho Children’s Choruses, which will perform “Brundibar” at 7 p.m. on April 16 at the Egyptian Theatre. Several free tickets remain for any 8th-grade students in the area. Contact Lisa Uhlmann at for more details.

For general admission tickets to the performance, call the Egyptian box office at 387-1273 or visit the Opera Idaho website.


The Cabin’s annual summer writing camps are week-long workshops for kids in grades 3-12. Professional writers and volunteer teaching assistants help students “think, read, write and play.” Past teaching assistants have come with a range of skills and have included college students majoring in writing, English, art or education, and lovers of reading and writing.

Each camp meets for one week from Monday-Friday, either from 9 a.m. to noon or from 1 to 4 p.m. Teaching assistants are asked to commit to at least two weeks of camp throughout the summer and attend an orientation and training on Saturday, April 25 at The Cabin. Applications are due by April 20. Call 331-8000 for more information or download an application online.


Boise Public Library invites children ages 4-5 and their parents to help hone literacy skills through free “Every Child Ready to Read” classes at the Main Library. The three-week series will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings, April 9, 16 and 23, at Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd. in the auditorium.

Parents will receive guidance for getting their children primed for learning to read when they start school. Each week, teachers will focus on different skills. Parents will be able to practice with their child during class. Families will receive a free kids’ book or other literacy resources at each class.

Registration is required. Register through the library’s online calendar (search for “Every Child Ready”) or sign up at the Main Library in the children’s department. Families can also register by phone at 972-8201.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries “Read To Me” initiative is a sponsor of this series with Boise Public Library.


Boise Rock School hosts Adult Night at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9 at the school, 1404 W. Idaho St. in Boise. It’s a fun, creative, hands-on kind of experience. Attendees are broken up into small bands and paired with a rock school teacher. At 9 p.m. the bands each perform one song in a mini “battle of the bands.” Players of all and any ability are welcome. Cost is $10, which includes a beer from Crooked Fence. The evening benefits the Rock School’s programs. Call 572-5055 for more information.


Approximately 50 homeowners in need of help are on the list to have their houses painted through the annual community event, Paint the Tow,n on Saturday, June 13.

The deadline to form volunteer teams is April 13. Teams should have at least 10 people to prep and paint a house from start to finish. Team registration fee is $100. Teams can register online.

Those who don’t want to paint this year, but who would like to make a donation can give an amount of their choice online. Donors will be entered into a drawing for prizes.

Organizers say Paint the Town helps entire communities by restoring homeowners’ pride in their houses, increasing property values and enlisting the community to help some of its most vulnerable residents. Paint the Town staffers select homes to be painted based on owner qualifications including age, physical disability, and financial need. Call 258-6222 for more information.


Bombshell Salon, along with partner salons, hosts its 3rd Annual Trashion Show, 7 p.m., April 10 at Hannah’s, 621 W. Main St. in Boise. Local artists and salon teams will make wearable works of art from 100 percent post-consumer materials.

All proceeds, including the $5 suggested donation at the door, will go to Idaho Rivers United. The event includes a silent auction fundraiser.

If you’re planning to come, organizers invite you to wear your best 70s-style garb in honor of Earth Day (April 22), founded in 1970. In other words, come for the trashion, stay for the platform shoes and feathered hair.


• The Canyon County Sunrise Rotary Club of Nampa, the Nampa Rotary Foundation, the Nampa Rotary and Rotary District 5400 joined forces to present a $10,000 check to Nampa Library Interim Director Claire Connley. The donation will benefit the new library complex that recently opened its doors to the public, offering more public spaces and study rooms, a large collection, public art, and more. A study room in the library bears the Nampa Rotary’s name to pay tribute to Rotary’s support of the project.

“The Rotary Clubs of Nampa are proud to support a local community project that is in alignment with one of Rotary’s six areas of focus – literacy,” Nampa’s former President Jennifer Deroin said. “We understand the importance of early childhood literacy and wanted to provide technology that would aid in this effort. We provide dictionaries to third graders typically every year, and thought that this would be a great opportunity to support this legacy project in Nampa.”

•  The Boise Exchange Club, one of the oldest in the area, has supported swimming programs for kids at the YMCA for 50 years. This year was no exception. Club members gave the Y a $1,000 check for “Splash,” its Spring Break swim program. The Exchange Club also supports programs to raise awareness of “Shaken Baby” syndrome. The club also places “Freedom Shrines” containing copies of 27 significant historic documents, including the U.S. Constitution and others. The club recently placed a shrine at Boise City Hall.

The club’s many activities don’t end there – it partners with Eagle Scouts each year to place flags on veterans’ graves on July 4. The club has also donated to Optimist Football, and worked to raise awareness of bullying.


Heinz Built Homes invites the public to tour a new house in the Legacy Subdivision at 6261 W. Founders Dr. in Eagle. The house is open on Fridays from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 19. The cost is $8, payable at the door. All proceeds will go to Camp Rainbow Gold. The house is described as a villa of European country design overlooking a 7-acre lake.

Camp Rainbow Gold provides annual camps for kids with cancer.


Employees from Molina Medicaid Solutions of Idaho will help The Molina Foundation distribute approximately 8,000 free books to elementary schools across the state. The distributions have begun in the local area, including at Meridian and Grace Jordan elementary schools. Books will also go to the YMCA Head Start program, middle schools in Idaho Falls and in Blackfoot. The second part of the tour will cover children’s organizations and schools in Northern Idaho.