Idaho State Veterans Home gives out presents to homeless
BOISE - For nearly a decade, homeless families in our community have received warm clothes, thanks to the help from the Idaho State Veterans Home.
Over the course of this year, the home has been gathering donations to hand out to the most vulnerable, which includes Idaho's veterans.
Volunteer Coordinator Phil Hawkins organized the effort eight years ago to ensure homeless veterans in our community received warm clothes, such as socks, gloves, and long johns. However, over the years it has turned into something more.
"We all need to do it. We got people, outreach is everywhere," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said at one point, just a few weeks ago, they weren't sure if they were going to be able to fill the need, but a last-minute push by generous people in the community has changed all of that.
"This is by far the most that we've ever received. We're pretty excited about it," Hawkins said.
He's not the only one, Ray Carleton with the Boise Rescue Mission is amazed with the support they've received this year.
"I would imagine it has an impact on over 300 people," Carleton said.
Hawkins told KTVB they started wrapping the presents the weekend after Veterans Day and finished up last weekend. In the end nearly 500 presents.
"All the time we were doing this I would putting gifts in everybody's office. I would go around 'may I please put stuff in your office' and then I had to remember where everything was at," Hawkins said.
The gifts will be presented to organizations like the Women's and Children's Alliance, The Boise Rescue Mission and progressive homes.
"You know you re-establish pride with people and then they want to have pride in themselves and it makes them want to change," Carleton said.
Whatever presents are left at the end of Friday will be used as prizes for veterans on their Christmas Eve bingo night at the State Veterans Home.