The 49th Annual Caldwell Basque Dinner & Fundraiser Set for Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at 5:30 PM

There are many food drives in our valley that strive to provide food to families in need in the Treasure Valley. The Basque community stands out for their 5-star events to raise money for meat as well as other food staples and needs. Their love of music and dance is seconded only by their deep love of family and the community they live in. If you have never attended a Basque event before you don’t know what you are missing. The food is amazing and these are the friendliest and warmest people!

Each year the Caldwell Basque Charity Group holds a dance and dinner to raise money for meat, food and other goods for the people in need in Canyon County. This has been happening for 49 years as of this year and has raised more than $2 million in donations for meat, food and other practical needs for families in Canyon County.

Lisa Gabiola-Weitz, the group’s representative, along with around 25 volunteers helped to deliver more than 9,000 lbs of chicken and pork to various churches in Parma, Marsing, Caldwell, Nampa, and Homedale. “We really try to help those people who have fallen through the cracks of the community,” she said. “we really try to seek out those individuals who have been really hard working citizens and have hit hard times, whether they have lost their jobs, been diagnosed with cancer, come down with  a serious illness, or elderly people who aren’t self-sufficient.”

Caldwell Basque Charities is a charity organization that for nearly 50 years, has used their Basque Culture and Festivities to help raise money to distribute back to the community. They are a group of volunteers that have a deep love of their history and a passion to help the community. Several people in the group are second and third generation members.
They participate in the Caldwell Night Light Christmas Parade, Caldwell Basque Charities Annual Meat Drive, and the Annual Caldwell Basque Dinner/ Dance which is their main fundraiser for the year.

You don’t have to be of Basque heritage to receive help from their group. They take applications for help and determine the best way to help the applicants. Over the years they have bought eyeglasses, artificial limbs, medical procedures, and wheelchairs and mobility equipment. They have also paid rents, bought water heaters, groceries, and things like travel expenses for a parent to accompany a loved one to medical procedures. There are many ways they give back to the community including their Annual Christmas Meat Drive which gives $8000 of meat products to the community.

This year’s event is $35 per person pre-sold. This includes dinner from 6-7:30 p.m., a no-host bar, Herribatza Dantzariak & Oinkari Basque Dancers, athletic exhibits, a silent and live auction, and to top off the evening a DJ with dancing. This wonderful event will be held at the Caldwell Event Center, O’Connor Field House, 2207 Blaine St., Caldwell.

If you would like tickets or for more information, please call Lisa Gabiola-Weitz at 208-880-1952.

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Jannus Seeks Volunteers for Legacy Corps to Relieve Caregivers. Do You Have 10-12 Hours a Week to Give?

As a caregiver, I can personally attest to how difficult it is for families trying to care for a loved one who is critically ill, physically impaired, in the last days of their life, or has other disabilities. It tears family members up watching their loved one suffer and it takes a very strong person to be a caregiver, whether it is care for a family member or not. I did this for my mom for quite some time and it is very taxing. When she finally got put into a 24-hour care center it took a lot of my stress away. Many families don’t have that option or can’t allow that to happen for their loved one.  

Another sad factor is that some families or persons don’t qualify for in-home care from a service such as the one that I work for. It is unfortunate that people fall through the cracks in our healthcare system and for these families acting as caregivers the toll is incredible. The stress can at times be through the roof and can lead to very heavy depression.  

Legacy Corps provides a brief respite for caregivers. Jannus, the company overseeing the volunteer project says that over 300,000 people in Idaho, 1 in every 4, are family caregivers. What this means is that they are the caregiver for a family member and they take critical ongoing responsibility for loved ones who are physically disabled, chronically ill, or emotionally disabled.  

Jannus is trying to get people to volunteer for 10-12 hours a week through Legacy Corps. This allows caregivers to get out of the home for a short break and much-needed respite. The volunteers receive training, $167 a month and a $1,500 scholarship. Those over the age of 55 who work as a volunteer can gift that scholarship to a child or grandchild. 

Currently, there are 3 information sessions available:

  • Monday 1-2 p.m. at the Jannus Building, 1607 W. Jefferson St. in Boise
  • Tuesday 1-2:30 p.m. at the Boise Senior Center, 690 Robbins Road in Boise
  • Wednesday 1-2 p.m. at the Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program office, 411 E. Hawaii Ave. in Nampa

Jannus, Inc. is a non-profit organization that changes lives every day. For 40 years, Mountain States Group has served individuals and families to change their lives for the better. The legacy of those years is people who are healthier physically and mentally, children who gained a strong start in life with proper care and nutrition, entrepreneurs who created companies and jobs, and new Americans who were given the support they need to live productive lives here.

