Helping Works

Book motivates friends to make a change for homeless community

Have you ever watched a certain film, read a book or heard a speech that spoke to you on a very real level, lighting that proverbial fire under your butt to take action? It’s amazing — that point of realization that can drive us in a particular direction.

Fourteen-year-old Maggie Peterson’s a-ha moment came to her after reading “Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters,” by Laurie Ann Thompson.

The book talks about how to “empower yourself in today’s highly connected, socially conscious world as you learn how to wield your passions, digital tools, and the principles of social entrepreneurship to affect real change in your schools, communities, and beyond.”

The next day at school, she talked with her best friend, Mackenzie Ratcliff, about the book and how inspirational it was.

With a strong desire to help the less fortunate, Maggie’s Baggies was born.

The nonprofit, which puts together care bags of toiletries, clothing and seasonal items for the homeless community in Nampa, was created in November 2018.

Maggie and Mackenzie collected supplies from their school, church and the community, and divided them into bags for adult males, adult females, and male and female children.

Their first care bags (referred to as the winter bags) were then delivered on Jan. 22 to the Community Family Shelter and the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in Nampa.

And now the spring care bags are all ready to go!

On Thursday, April 25, 100 bags will be delivered to the Community Family Shelter and the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in Nampa.

The goal is to deliver care bags for every season.

They are currently in the process of filing for a 501(c)(3) and have already set up a business account with CapEd Credit Union.

If you are interesting in donating for an upcoming care bag, items and/or cash may be dropped off at Zion Lutheran School, 1012 12th Ave. Road, Nampa.

Visit the nonprofit’s Facebook page for more information.

Michelle Jenkins compiles event calendars, archives and writes a Helping Works column for the Idaho Statesman. She attended Boise State University and grew up in New Plymouth, Idaho.