Needs of the Season: Camouflage Christmas, last minute donations, and more

Camouflage Christmas for veterans

Tuesday morning, members of the Idaho Air Guard, Idaho Army Guard and Navy and Marine Reserve units from Gowen Field, are at the Idaho State Veterans Home, delivering gifts to residents.

Service men and women will leave some 500 gifts around the tree in the home’s dining room. Many of the same gift-givers will return on Thursday afternoon to help veterans open the gifts at the annual Christmas party.
Planning for Camouflage Christmas begins back in July to organize this event, said Phil Hawkins, volunteer coordinator at the home.

Want more information about the program? Call Hawkins, 246-8750 or 246-8727.

Last minute donations

The Womens and Childrens Alliance still needs donations of gift cards for store where shelter residents can buy clothes and other items. See the full list online.

Boise Rescue Mission’s City Light Shelter for women and children also have a few needs: including inexpensive mp3 players, and children’s pajamas in all sizes. 1404 West Jefferson Street, Boise, 368-9901.

Time is also running out to donate to this year’s holiday fundraiser at Simply Cats. The no-kill shelter has a holiday Giving Tree. Stop by the adoption center now through Dec. 24, donate $1, or more, and choose an ornament to hang on the shelter tree., 2833 S. Victory View Way, Boise, 343-7177.

Here are other local organizations that need holiday help: I am updating this list daily throughout December, so please check back often. (list is alphabetized by agency and/or project). Know of other needs? Let me know, include all relevant details:

The group opened of its 68th annual Holiday Gift Shop for veterans at the Boise VA Medical Center and the Idaho State Veterans. The shop lets resident veterans, who can’t shop for family members because of mobility and health reasons, shop for family presents for free on site, choosing from a variety of donated items. Volunteers also wrap, and send the gifts.

Note, the fundraising for this very important event lasts all year. It’s never too late, or too early, to help out these generous folks.  

Can you help the women of the Auxiliary with a donation? Contact Phil Hawkins, volunteer coordinator at the state home, 334-5000, ext. 750.

— Donate blood, be in a drawing for Fiesta Bowl tickets
This just in from the American Red Cross, anyone who gives blood through Dec. 29, will be eligible for a drawing for a Bronco extravaganza.
Yes, that’s game tickets, charter airfare, two nights in a hotel and a tailgate party.
To find a Red Cross blood drive and to make an appointment, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit the American Red Cross web site:
Local office: American Red Cross Lewis and Clark Blood Services Region, 5380 Franklin Rd., Boise, 429-5808.  

— “Gifts that Save the Day”
The holiday giving campaign helps people give life-saving gifts through an online catalogue at Gifts include food and shelter for disaster victims, military comfort kits, phone card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or a month of basic necessities for a family in another country who has lost everything in a disaster.
For more, contact 1-800-RED CROSS.

The local group that supports local military families, is providing computers this holiday season. Want to know more, or help out? Call 322-6651. Or check them out on Craig’s List:
The sweater drive is on…and lasts through January
We’ve heard plenty about coat drives for kids this season. How about making sure those kids also have a warm sweater to wear under their coats?
Jerry Fogle and Conor Madden from the Boise Bench Lions Club are holding a sweater/sweatshirt drive through the Lions of Idaho and Eastern Oregon district.
The drive will continue through January (meaning you can stock up at post-Christmas sales, or re-gift those sweaters you got that don’t fit). Drop new and gently sweaters and sweatshirts at the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation building, 70 N. Latah in Boise. More info: 338-5466.
The local St. Paul’s Girl Scout troop, partnering with Catholic Charities of Idaho, recently dropped off 40 packages of diapers and more than $200 in donations at the Catholic Charities Nampa Family Strengthening Center.
Families in need, who receive food stamps, can’t use them for diapers, so the need is great. If you can help with a donation, contact Catholic Charities Nampa Family Strengthening Center: 466-9926.