The one thing each of the programs has in common is assisting individuals and families in transition. The idea of helping people in transition is central to everything they do. A dedicated staff of over 130 works with an annual operating budget of nearly $14 million sponsoring over 20 programs.

Jannus Programs:

We educate children and families
We support healthy living
We connect family caregivers with resources
We support efforts to maintain the health of our elders
We analyze policy impacts to vulnerable populations
We coordinate the resettlement and related services to hundreds of refugees in Idaho
We counsel entrepreneurs in development and start-up of small businesses
We support the voice for mental health consumers and families
We understand rural health and work with communities and partners to improve health care access and service in rural communities

If you would like the opportunity to volunteer and help these families in need out please contact Jannus at 1607 W Jefferson St, Boise, Idaho (208) 336-5533

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DCMJ to hand out joints on Trump’s Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. and Boise sees similar protests at the start of 2017

DCMJ, a community group fighting for equal rights for DC cannabis users, growers, and their families, plans to hand out 4,200 free joints on Donald Trump’s Inauguration day in Washington D.C. to anyone who wants them. They will be handed out in Dupont Circle. All the protesters who are willing to will light up their gifted joints at The National Mall at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s Presidency. The 4,200 joints and the 4 minutes and 20 seconds is code for cannabis that started in the 70’s  and is in reference to the term 420 and smoking cannabis.

Adam Eidinger is the founder of DCMJ. His organization worked diligently to get initiative 71 passed in D.C.This makes it legal for anyone to carry up to 2 oz in our nation’s capital. At this point in D.C. pot can only be gifted, not sold.Now, here’s the kicker, it is legal to smoke pot in your home but not in public in Washington D.C., so anyone who lights up at the National Mall is subject to arrest or being ticketed.

Why you may ask are they doing this? Adam says, “We’re defending our initiative against the federal government because we’re concerned that Jeff Sessions will try to overturn our local laws here,” he told CNN on Wednesday. “We’re being proactive to share marijuana, which is our right before it’s too late. We also want to educate Trump supporters that we can do this legally.” Further, he states, “I’ve seen the healing power of the plant,” he said. “I’ve seen so many people get better with marijuana use, whether it’s (multiple sclerosis), or cancer or AIDS. I think it’s a great injustice to put people in jail for something so benign and so beneficial.”

We have seen similar protests here in Idaho when Serra Frank, founder of Moms for Marijuana International and Boise Hempfest event coordinator planned to light up on January 1, 2017, at the Capital Building in Boise at 4:20 pm in an act of civil disobedience. She had been arrested earlier in the week for marijuana possession, possession of paraphernalia and resisting/obstructing officers. Frank has interstitial cystitis and has been prescribed many different opioids, but she says that only smoking pot helps.

She brought out her bag but didn’t light up and when the police asked her to hand it over she complied. There were only about 20 protesters and the protest was peaceful. Frank let the police know about the protest beforehand and it caught the media’s attention. Serra has strong reasons for her protest and states that “This isn’t just about a drug. This isn’t just about getting high. This is about liberty, this is about freedom, this about — medicine, yes — but it’s about more than that, even,” she said. “It’s about an 80-year long prohibition that has been a toxic mess against our society.”

I am not a 420 participant or any other drug for that matter, however, as a caregiver, I see what the definite benefits could be for some of my clients that suffer daily with pain and other debilitating symptoms that could be helped with cannabis.  Here are only 10:

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I really wish Idaho would get on board. The tax revenues alone would be so beneficial to our state. They could put part of that tax revenue into mental health programs, and considering Idaho is ranked one of the worst, 45th, in mental heath care accessibility and assistance they should really get off their un”high” horses and reconsider the stance of Idaho on cannabis legalization.

Please read my earlier blog “Idaho needs to get off the “pot” and legalize marijuana.”

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Shop at the Idaho Youth Ranch! It Benefits Idaho’s Youth, The Environment and Your Wallet

The Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR) is a non-profit, multi-service charity in Idaho which provides “troubled children and families a bridge to a valued, responsible, and productive future” that was started by Reverend James Crowe and his wife Ruby in 1953 in Rupert, Idaho on a ranch. 

