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It Takes a Community

Resources for people in need

By Abigail Thorpe

As winter is upon us and the cold is setting in, there is even more need in our community for help and support. Particularly this year, as the added stress of COVID and limited social engagement has led to a sad rise in domestic violence and abuse cases.

Boundary County has many volunteer and community-led organizations that are focused on lending a helping hand, whether it’s financial need, food and household goods, or family coaching. The Community Action Partnership (CAP) office in Bonners Ferry provides energy programs to assist with heating and electrical costs, food banking with curbside assistance that is easy to sign up for, weatherization application services, and family coaching and development opportunities for individuals looking for support.

“In order for us to accomplish our goals that aim to help people lift themselves out of poverty, we lean on the shoulders of great volunteers—these folks that come to faithfully serve out of the kindness of their hearts,” says Liz Bigsby, who heads up Bonners Ferry CAP. “It takes a community to fight poverty, and when you do it together, it’s a win-win for all.”

In addition, the Care-N-Share Program helps to provide gifts and goods for children in need over the Christmas season and throughout the year. Many local businesses participate, and families in need can apply through the Facebook group @CarenShareBonners for assistance. Care-N-Share relies on donations to serve local families in need, and 100 percent of donations go to local families. People can donate a gift at one of the collection boxes around town, mail in a donation, or sponsor a child from the tree at Mountain West Bank or by calling Linda Lederhos at 208.290.1483. “We are blessed to have had several children that were on the program come back after they are grown and help,” says Lederhos. “To see the gratefulness on the parents’ faces is so wonderful.”

Hope House at the northwest corner of Roosevelt and Division in Moyie Springs has been providing clothing, food, household goods, baby items and more to residents of Boundary County for several years now. There are no strings attached, though the nonprofit is designed to help, not support.

Finally, Boundary County Give & Receive Facebook page was started out of an outpouring of support for those in need in the community. It’s a safe, non-judgmental place to request something you or someone you know is in need of but can’t afford. Individuals then work together to find ways to help those in need, whether it’s donating a used piece of furniture, helping with food or assisting with finding a new home for someone.

These are just a handful of several nonprofits and organizations helping throughout Boundary and Bonner counties. If you are in need, reach out, and if you have the ability, lend a helping hand. It takes a community to help those in need.

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