Idaho Gives: Community 

Donations will support everything from Pridefest to victims of abuse

Nonprofits are to communities what businesses are to economies, and it's hard to imagine Boise without the contributions of groups like the Idaho Foodbank or the Women's and Children's Alliance. On the Idaho Gives Day of Giving, the big winners, then, will be the communities those nonprofits serve.

Take Boise Pridefest. For the last 30 years, it has thrown a massive celebration of LGBTQ culture, featuring guest speakers, drag competitions, performances and, of course, the pride parade.

Joseph Kibbe, a member of Boise Pridefest's board of directors, said he remembers attending the first event at a time when many people in Boise were openly hostile to LGBTQ issues.

"I was that 11-year-old kid who went to that first Pride festival in 1989 wearing a paper bag over my head," he said.

When the festival first started, Boise didn't have a nondiscrimination ordinance or many nonprofits that catered to the LGBTQ community. This year, Kibbe said the festival, which will take place on the Capitol steps and in nearby Cecil D. Andrus Park, expects a total attendance on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, of approximately 75,000 people, and it will feature special guests like music acts Betty Who and Jaimie Wilson, RuPaul's Drag Race season 10 winner Aquaria, and Cleve Jones, creator of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt—the world's largest piece of community folk art, weighing in at 54 tons.

The event is also a locus of other nonprofit activity—it's a platform for groups like a.l.p.h.a., SNAP and many others—and donations on Idaho Gives have helped expand the festival to its current two-day format and increase its support of related organizations.

"The smallest donation, $5, $15, is monumental when you start multiplying that," Kibbe said. "We're able to celebrate as a community longer, or we're able to cover some costs for smaller nonprofits. Those small donations aren't small by any means."

This year, hundreds of community-based nonprofits will participate in Idaho Gives, like ACLU-Idaho, Add the Words, Habitat for Humanity, Chrysalis Women's Transitional Living, the Idaho Guard & Reserve Family Support Fund and the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. Many of them are household names, having dedicated years of service to issues like civil and human rights, housing the homeless and supporting families. Boise-based FACES of Hope is at the forefront of addressing issues before some of the Treasure Valley's most distressed and underserved communities.

"It's a triage center," said Executive Director Paige Dinger. "It provides wraparound services for all types of intimate partner abuse. Through one door, you have support."

click to enlarge FACES OF HOPE
  • FACES of Hope

That isn't an exaggeration. The front door of FACES is robin's-egg blue and nondescript, but through it are resources and social services for any victim of abuse, ranging from Boise Police liaisons and mental health professionals to hotel vouchers and child victim coordinators—and they're open to anybody, on their terms.

"Abuse has no socioeconomic status that can be pinpointed anywhere," Dinger said, adding, "I think a safe space means something different to everyone. There are no strings. There's no judgment. You can be exactly who you want to be, and there are people here working to keep you safe."

The center is currently revamping its elderly abuse task force and establishing a group that supports teens seeking healthy relationships, but said donations of any size during Idaho Gives will go to supporting victims with the essentials: $100 gives a family a room at one of FACES' partner hotels, and $10 could go toward a tank of gas for someone leaving an abusive situation.

"We want to take care of your basic needs," Dinger said. "You're not worrying about where your next meal is coming from. We tell people that $25 will buy a victim some groceries. Fifty dollars will provide a phone. We see people who've lost touch with their families."

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