Rev. Crowe and his wife started the ranch as an alternative to incarceration, institutionalization, and hospitalization for children. Over the years it has branched out into so much more than just that. The Idaho Youth Ranch gets its support from the revenues of their thrift stores all over Idaho, the first store was opened in Boise in 1982. It provided people in the community who were on a limited budget access to clothing, coats, shoes, blankets, cooking utensils, furniture and a wide variety of other items at a very cheap price. The money was put back into the community for youth programs. The Idaho Youth Ranch also gets it support from generous private donations. 

How it Works:

People drop off their gently used items at an Idaho Youth Ranch donation center, each store has one. The items are checked over and placed out on the floor for sale. Each week the stores have a different tag color that is marked on clothing and other items that are 50% off the tag price. For every 12 cents, you spend you get a point on your Loyalty Card. Once you reach 20,000 points you get $20 to spend in any store you would like. The only catch is you have to spend the points all at once and you also have to pay the sales tax.

Where Your Donations Dollars Go:

  • Adoption Programs
  • Alternative Education for Children
  • Foster Care
  • Vocational Training
  • Family Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Aftercare
  • Independent Living Services
  • Crises Shelters
  • Community-Based Group Homes
  • Therapeutic Residential Programs
  • Employment for Youths in IYR Programs
  • College & Vocational Scholarships
  • Financial Assistance

For myself, I am a musician and being on stage all the time I have to keep rotating my clothes. I became an Idaho Youth Ranch shopper because I am always on a very limited budget for clothing and frankly I would rather spend my money on new strings for my guitar than a huge clothing budget. Not only that but I think it’s wonderful that donations to the Idaho Youth Ranch have kept 2,500 + tons of items that could be recycled out of our landfills. I like green concepts!

Here are pictures of outfits I have bought during the last few months and all eight of these outfits cost me under $40. The skirts ranged in price from $2.50 on a colored tag day sale and the dresses about $3.50 when I found them on sale. The tops were anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00. You may have to do some digging to find what you are after, but the Idaho Youth Ranch keeps things in very good order by size, color and item type.

black-and-white-dressblack-dresscranberry-skirtgreen-skirtindian-style-dresspurple-skirttie-die-skirtwhite-dress

All of these clothes were in excellent condition. In fact, a few still had the original tags from the store where they were sold brand new. At the end of the day, my wallet is happy, and I have done something good for the community and the environment. There are 29 Idaho Youth Ranch Stores in Idaho. If you haven’t gone shopping in one before you should! It’s a great way to support Idaho’s Youth!!!

If you are a child or family that is in trouble or could use some help contact The Idaho Youth Ranch toll-free at 877-841-8141. 

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Big MoJo Shout Out to Holman Transportation For Their Donation of 50 Coats For the Homeless

This winter is proving to be a beast. The last two weeks have been frigid and next week is going to be worse with an Arctic blast headed our way. During the day the temperatures are going to be lucky to peak in the teens and at night we will be in the single digits here in Idaho. For the homeless, this is a dangerous time to be living on the streets. For those who are Shelter resistant, it can mean freezing to death.

Why you may ask yourself, would a person choose to stay on the streets when there are shelters available? There are many reasons for this.

  • A person may be suffering from a mental illness that can cause them to act out or misbehave when they are in close confines to other people. According to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, “An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.”
  • Some homeless people travel with companions or animals that are not welcomed into shelters. For a homeless person, this may be the only friend they have and loss of the friendship can be devastating.
  • People who have stayed in shelters have had their clothing, bedding, and everything they own stolen by other people staying in the shelter.

Bob and Sherry Holman, owners of Holman Transportation in Caldwell, Idaho, stepped up to the plate and donated 50 EMPWR survival coats to Interfaith Sanctuary. These coats are made in the USA, are water-resistant and can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The coat is constructed of durable, water-resistant fabric from Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and other materials provided by generous donors. At a cost of $100 each, this was a very generous donation! After the Holidays, donations begin to dry up. If you would like to donate one of these coats please go to http://www.empowermentplan.org/request-a-coat.
For our first blog, MoJo Sage would like to send a HUGE shout out to Bob and Sherry Holman of Holman Transportation for their generosity as well as to Jodi Peterson, Dan Ault, and the entire staff of Interfaith Sanctuary for their tireless work for the homeless community.

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