Helping Works

Helping Works: Walk for mental health in Idaho or help rake up the Valley

It’s leaf-raking season! Help your neighbors in need by volunteering to rake. Rake-up events take place in Nampa Nov. 5 and in Boise Nov. 12. Sign up now.
It’s leaf-raking season! Help your neighbors in need by volunteering to rake. Rake-up events take place in Nampa Nov. 5 and in Boise Nov. 12. Sign up now.

NAMI Boise (the local chapter of The National Alliance on Mental Illness) is hosting its 3rd annual March for Mental Health Awareness to raise money for its free community education and support programs throughout the Treasure Valley.

Walkers will gather on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9 a.m. at Pavilion 1 (the Boise Pavilion) in Julia Davis Park. Boise Police Chief Bill Bones will lead the march up Capitol Boulevard at 10 a.m., escorted by the Boise Sober Riders MC chapter, to the Idaho Statehouse, where special presentations will take place.

Register at, call the NAMI office at 208-376-4304 or email

The Idaho Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will host its annual Treasure Valley Community Walk, “Out of the Darkness,” on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Kleiner Park in Meridian. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The walk will begin at 10 a.m.

There is not a fee to participate, nor are walkers required to raise a minimum amount of money. Organizers suggest that each walker raise $150 or more, but the amount, if any, is up to individual walkers. Donations are also welcome. Donations support suicide prevention research, education programs, public policy advocacy and support for survivors of suicide.

Register and read more details online at

The walk route is 3 miles. Features include Paws for Prevention bandannas for (leashed) dogs for a $10 donation and a memory garden where people are invited to post photos of loved ones they’ve lost. Honor beads will also be available. Different colors identify those who have lost someone to suicide or survived suicide or been an ally in the fight against suicide. A number of local organizations, including NAMI - Boise; the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline; the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition; LiveWilder Foundation; Not One More Suicide (a.k.a. NOMS); and the Speedy Foundation will have tables at the event.

Idaho and the Intermountain West have some of the highest suicide rates in the country, adding to the urgency of this cause.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or know someone who is in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK for guidance.

On a related note ...

The Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation hosts its annual fall symposium 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 in the Boise State Student Union Building. The topic: “Our Mental Health, Critical Issues Facing Families and Communities.”

The day will include workshops, a luncheon and a keynote address by actress Mariel Hemingway. As many know, the Hemingway family has been plagued by suicide, including those of Ernest Hemingway, Mariel’s grandfather, and Margaux Hemingway, her sister. Mariel has become an outspoken advocate for mental health and dispelling the stigma of mental illness. The cost to attend the symposium is $50. Advance purchase only, no refunds. Find details online at or call 208-343-4923.

Need of the day: Towels at Interfaith

Among the services Interfaith Sanctuary provides for homeless men, women and families with children: nice warm showers. But you can’t enjoy a shower without a towel, and the shelter needs some. If you have new or gently used bath towels to donate (the newer and fluffier, the better), drop them at the shelter, 1620 W. River St. in Boise, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Ask for the shift manager on duty or at the office, 3350 W. Americana Terrace, Ste. 320, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Step up to Rake-Up

Fall, lovely as it is, can be tough for seniors and disabled residents who need help getting their leaves raked. The city of Nampa seeks applications from both Nampa residents who need help and volunteer teams who are gung-ho to rake leaves for the annual Rake-Up Nampa event, Nov. 5. Sign up and make your plans now for the big day that will begin with a volunteer party in historic Downtown Nampa.

Teams will pick up supplies and enjoy a breakfast of burritos, coffee and hot chocolate before heading out to their raking destinations. The event kicks off between 8 and 9:30 a.m., and teams are usually done raking before 11 a.m.

Rakes are available as needed and leaf bags are provided. Rake-Up Nampa is a free event for both residents and volunteers thanks to the local businesses and others that sponsor the event: city of Nampa, Washington Trust Bank, Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, Zamzows, and Dutch Bros. Coffee.

Sign up either to get help or to help and for more details online at Questions? Call 208-468-5407 or email

Are you a Boise resident? Boise’s own version, NeighborWorks Boise’s Rake Up event, is Nov. 12. Registration is open for volunteers and those who would like help with their yards. Sign up online at or call 208-258-6222 for more information.

Lovers of cemeteries, local history, take note

Kohlerlawn Cemetery and the city of Nampa host a walking tour highlighting the lives of prominent and compelling citizens buried at the cemetery. The tour will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. Historian/tour guide Bill Dean will share the stories of characters such as Nampa founder Alexander Duffes, entrepreneur and miner Col. W.H. Dewey, early day doctor Joseph Howard Murray Sr., World War I veteran Joseph Howard Murray Jr. and Nampa police officer Hugh Nichols, who was killed while on duty.

Dean will also share the story of Kenneth McLennan, one of the first convicted murderers in Canyon County. Also on the list: Dr. Kohler, who donated land to the city of Nampa to be used as a cemetery; Tot Tuttle, who died in Butte, Mont., from scarlet fever; and the Ullery and Shellaberger families, killed in an automobile and train accident in 1919.

A shuttle will be provided, along with refreshments, thanks to the Daughters of the American Revolution Ee-dah-how Chapter. For more information call 208-468-5797. Kohlerlawn Cemetery is at 76 6th St. N., in Nampa.

Idaho Botanical Garden needs you

The garden’s annual Fall Harvest Festival takes place Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2. Organizers are setting up volunteer crews to assist with admissions, greeting visitors, staffing the information table, helping with games like bean bag toss and pumpkin painting, even assisting with hay rides. And the list of opportunities goes on.

Volunteer shifts run both days from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The garden is at 2355 Old Penitentiary Road in Boise. General admission to the festival is $7.

Check out the website at to sign up as a volunteer and get more details about the festivities or call 208-343-8649.

Preservation Idaho’s Heritage Homes Tour 2016

Preservation Idaho, the state’s premier organization devoted to preserving historically significant structures and neighborhoods, hosts its annual homes tour, giving visitors a rare view inside some of Boise’s finest, most interesting or historically notable. This year’s tour features the Elm Grove Park neighborhood in Boise’s North End and a variety of home styles, eras and sizes.

The self-guided tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. Register online at Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers.

The August issue of the Idaho Statesman’s Treasure Magazine featured two of the homes on the tour. If you missed that preview, you can find it at

Submitting to Helping Works

Reporter Anna Webb is handing off the Helping Works column to Michelle Jenkins. Email items for the column two weeks in advance to Michelle at Include time, date, address, contact information, a brief description of your event and a photo if possible. Items may be edited for space.