The community has come through with ready-to-eat food, warm clothes and hot chocolate, so much so, that shelter operators are running out of storage — a good thing in this context.
Still on the wish list: coffee, toiletries and bus passes, according to our friend Paul Hatab at the shelter.  
Corpus Christi hosts between 75 and 150 guests each day, who drop in for restrooms, showers, to wash their clothes, get haircuts, or a hot drink.
Bring your donations to Corpus Christi House, 525 Americana Blvd, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more, Paul Hatab at 343-3731. For more about the shelter:
The annual clinic, set to take place in Colorado in March, works with disabled veterans who have spinal cord injuries, amputations, neurological disorders, and visual impairments to improve physical well-being, mental health and self-esteem.
Last year, five veterans from the local community were able to attend the clinic because of donations. Can you help this year?  If you or someone you know would like to donate, send checks to: Boise VA Medical Center, Attn: Voluntary Services (135), 500 W. Fort St., Boise, ID 83702-4598. Please make checks payable to: (Boise VAMC GPF 1013). For more: Josh Callihan, Public Affairs Specialist: 422-1000 ex. 7386.
Drop non-perishable items at any Treasure Valley fire station, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., any time through Jan. 6. Proceeds benefit the Idaho Foodbank.
The always creative Garden City Library has come up with another cool project to benefit the community this holiday season.
Bring nonperishable food donations to the library by Dec. 31, and the kindly folks there will forgive up to $10 in library fines.
Donations will go to the Idaho Foodbank. The library is at 6015 Glenwood St., Garden City, 472-2943.
• Your $25 donation provides two families with their holiday turkeys.
• $50 helps at least four needy families in your community.
• A $100 gift will provide eight families with holiday meat.
To donate:
• Go online:
• Mail your check to The Idaho Foodbank
• Bring your donation to the Pocatello, Lewiston or Boise
For more: contact any warehouses: Boise –336-9643, Pocatello –233-8811 or Lewiston –746-2288.


The Idaho Humane Society’s Pet Food Pantry is almost empty.
The program, which provides pet food for seniors and needy people in the community who often struggle to feed their companion animals, need help.
Cat food, in particular, is urgently needed, as many Meals-on-Wheels program beneficiaries find themselves forced to choose between purchasing food for themselves or for their animals.
Collection sites have been established throughout the valley, and a complete list is available on the Idaho Humane Society’s website at  
All brands of sealed bags and canned food are welcome, as are monetary donations, which are used solely to purchase food from local sources.
IHS also encourages those in need of pet food to visit our shelter at 4775 Dorman Street in Boise. For more: Christine Wiersema: 331-8556.

The group is accepting donations of used books for inmates at local jails. Any and all books will be accepted, but of particular interest are self-help, biographies, educational and children's books. Books in Spanish are particularly appreciated.
Monetary donations to buy books on substance abuse and mental health treatment for local jail libraries are also needed.
Donations are accepted at the Federal Defender Services of Idaho, Jefferson Place Building, 350 North 9th St Suite 300, Boise (9th and Jefferson, 3rd floor) between 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Contact Denise Arellano at 890-6033 or if you have questions about donations to this program.

Jacksons Food Stores and the Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence have launched a new holiday “Give the Gift of Peace” campaign to raise money for the prevention of domestic violence and dating violence through community awareness — and to provide free legal civil services to victims.
Jacksons customers can buy a paper dove for $1 at any Jacksons store, and Jacksons CEO John Jackson will match those contributions dollar for dollar up to $25,000. All the money will go to the Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence.
Here’s the latest on doves sold as of Dec. 2:
Idaho: 9983
Nevada: 889
Oregon: 7032
Washington: 2218
You can also make tax-deductible contributions directly to the Idaho Partners Against Domestic Violence online:

