22 November 2021
Guest column submitted by US Senator Mike Crapo
The great people of Idaho are among my blessings this Thanksgiving season. We have been tested by challenges this year, and Idahoans have repeatedly faced these challenges with kindness, hope, good judgment and optimism. Throughout Idaho, we find countless examples of Idahoans doing great work and good deeds that are helping us all stand up again:
- Feed those in need– In Idaho Falls, Bridge Church, led by Pastor Jay Spangenberg, has been feeding community members since 2016. It is credited with providing over 1.4 million pounds of food to those in need alone. ‘in 2020. To bring this effort together, the Church has created many partnerships and volunteers represent other churches in the community. Volunteers enable a large cooperative effort reaching many people across the region who may be facing difficult circumstances and are a great example of others working in communities in Idaho to help ensure Idahoans don’t suffer. no hunger.
- Spread the joy–Christmas Angels in Lewiston are helping 16 Anonymous Families this year with the help of over 25 businesses and the hard work of Christi Dahl Evans, Chels Miller, Leza Shinkle and others. Christmas Angels has been giving to families in the area for 18 years. Christi Dahl Evans and Shannon Boren founded the organization with the help of their families in honor of generous loved ones who have passed away: Christi’s aunt, Arlene; and Shannon’s father, Rick. Businesses can adopt or fundraise for a family. The nominations of the anonymous community determine the families. The organization deeply values ââits partnerships in helping to provide for the needs of local families, “We are honored by those who help us by providing the families who allow us to help them provide a happy and joyful vacation.” Many, like the Christmas angels, are at work in communities in Idaho to help those in need during the holidays and throughout the year.
- Provide opportunities for young people–The Lincoln County Youth Center, opened earlier this year in Richfield, has done an incredible job harnessing resources to improve opportunities for the area’s youth. The Center offers a preschool and after-school program focusing on Agriculture and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through cooperative efforts and partnerships, the Center has offered a plethora of activities for Lincoln County youth, including farm tours, bike repair shops, a drama camp and more. The Center and other similar resources across Idaho are working hard to prepare young Idahoans for a prosperous future.
What these examples have in common is not only the good they do, but also the partnerships they mobilize to create resources and reach more people. They recognize the great value of working together to distribute shared resources wisely and represent well the many other cooperative, charitable and educational efforts at work in communities in Idaho. In a world that often seems so divided, it’s wonderful to see the spirit of giving come together so many people.
I am deeply grateful to the great people of Idaho who work in the communities of our wonderful state, uplifting, encouraging and strengthening others and important endeavors. You shine with lights of comfort and inspiration. And, most importantly, you are helping the people of Idaho know that they are not alone. Thank you for your generous and generous efforts.
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