From the Opinion Editor

Interfaith Sanctuary raises money for day shelter, preschool teacher

In addition to the news that Interfaith Sanctuary is going to open its day shelter seven days a week starting this weekend, there were some other big items that came out of Interfaith Sanctuary’s annual fundraising gala, which was held earlier this month at JUMP.

As I reported, someone donated $15,000 at the gala, which Interfaith Sanctuary is combining with $11,000 from the city of Boise to provide day-shelter services seven days a week.

Interfaith began its day shelter operation Monday through Friday in November 2017. That led to a decline in attendance at Boise’s Pioneer Neighborhood Community Center, so the city decided to close that center, turn over the space to homelessness-prevention nonprofit Jesse Tree of Idaho, and divert the $17,000 to Interfaith’s day shelter and the city’s work program that employs Interfaith Sanctuary guests.

That, alone, was pretty big news.

But Interfaith also solicited a $20,000 donation at the gala to hire a preschool teacher immediately and offer preschool five days a week, up from three days a week.

Other big announcements included a $10,000 donation for the shelter to lease a Valley Ride van to provide transportation for guests.

Aside from the fundraising, the big part of the gala is the awards ceremony, in which Interfaith recognizes volunteers, guests, employees and private partners who have helped throughout the year.

Dean Fredrickson was recognized as volunteer of the year; Justin Snyder family side volunteer of the year; Jesse O’Leary guest of the year; Our Path Home and CATCH partnership of the year; Jordan Pereria, who is the shelter director, employee of the year; and JA and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation as the donor of the year.

Also, the volunteer group of the decade was the shelter’s Xtreme Team: Kara and Brian Taggart, Racy Olson, Polly Evett, Duffy Benton, Evan and Nina Chambers, John Rumel and Kathe Alters, along with the Xtreme support team Jason and Shelley Dykstra, and Kelsey and Christian Aldrich.

Interfaith Sanctuary executive director Jodi Peterson-Stigers also highlighted a couple of pretty remarkable projects that happened this year.

First, students from Boise State University’s College of Innovation and Design redesigned and remodeled the shelter to be more home-like, with the help of Interior Designers of Idaho, EKC Construction, Bennett’s Painting and Gardner Co.

Second, Sloan Security Group installed a new security system, including cameras, with the help of Cook Security, Concentric Security and Event Risk Management.

Finally, the Idaho Press, my former newspaper, was recognized as creative partner of the year, in part for helping to produce and print Interfaith Sanctuary’s new print product, Word on the Street, which Idaho Press Publisher Matt Davison promised to insert into future copies of the Idaho Press. It’s gratifying to see that project, which Jodi pitched to me over coffee one morning at Flying M, come to fruition and thrive.

Overall, it was an inspirational and uplifting evening. If I’m being honest, having Jodi’s husband, Curtis Stigers, provide the entertainment was a highlight, for sure.

Looks like it was a great year for Interfaith Sanctuary, and a great year is ahead.

Scott McIntosh is the opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman. You can email him at smcintosh@idahostatesman.com or call him at 208-377-6202. Follow him on Twitter @ScottMcIntosh12.
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Always full of opinions and tolerant of others, Scott McIntosh is the opinions editor for the Idaho Statesman. He has won dozens of state and national awards, including Best Editorial from the Idaho Press Club for 2017.
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