As we know the Boise community is very generous, and it's quite apparent during the holiday season whether that is through gift donations, volunteering or our 7 Cares Idaho Shares event.
What happens after that holiday push is something you might not expect.
The Boise Rescue Mission sees a downward trend in giving during January and February.
“We serve over 1,000 meals per day, we provide over 350 overnight stays,” said the Boise Rescue Mission’s chief development director Sarah Zimick.
That is only part of what donations go toward at the Boise Rescue Mission.
The organization also provides drug and alcohol treatment, transitional housing and work-search programs.
The majority of the funding is received at the end of the year.
“We receive about half of our donations for the entire year between the months of October 1st to December 31st,” said Zimick.
But come January 1st, donations decline sharply.
“I think people who have maybe spent a lot on Christmas presents, maybe the bills hit in January,” said Zimick.
The Salvation Army sees a similar swing.
“We rely on a lot of fundraising in the months of October, November and December, and those donations not only do they provide over the holidays, but then those donations help carry us through the leaner months,” said Hillary Betz, director of development at the Salvation Army Boise.
Both organizations are suggesting a new approach.
“We ask people to maybe give monthly instead of giving just one time per year,” said Zimick.
“The monthly donations they provide stability for the organizations because they can look to that coming in year round as opposed to a larger sum at one time of the year,” explains Betz.
Both organizations say a smaller, continual source of income throughout 12 months would go a long way because being homeless or in need is year round.
“When your homeless, you don’t take a holiday, so just because it is the holidays doesn’t mean you are not going to be homeless after,” said Zimick.