BOISE -- It was another incredible Community Cares Day Saturday, as hundreds of people and businesses across Southern Idaho helped local charities.
This year, there were drop off points in Twin Falls, Eagle, Nampa, and Boise. Thousands of pounds of food, and thousands of dollars were given to benefit the Idaho Foodbank, the Jubilee House, the Rescue Mission, and the Salvation Army.
That food and money is needed now more than ever.
We have a lot more people who are struggling, we hand out numerous food boxes every single day, said Terry, a volunteer with the Lighthouse Rescue Mission.
People are going to have an economic speed bump some time in their life, said Governor C.L. Butch Otter who helped out at the Idaho Center drop off location. They're all going to need a little help. I certainly grew up that way with my eight brothers and sisters.
We have people staying in our shelters right now who have said to our staff, 'I was there donating last year at Cares Day, and this year, I'm here at the Rescue Mission,' said Reverend Bill Roscoe, director of the Boise Rescue Mission. It's a hard situation, but the good news is, this is the most generous community on the face of the Earth.
Len Williams from Home Federal helped prove that, when he showed up with an armored truck full of food. We're blessed to live in such a great place. We're blessed to be in a position to help. It's an obligation to help, and we feel great about it.
Carolyn Holly asked Kim Trout with the Idaho Stampede if it was tough to get his friends and business partners to donate the thousands of pounds of food he showed up with.
It takes about three seconds, said Trout. All you have to do is ask. Everybody wants to contribute.
We're seeing the pioneer spirit out here today. When they came out in the covered wagons, they had to rely on each other, said David Cuoio, the spokesman for Simplot, which donated 3,500 servings of frozen potatoes.
But not all the donations were huge, and they didn't have to be. Mike Kasper, with Mix 106, talked about his appreciation for all the donations of a few dollars or a few cans of food. It's not like you have to raid your bank to make a big difference. If everybody just does a little bit, there's a huge difference made.
I'm constantly amazed at people where you think, 'Wow, they just really don't have that much to give.' And sometimes, they're they ones that are the biggest givers, said donor Darrell Humphrey, with Silvercreek Realty.
Darian Stevens and his Boy Scout Troop donated $100. Dee Sarton asked him why he felt compelled to give, considering how many video games that would buy. Stevens answered, Yeah, but instead, this will provide 300 meals.
Nampa mayor Tom Dale donated a trunk full of food. There's a turkey that somebody donated as I was coming out of the grocery store. Someone said, 'Oh, you're going down there. Take the turkey with you!'
Doug Petcash relayed a story about a man who first donated a check for $500 to the 7Cares Fund. He came back just about 10 minutes ago, because he wanted that check back. He wanted to give us a bigger check.
First Lady Lori Otter talked about how great it was to see all the kids and young men and women donating and volunteering. Service and giving is a learned habit, said Otter. You learn from your family, and you learn from your parents.
Dave Petso, with Petso Financial Consultants, donated $10,000 on behalf of his his company. He also encouraged his clients to donate personally. One of our clients just said, 'I heard Dave talking about it on the radio here recently on 580, and wanted to run out here and gave us a $1,500 check.
That client was Debbie Wickham. It's a small thing, probably, for all the people who need help, said Wickham. So, I hope others will do the same.
Kathryn Bausman, the Director of Jubilee House, was at the Twin Falls drop off point.
I remember the first year we did this, and one of the women said, 'I didn't know people cared.' It's amazing, said Bausman. I have graduates come back and bring their kids every year to volunteer, because they said, 'My kids need to see that people care.'
Reverend Roscoe summed up the day of giving with this -- It's the most generous community on the face of the Earth. It's absolutely amazing how this community comes together and helps the Salvation Army, the Foodbank, the Jubilee House, and the Rescue Mission to get the job done.
You can still donate to Community Cares Day. Just text 7CARES to 50555 from your mobile phone to give $10.