BOISE, Idaho — During last year's State of the City address, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter announced Boise Kind Day. The idea behind the community-wide initiative was to help spread and encourage the values that make Boise such a special place.
On Saturday, that initiative came to fruition with over 500 volunteers at various events around the Treasure Valley. The events included building a new exhibit at Zoo Boise, sorting recycling to raise money for the Idaho Humane Society, and a block party at the downtown YMCA.
"It's very polite and makes you feel happy to help, Helen Sullivan, who volunteered at Zoo Boise, said. "It makes me feel happy, happy to be here in Boise, Idaho and be able to share this."
At Zoo Boise, 164 volunteers helped build a brand new exhibit by putting the finishing touches on one of the enclosures for the new Gongorosa exhibit.
"So they were helping with building a sustainable farming area that's very similar to what you would find in Mozambique, Africa," Tierney Ball, the volunteer coordinator at Zoo Boise, said.
This is one of the few times that the public could help building a new exhibit.
"They were working on putting the finishing touches on stuff, they were entering sand in some of our exhibits, putting in mulch, moving rocks, leveling things out, building boxes in our farming area, painting, all sorts of great things like that," she said.
The Idaho Humane Society also wanted to put Boise's values on full display on Saturday by sharing more information on how people could get involved with the non-profit throughout the year.
"So we crafted a couple of videos where kids could give back with their parents supervising, like shelter treats for our dog, catnip toys for our cats," Kristine Schellhaas said.
With 'Boise Kind Day,' she says the event serves as a platform for even more volunteering.
"I feel like a lot of people really want to get involved and give back to different organizations but they don't really know how to, so Boise Kind Day really gave us a platform to say 'hey we take volunteers and here's some ways that you can give back," she said.
Volunteers also sorted aluminum cans for the shelter, that will be taken to a recycling center to raise money for the Humane Society. Recycling cans brings in about $9,000 for the shelter a year.
In downtown Boise, the inaugural 'Boise Kind Day' was welcomed with celebrations at the YMCA. The block party was complete with music, food, and games for everyone.
"I think it's important for everyone to feel welcomed, no matter who they are, no matter how long they've been here or where they come from or what their circumstances and it's good for the community to come together and celebrate that core value of kindness," Dave Morris said.