BOISE -- Community Cares Day is just a few days away. It's a day where we, as a community, come together to help those in need. The Idaho Foodbank is one of the organizations that strive to help the hungry year round.
Birthdays are a day to celebrate life. For Aidan Simmonds, his last two birthdays were not about him.
"I didn't actually really need the toys that everybody was going to give me," said Aidan Simmonds.
That is why he asked his friends to not buy gifts, but rather write a check to the Idaho Foodbank.
"I just wanted to give money to people that actually need food," said Aidan Simmonds.
He raised $185 dollars, enough for 555 meals! That was last year for his 7th birthday. This year, for his 8th birthday, he was at it again.
"I donated all my birthday money to the foodbank," said Aidan Simmonds.
Relatives gave him $70 and his parents matched it.
"He cares about people,” said his mom Tabatha Simmonds. “He's just a sensitive kid and he really wanted to help kids that didn't have any food or were hungry or just needed a little extra help.”
Across town, Teri Mahler has the same mindset.
"If you have food to share, you should share it," said Mahler.
She grew up watching the Carol Burnett Show and always remembered her saying, "I think we're here for each other.”
"It was my birthday and my husband was having a party and I asked people, I asked him to ask people to not bring any presents, just bring food to donate to the Foodbank," said Mahler.
That first year, she and others donated 88 pounds of food to the foodbank. That was 12 years ago. Her birthday party now has grown into something much more; it is now a carnival in their cul-de-sac.
Every year, around October, they bring in a band, a bounce house and have a chili feed. They ask those who come, to donate food and money to the foodbank.
"I think overall they've done a great job keeping up with the need here, and that's what is most important to me, is to serve the people that need," said Mahler.
All total, Malher and her neighbors have donated more than 10,000 pounds of food and $11,000. President and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank Karen Vauk recognize the sacrifices of these families.
"Those donations make a difference, that's what adds up to make this organization prosper and be able to help those who are in need," said Vauk.
Simmonds and Malher are just two stories of people who give. There are also several organizations who contribute sizable amounts, each one a huge lift to an organization that needs to raise more than $5 million every year to feed the hungry.
"It's not so much the size of the donation,” said Vauk. “It's the meaningful intent behind the donation.”
That's why Community Cares Day is so important to the foodbank. It's thousands of little donations from neighbors helping neighbors.
"This is an opportunity I think, publically, to acknowledge the difference that they're making in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across Idaho," said Vauk.
The fifth annual Cares Day will take place December 8, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
KTVB will broadcast live and accept donations at the Idaho Center in Nampa, KTVB Studio in Boise, and Fred Meyer stores in Twin Falls and Eagle.
All donations will be split among the Idaho Foodbank, Salvation Army of Ada County, Nampa, Caldwell, and Twin Falls, Jubilee House, Boise Rescue Mission, Lighthouse Rescue Mission, and City Light Home for Women and Children.
We will be accepting non-perishable food items and cash donations to help Idaho families in need.
If you cannot make it to the event but would like to help, you can make a secure $10 donation by texting 7CARES to 50555 from your mobile phone, click here to choose an amount to give online, tap on Cares Day in any of KTVB apps, or go to our Facebook page.