The shelter will distribute gift items to guests (numbering 150 men, women, and families) on Christmas Day.
The shelter still needs thermals (tops and bottoms) for men, and socks in various women’s sizes to be given out on Christmas night.
Sanctuary is set for coats and clothes, blankets, gloves, hats and scarves, and gifts and clothes for kids. One need that remains: packets of hot chocolate and other items on the “Master Supply List.”
find the full list at
Donors are also welcome to give cash for shelter operations, and volunteer their time.
All donations should be new, and unwrapped. Donations can be delivered to Sanctuary any evening after 6:30 p.m. Come through the front-gated parking lot and ask to speak to the shift manager.
Find Sanctuary at 1620 W. River St., and contact the staff at

The Morrison Center at Boise State University and KTVB Channel 7 are teaming up to help raise food and monetary donations for the Idaho Foodbank.
Everyone attending an event at the Morrison Center during the month of December is invited to drop off nonperishable food or monetary donations for the Idaho Foodbank. Collection barrels and a drop box for monetary donations will be available in the Morrison Center lobby.  
For more information, contact Scott Bodmer at (208) 426-1629 or

The program collects new pajamas and books for kids in shelters, foster care and other temporary housing. This year’s drop-off sites: Moxie Java stores at 624 12th Ave. S. Nampa, 3327 N. Eagle Rd., 1760 S. Meridian, 10650 W. Overland, 3301 N. Cole Rd.
Items can also be dropped off at Group One in Eagle, 500 E. Shore Dr.

Formerly called “Feeding Pets of the Homeless,” the group is a national, nonprofit network that makes sure that the animal companions of homeless and needy folks are fed, and kept healthy with medical care and vaccines. The national website can link you to all the sites in Idaho that accept donations. Take a look here. < Since 2008, the group has awarded over $18,000 in donations across the U.S. to care for animals.  
CATCH (Charitable Assistance To Community’s Homeless), is a collaboration of the City of Boise, United Way of Treasure Valley, local   congregations, businesses and the public to help homeless families re-transition out of homelessness. The program lasts six months for families, and works as a support system for job development, budgeting, and more.  
CATCH is always in need of items — the kinds of items anyone would need, moving into a first apartment, no frills, but things like shower curtains, pans, cribs, cleaning supplies.
In addition, CATCH needs help making up holiday food boxes for the families it works with. For those looking to make a larger donation, CATCH needs sponsors willing to pay six months of rent while a family becomes self-sufficient. For more about donations, contact Melanie Owen.
To become a sponsor, or get more involved with the organization, contact Greg Morris or Jan Rinker: 384-4087, or visit: 1276 W. River St., Ste. 201, Boise.

‘Share a Night’ at the Ronald McDonald House
Helping out with the house’s annual holiday fundraiser — helping families with sick children in the hospital have a warm, homey place to stay — is fast and easy. The house is only asking for donations of $10, and you can donate online through this link.

Donations of food and clothing will be accepted at any of the Sal Army’s locations Nampa, Caldwell or Boise, including the Youth Center, 403 12th Ave. S. Nampa, 467-6586.
For additional information please contact Janea Walker at or go online:

The no-kill shelter has a holiday Giving Tree. Stop by the adoption center now through Dec. 24, donate $1, or more, and choose an ornament to hang on the shelter tree. Donors who give $20 or more, can choose from a variety of fun gifts in appreciation for their generosity. Simply Cats Adoption Center, 2833 S. Victory View Way, Boise, 343-7177.
Also note, the Simply Cats 2010 Calendars make great gifts. They cost $16  each and proceeds go towards the cats and kittens in the shelter. Pick one up at the adoption center.

The group’s Sane Solutions to Physical and Sexual Abuse program needs new art items and toys for the therapists' work with abused children.
Here’s the list:
Crayons, colored pencils, markers
Children's scissors
Coloring books
Construction paper
Children's watercolor sets
Wooden building blocks
Contact: Heidi Hart, 345-1170,  For more about Terry Reilly: