Large charitable contributions for Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge


With the holiday season coming to a close, several businesses are continuing to raise funds to help those in need persevere through the winter months.

In a Dec. 21 press release, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and the Home Partnership Foundation announced the joint Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge has raised over $240,000 from the local community to support participating nonprofits.

Funds from the campaign will support local shelters and housing service providers to provide statewide assistance to the homeless and to improve affordable housing options.

The campaign began Dec. 12 and will run through Sunday.

Donations are up by more than 1,400 individuals and organizations compared to 2016. There are hopes to exceed $500,000 in donations by the campaign’s conclusion.

“We’re thrilled to see the generosity of donors,” Gerald M. Hunter, President of Idaho Housing, said in a press release. “So far we’ve received $100,000 more than this time in 2016.”

To help meet the $500,000 goal, Idaho Housing and other sponsors are matching donations, giving 25 cents for every $1 donated. Partners in the campaign are anticipating at least $200,000 in additional funds coming from challenge prizes and matching donations from sponsors.

“There’s still plenty of time to donate,” Hunter said. “And we encourage Idahoans to come together in the spirit of the holidays and support these nonprofits who work tirelessly to restore the hope of individuals and families within our community.”

Donations of $25 or more can be made at Donors can direct gifts to any of the 48 participating nonprofits, which can be found on the website. General donations can be made to the Home Partnership Foundation.

Application period opening for 2018 Idaho Awards for Leadership in Energy Efficiency

The Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources will be accepting applications through March for the 2018 Idaho Awards for Leadership in Energy Efficiency based on projects completed in 2017.

The awards acknowledge the Idaho companies that exhibit leadership in implementing energy efficiency measures at their local facilities/buildings.

The office is looking for organizations that have made significant strides in reducing their energy consumption through upgrades and programming efforts over the past year.

To qualify for the award for industry, a facility must be used for manufacturing, industrial, agricultural or local government support purposes.

To qualify for the award for buildings, organizations must utilize the building for commercial, educational, local government or multi-family purposes. The award for buildings will be split into two categories to acknowledge buildings larger and smaller than 50,000 square feet.

A list of potential eligible organizations can be found at, along with a link to the applications for each type of award. For questions about the award process or if you would like to apply for either award, call 208-332-1664 or visit the website. Applications will be available online Jan. 8 and are due by 5 p.m. March 30.

DownEast donates mattresses to Idaho Falls shelter

Providing children a comfortable place to sleep at night is a primary goal of any parent. And one Utah-based retailer is trying to ensure this need is met with a recent donation to a local shelter.

On Dec. 21, DownEast Home & Clothing donated more than 20 mattresses to The Haven Shelter in Idaho Falls for women and families in need.

“We will be using these mattresses to ensure that the children we serve and who need a bed will receive one,” Anne Johnson, manager of The Haven, said in a Dec. 21 press release. “As families move from the shelter to different housing situations, this will ensure that their children have a bed of their own to take with them, and that they’ll continue to get a good night’s sleep.”

Idaho Falls is the latest city DownEast Home has helped out, with seven more cities across Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. The total number of mattresses the company estimates it has donated is around 700.

“As we were developing our own line of performance mattresses for DownEast Home stores, we learned about the number of children going without a good night’s sleep,” Bill Freedman, co-founder of DownEast, said in a press release. “It’s heartbreaking and we are committed to becoming part of the solution.”

The mattresses provided to the shelters are DownHome East product called the “Mattress on the Go,” which is a lightweight, portable, and washable twin-sized bed. For each performance mattress sold in a DownHome East store or online, the company pledges to donate one “Mattress on the Go” to someone in need.

“In partnership with our customers, we are giving those in need a mattress that works for their situation, a bed to call their own and to take wherever they spend each night,” Freedman added. “We want to give them the good night’s sleep they deserve. Rest is and should be a right.”

For more information about the mattress donation program, or about DownEast, visit

Reinke recognizes Blackfoot’s Irrigation Systems

Reinke Manufacturing Company has recognized Irrigation Systems in Blackfoot with a Longevity Award for its 30 years of affiliation with Reinke. Irrigation Systems was also recognized with a Gold Reinke Pride award. The dealership was honored during Reinke’s recent annual convention in Omaha, Neb.

“Congratulations to Irrigation Systems on these awards, and thank you for 30 years of commitment to Reinke,” Mark Mesloh, Reinke vice president of North American irrigation sales, said in a news release. “The longevity award is a great reminder of Reinke’s history and the ongoing dedication of our dealers.”

Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada gather each year to attend the company’s sales convention. The convention awards ceremony recognizes select Reinke dealerships for their hard work and dedication to sales and marketing throughout the past year.

The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions and event participation, and market share.

Local credit union celebrates Christmas through service

East Idaho Credit Union bucked the usual trend of a lavish office holiday party on Dec. 9, instead hosting an event for employees, friends, family and the community to celebrate the season.

The event at the Idaho Falls Humanitarian Center was an occasion to “celebrate through service,” with more than 80 EICU employees donating their time and money to what they believe will impact of the lives of those in need throughout the holiday season.

In over five hours, volunteers painted more than 500 wooden toys, sewed nearly 40 drawstring bags, helped in the creation of numerous mats made of grocery sacks for the homeless, and tied 12 quilts. They also braided more than 75 jump-ropes, sewed rice bags for weighted blankets, and helped with other tasks around the center

Along with, catering, material and labor donations for these projects, EICU also donated $5,000 to the Humanitarian Center.

“I am so glad to work with such an amazing group of individuals that truly have a heart of service,” Dan Thurman, CEO of EICU, said in a press release. “The volunteers at the center couldn’t stop talking about how impressed they were with our team and the work we were doing.”

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