The annual Avenues for Hope donation drive has raised $317,469 for 32 Idaho nonprofits that help homeless residents. The online fundraiser is a project of the Idaho Housing and Finance Association through its Home Partnership Foundation. This is the fifth year for the fundraiser, which ended on Dec. 31.
The money came from 1,439 donations totaling $172,469, plus grant prizes and matching funds of $145,000 provided by Idaho Housing, Home Partnership Foundation and 15 other sponsors. Corpus Christi House, the day shelter for homeless people in Boise, was at the top of the donation chart with $63,116, followed by CATCH, Inc. (Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless) with $36,843 in donations.
Over the past five years, Avenues for Hope has raised $971,203. Donations in 2015 saw a 16 percent increase over 2014.
Nonprofits, businesses and individuals interested in participating in the 2016 campaign can contact Deanna Ward, development director of Home Partnership Foundation, for more information at 208-331-4756.
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Needed: ‘Point in Time’ homeless count volunteers
The annual count is a national count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the community. The count is key, say homelessness experts, because in addition to helping keep tabs on the local situation, it helps determine the congressional homeless funding Ada County receives.
The counts will take place on Jan. 28 in Boise and on Jan. 31 in Meridian. Volunteer training takes place at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the Boise City Hall Chambers and at noon on Monday, Jan. 25 at Meridian City Hall.
RSVP to Stephanie Bloom by Monday, Jan. 18 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email the same address for more information, or call Bloom at 208-570-6845.
Boy Scout Eli J. Clark earns all possible merit badges
Eli J. Clark of Middleton, a member of Troop 217, has earned the admiration of his fellow Scouts and Scout Leaders by accomplishing something only very few boys have achieved since 1910; earning all 142 of the Boy Scout merit badges. The Boy Scouts of America does not keep an official registry of the number of scouts who have earned all the badges, but several private sources estimate it’s only between 250 and 270.
During his 12 years as a Boy Scout, Clark has held numerous positions in his troop including den chief, troop guide, junior assistant scout master, patrol leader and senior patrol leader. Clark earned his Eagle Scout rank by gathering a team of about 30 people to replace or repair picnic tables, trash receptacles and swing sets at Memorial Park in Caldwell. He also built and installed bat boxes at Camp Morrison in McCall. Some of Clark’s favorite merit badges are those he earned for Search and Rescue, Small Boat Sailing and Wilderness Survival. The most challenging: Computer Programming and Plant Science.
The Scouts will host a special event that is open to the public to celebrate Clark’s accomplishments, 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan.16 at the LDS Church, 22500 Lansing Lane in Middleton.
Free ‘Idaho Childcare Reads’ Workshop
Boise Public Library invites childcare providers and preschool teachers to attend a free early literacy workshop from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Jan. 30, in the Main Library Hayes Auditorium. Register for the workshop online at boisepubliclibrary.org or by calling 208-972-8201. Idaho Stars credit is available.
Attendees will receive hands-on experience in getting young children ready for reading. The workshop will address six early literacy skills for building a reading foundation and will include information about related resources found in local public libraries. Participants will receive a free literacy kit with children’s books, magnetic letters and more.
The Main Library is located at 715 S. Capitol Blvd. This program is supported by Boise Public Library and Read To Me, an initiative of the Idaho Commission for Libraries.
Lovers of Idaho Public Television, don’t miss this
Friends of the Historical Museum host a Brown Bag talk with Jeff Tucker, director of content services and Ron Pisaneschi, general manager of Idaho Public Television. The event is a noon on Tuesday, Jan. 12 in the Central Auditorium at Washington Group Plaza. The presenters will tell the story of IPTV’s past 50 years. Admission is free.
More good news notes:
▪ Local companies helped out two nonprofits recently. When news got out that Special Olympics Idaho was facing financial struggles, Whitewater Park Apartments held a silent auction that raised $5,000 for the organization that provides athletic training and competition for Idahoans with physical and intellectual disabilities. The donation will cover programs for five athletes.
In addition, Cascade Student Transportation mobilized a team of staffers to buy $3,000 worth of gifts for kids of “tween” age to stock the shelves of the Salvation Army’s annual Toy N Joy Shop. The project provides new Christmas presents for kids of all ages. Families sign up to “shop” for the donated gifts which they get to take home for free.
▪ Boise restaurants Fork and ALAVITA announced that they are increasing their charitable donation from $5,000 to $10,000 to Idaho nonprofits. Camp Rainbow Gold will receive $5,000. Wish Granters of Idaho and Project Kids, Inc. will each receive $2,500. Last month, Fork and ALAVITA requested nominations from the community for deserving Treasure Valley nonprofits to receive a donation from their Corkage for Community Fund. Staff from both restaurants gathered to review and vote on recommendations and choose the recipients.
▪ Senior Solutions, Inc. has received a grant of $2,500 from the Kissler Family Foundation Philanthropic Gift Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation. The funds will provide services to elderly who need help to remain living independently. During 2014, Senior Solutions provided assistance and resource information to over 4,770 senior citizens and their families and provided ongoing assistance for over 354 of those senior citizens. For more information about resources for senior citizens, call 208-345-7777.