Local opportunities for charitable giving abound in the Eagle community.
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Photography by Kate Matthews
When it comes to sustaining a vibrant and healthy local economy, supporting local charities and good works is just as important as supporting local businesses. This is especially true during the holidays, when resources can be scant and the pressure to provide for the family is high.
While Eagle is traditionally regarded as an affluent community, there are those among us who are struggling more than you might know. Add to that the pressures of the government shutdown, the want and stress of creating a memorable holiday, and the high costs of maintaining a home throughout the winter months, and it’s easy to understand how important local community resources can be to struggling area residents.
Not only does keeping your charitable giving local directly help those in your community, but it also helps to ensure that what you give is being used for its intended purpose. Sadly, many larger charities are using donations for, in some cases, exorbitant salaries for staffers and high-end marketing campaigns, instead of helping those who need it the most.
These local organizations are prime examples of how you can help at a local level and make a difference in the lives of those living in our area.
COATS FOR KIDS
It’s sad to think that for some area children, a warm winter coat is a luxury – but it is. The Coats for Kids project is a great way for you to donate your children’s gently used winter gear, all the while helping our youngest residents-in-need. Gretchen Gilbert, President of the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, is heading up the coats for kids drive this year and is hoping that residents will donate new or used sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, and boots to the drive.
Collection will begin on November 1, and run through December 15th. Donations will be accepted at 148 N 2nd Street Suite #101 in Eagle.
Contact Gretchen at (208) 939-4222 or email [email protected] for more information, or to coordinate large or corporate donations.
EAGLE COMMUNITY FOOD BANK
For most of us, the holidays mean feasts and celebration. But for others it’s a continuing battle to provide enough food for themselves or their families on a daily basis, let alone provide a special holiday meal. To meet this need, the Eagle Food Bank was formed and works tirelessly to provide area residents who struggling to feed their families with the food they need.
The Eagle Food Bank accepts donations of non-perishable food items and household goods. Donations are accepted at their location at 149 W. State St. in Eagle, as well as the Eagle Main Fire Station, the Eagle Public Library, and the lobby of the Albertson’s on Eagle Road.
If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer your time as well. The Food Bank is always looking for help sorting donations, stocking shelves, and distributing food to those who are unable to come in. And don’t forget, cash donations are always welcome.
If you would like to volunteer at the Eagle Food Bank, contact Karen Arguello [email protected] or call (208) 631-0702. If you want to learn more about the Food Bank, feel free to attend one of their board meetings at Eagle City Hall. The next board meeting is Friday, January 17, 2014, at Eagle City Hall.
If you need assistance and are a resident of Eagle or Star, the Eagle Community Food Bank can help. Distributions are the first and third Thursdays of each month from 10:00 a.m. – noon, and the last Tuesday of each month from 6:00–7:00 p.m., with eggs and milk offered on the first Thursday and last Tuesday distributions.
During the holidays, the Food Bank will have turkeys, butter, milk, and eggs available.
The holiday distribution schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, November 26th, 6 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
Monday, December 24th, 6 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
There will be no Tuesday evening distribution on December 31.
In addition to these two important resources, there are other opportunities to help your community as well. Reach out to area childcare providers and see if there are families needing assistance in giving gifts to their children. Contact the Eagle Senior Center and see what their needs are, or inquire at your local church. Likewise, look in to the cultural and community resources that may be in need, too. The Eagle Public Library, or the Idaho Performing Arts Centers all have needs that need to be met. And remember, not all giving is a matter of money; your time is always appreciated as well.