It's a non-profit world out there: Be a DIRT Clod and more

Table of contents:  Volunteers; Non-profits meet culture;


Be a DIRT Clod
We like to call United Way of Treasure Valley's "Direct Impact Response Team," or "DIRT" for short, an underground team of elite, guerrilla volunteers.

OK, so that's a little dramatic. But DIRT is a group that's genuinely willing to take on the filthiest, most gruesome volunteer tasks around. Yes, they've aired out mattresses at local homeless shelters. Yes, they've scraped pigeon droppings off rooftops at the Old Pen. All of this happens in the course of one lunch hour per month — making DIRT a great fit for people with busy schedules, and jobs and things.

I can vouch from personal experience (having joined the DIRT Clods to spade a future community garden and clean the Ronald McDonald House), it's a lot of fun. And there's something inherently cool about a crew of workers descending on a job like locusts, getting the work done, then quietly fading away to respective offices, cubicles — or, I'm guessing, showers, in the case of pigeon duty. 

February's project is a little less dirty than usual.

You may not have realized it yet, but Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us. This month, DIRT is helping the scouts unload, organize, and get ready to distribute, a giant shipment of cookies destined for Treasure Valley cookie enthusiasts. 

The "Girl Scout Cookie Bucket Brigade" will take place from noon-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Boise. DIRT organizers are looking for 25 volunteers to pitch in and help the scouts get those Thin Mints to you. 

Interested? Reserve your spot here, or contact Neva Geisler, 336-1070, ext. 122.

Just so you know, approximately 3,000 girls take part in scouting activities in the Treasure Valley. 

Calling all volunteer managers
The acronym is a mouthful — SWIDOVS. But that stands for a group you ought to know about. The Southwest Idaho Directors of Volunteer Services is a professional development and networking group for volunteer management professionals.

The group meets regularly, the third Thursday of each month. The next meeting is  8-9:30 a.m., Thursday (Feb. 19), at the Idaho Food Bank, 3562 S. TK Ave. in Boise. Join others to share and learn about the latest trends in managing volunteerism locally — and around the country. For more: Sandi Borup at 489-4916.


Turning a page: The great African American Read-In
The Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English sponsors a local African-American Read-In, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Boise State Student Union's Brava! Stage in the dining area.

This event is free, with the purpose of making the celebration of African-American literature a part of February's Black History Month activities.

Organizer Dora Ramirez-Dhoore said the read-in is casual. Students, professors and staff members have signed up to read sections of works by Rita Dove, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison and more. African American students will also read their own work. 

For more information: Dora Ramirez-Dhoore: 426-7081.  

A film to celebrate International Women's Day
"A Powerful Noise" is a documentary about three women, a widow in Vietnam, a mother in Bosnia and a mother in Mali. In March, the film will be simulcast to more than 450 theaters across the country, including one in Boise.

The local screening is 6 p.m. (M.S.T.), Thursday, March 5, at the Boise 21 Plus IMAX, 7701 W. Overland Rd.

A town hall discussion, with leading experts and celebrity activists for women's and girls' global poverty issues will also be simulcast after the documentary.  

Get tickets at the IMAX box office, or online. The website will also give you a sneak preview of the film.

I don't want to be a dirt clod NOR a NON-PROFIT.

When I have two shillings and sixpence to throw in my bag of doubloons I will call the Cratchit boy. I'm also a diabetic and those cookies cost too much. Sorry.

To read is wonderful. To comprehend art. Falling back to whatever you believed in is NORMAL.