Helping Works

The winter pajama drive is on!

It’s once again time for the annual Boise Parks & Rec shopping spree for kids in need. Kids each receive a $30 gift card they can use to buy presents for family members, toys and more. The city seeks donations and volunteers.
It’s once again time for the annual Boise Parks & Rec shopping spree for kids in need. Kids each receive a $30 gift card they can use to buy presents for family members, toys and more. The city seeks donations and volunteers. Idaho Statesman file

Here’s your chance to make sure an Idaho child in need gets to go to bed in a new pair of pajamas with a new book to read. The Idaho Chapter of the Pajama Program is accepting donations through Dec. 15.

Drop off locations include Remax at 1420 W. Washington St. in Boise, Bank of the West at 47 E. Riverside Dr. in Eagle and others. Find a full list online as well as more information or to volunteer at You can also email Idaho Chapter director Emily Kane at

Boise Parks & Rec seeks donations, volunteers for kids’ shopping trip

Boise Parks & Recreation is hosting the annual Kids’ Holiday Shopping Spree on Dec. 18 at the Target store on Eagle Road. Participants are chosen from after-school programs at the Davis Park Apartments, Northwest Pointe Apartments, Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center, Grace Jordan, Morley Nelson and Whitney community centers.

Each participant receives a $30 gift card to purchase gifts or personal items at a local Target store. About 140 participants are expected to participate this year.

Organizers need volunteers to accompany the children in the store. Register online. You can also donate online to support the trip.

For more information, call 208-608-7650 or stop by the City Recreation Office, 110 Scout Lane, Parks Administration Office, 1104 Royal Blvd., 208-608-7600 or Fort Boise Community Center, 700 Robbins Road, 208-608-7680. All donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Boise Arts & History to contribute to the Broadway Bridge project

When the Idaho Transportation Department rebuilds the 1956 Broadway Bridge in 2016, the Boise City Department of Arts & History will do its part, preparing a history of the original bridge and the previous bridges at the site. Brandi Burns, the department’s history programs coordinator, said the history will detail the “significance of the bridge in context with Broadway Avenue as a transportation corridor and the connection between South Boise and Boise.”

The department will also design and install signs on and around the bridge that will interpret this history for pedestrians. Work on the bridge, as well as upgrades to the historic Christ Chapel nearby, will be complete in the fall of 2016.

Human Rights Book Club’s January selection

The book for January 2016 is “A Marker to Measure Drift” by Alexander Maksik. The club will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14 at the Idaho Black History Museum, 508 E. Julia Davis Dr. in Boise. The book tells the story of a woman, Jacqueline, who is living alone on a remote island in the Aegean. She is in homeless exile having fled Liberia in the violent wake of the overthrow of Charles Ghankay Taylor.

The Human Rights Book Club is dedicated to reading and discussing topics relevant to the advancement of global human rights. The club meets on the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and November. It’s free to attend. Attendees do not have to have read the book.

Books, books, books...

The Friends of Garden City Library host Deck the Halls, a Winter Gift Book Sale, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday through Dec. 5 at the library, 6015 Glenwood St. in Garden City. Sales benefit library programs. Book prices range grom $1.50 to $3.50.

Kids keep warm while staying healthy, thanks to neighborhood gyms

Neighborhood gyms across the city will be open for weekend youth activities starting in . Open gym is a free service provided by the Boise School District and the Boise Parks and Recreation Department. Gyms are open on the weekends from Dec. 5-March 13 (Valley View Elementary and West Jr. High will open on Dec. 12). All gyms will be closed on holidays. Ages, schools and hours are:

Grades K-6:

Hawthorne Elementary School, 2401 S. Targee St. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Koelsch Elementary School, 2015 N. Curtis Rd. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Valley View Elementary School, 3555 Milwaukee St. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Grades 7-12:

South Junior High, 3101 Cassia St. 1-4 p.m. Sunday

West Junior High, 8371 W Salt Creek Ct. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday

Les Bois Junior High, 4150 E. Grand Forest Drive. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday

Hillside Junior High, 3536 Hill Rd. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday

East Junior High, 5600 Warm Springs Ave. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday

A volunteer’s story

This is an ongoing feature in the Helping Works column. If you would like to share your experience as a volunteer with readers, submit your piece to Please include a photo of yourself. I run the volunteer profiles in the order I receive them.

From Hannah Schaeffer, Boise

We want to take this opportunity to introduce Idaho Statesman readers to one of Boise’s newest humanitarian outlets and volunteer groups: Global Shapers Boise. Curated by Tara Russell, former chairman of Create Common Good, Global Shapers Boise is a branch of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers community. Founded in 2011, Global Shapers is a network for millennials to use their talents and passions to make positive change in their local communities. Our local team is excited to bring this new initiative of the World Economic Forum to Boise.

Within the next few months, our biggest immediate goal is to create a reputation of becoming a driving force of positive change and diversity in Boise with as many other organizations as would like to contribute. We will be cultivating new team members, collaborating with Boise’s residents, partnering with some of the 15,000 nonprofits in the community, and moving forward with small, but meaningful project initiatives.

Some upcoming projects we will be addressing include informing Boise’s young adults and first time voters on 2016 elections and creating a refugee storytelling project that will be announced shortly.

Keep your eyes and ears open for more on Global Shapers Boise. To connect with members of the Global Shapers Boise team follow them on Facebook, email the team at, and check out the website.