Helping Works

Boise Fire Tech Rescue Team gets a special donation

JoJo Tuinstra presented a special-needs harness to Boise firefighters on behalf of Courageous Kids Climbing.
JoJo Tuinstra presented a special-needs harness to Boise firefighters on behalf of Courageous Kids Climbing. Courtesy of the Boise Fire Department

The Boise Fire Tech Rescue Team received a special EZ-Don harness during a donation ceremony Oct. 27 at South Boise’s Station 7. The harness will help the team in the rescues of special-needs children.

12-year-old JoJo Tuinstra from Kuna, a Courageous Kids Climbing participant, made the presentation to the firefighters. JoJo has cerebral palsy and spends most of his time in a wheelchair. However, that doesn’t keep him from riding horses with the Ride for Joy therapeutic riding program, swimming at the local pool and wall climbing.

Courageous Kids Climbing is an organization, based in Idaho, that provides free opportunities to children with special needs (physical or developmental) to experience various forms of rock climbing in area climbing gyms.

For the past couple of years, Boise firefighters have been working with the organization. Utilizing their rope rescue skills, they are able to help children with physical challenges scale the climbing walls so they get a first-hand experience of rock climbing.

To show appreciation for the firefighters’ support, Jeff Riechmann, event coordinator for Courageous Kids Climbing, contacted RIT Safety Solutions about donating the harness.

The organization, which recently was awarded with the Commitment to Community “Plays Well With Others” award at the Idaho Partnerships Conference on Human Services, has hosted free climbing events throughout Idaho, eastern Washington and Southern California. The next one is set for Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Teton Rock Gym, 60 S. Main St., in the East Idaho town of Driggs.

Reserve a spot by contacting Jeff Riechmann at Reservations are required to ensure that the appropriate equipment is available to accommodate each child.

Also, Idaho rock climbers are encouraged to volunteer to help with the program. Email Jeff for more information. Learn more about the group at

We have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback on our events. Not an event goes by that at least one parent doesn’t say to us that they never thought their child could become a courageous climber. We believe in giving these kids a chance.

Jeff Riechmann, event coordinator of Courageous Kids Climbing

Get your gear ready for the Ski Swap

With Bogus Basin receiving its first snowfall of the season just a couple of weeks ago, there is no doubt the winter-sports itch is spreading across the Treasure Valley.

That first snowflake is powerful — motivating fellow skiers and snowboarders to rummage through the garage, examine their equipment and make that uber important realization: This board is sooo last season.

No biggie — sell it at the Ski Swap.

The Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation once again brings the annual used equipment sale to Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden Gity.

Sale hours are 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.

Sellers can check in their items from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4; and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 5.

For those wanting to shop the swap, admission is $3 and free for children younger than 12. Sunday’s $3 admission will be waived if you bring a canned food donation for the Boise Rescue Mission, which provides food, shelter, clothing and opportunities for the homeless.

Go to for more information.

Smile! It’s free

Ustick Dental Office is hosting its third annual Dentistry From The Heart Free Dental Care event on Friday, Nov. 4, at 9733 W. Ustick Road, Boise.

The choice of a free extraction or cleaning will be offered to those 18 years old and older who can’t get dental care elsewhere.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 375-8720 with questions or go to

Walk for homelessness awareness

Acknowledge the challenges of homelessness and stand up for the universal human right to adequate housing during the Walk a Mile in My Shoes event at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise.

Starting at the Agricultural Pavilion in the park, the course continues through the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.

This fundraiser for the Boise/Ada County Homeless Coalition provides relief to people experiencing homelessness, support to providers and education to the community about this issue in Ada County.

Registration is $10 but anyone concerned about the fee or affected by homelessness is invited to walk. Register in advance at or on site at 8 a.m. on walk day. T-shirts will be available separately for a suggested donation of $10.

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451