Idaho Falls February 25, 2022 The date for this event has been changed to COVID as so many events in our world these days. It should be a must evening for those in Eastern Idaho who have been incarcerated and/or struggle with addiction. It is a yearly event. This year it will be held at the Bennion Student Union Building on the campus of Idaho State University in Idaho Falls. It is a celebration of the process of returning to community.
Are you ready for the new year Idahoans? I hope so because it should be a great one for returning citizens and those who love and support them! In 2021 with the burden of COVID we made great strides! Just a few of those include: Expanded Cookies for Corrections program. More institutions this year and more than 200,000 distributed New board members and staff for New Hope Christian Ministries (our parent 503C3 organization).
Christmas 2021 and a very Merry Christmas to all! Please take the time to remember what we celebrate this season. It is the birth of our Savior. Please do not be timid in that belief. Should you be unsure…. consider a dialogue with a loving God who wants a personal relationship with you! The theme of this month’s blog is to encourage you to become active in supporting those who have been incarcerated.
Each Christmas season has familiar traditions which we all can identify. For me one of the best has always been Cookies for Max! The tradition began inside the walls of the Idaho Maximum Security Institution (IMSI) where cookies from all over the Treasure Valley were gathered and distributed by religious volunteers a few days before Christmas. Those who live inside Max for the most part are restricted to their cells 23 hours a day for seven days a week.
People who have heard me speak know I always address the need to form partnerships with those who can speak to the needs of the folks returning to our communities from incarceration. One strong group should be those who face the challenge of addiction in the past or current. Several of us had the chance to connect with 35 other states in Las Vegas a few days ago. As usual Idaho lags behind the efforts of other states.
RECOVERY MONTH September 2021 Treasure Valley Idaho Each year we rally in different venues, locations & planned events to spread the work about the process of working toward quality recovery practices. This year will be more of the same. Need information on the national statistics? Check out SAMASA We are 39 million strong of those in long-term recovery from addiction so be proud. Some events to consider locally include: Recovery Rally September 4th Julia Davis Park Boise Pavilion
Certainly, those who know me or listen to me at meetings, in person or sometimes on the radio that one of the themes that I share is the need to build coalitions. We have been trying to do that for over six years in the Treasure Valley. I do believe we are making progress. An event happened on July 29th that addresses the issue of importance for this effort to be statewide.
There are times when you need to check just where we are and how much things have changed especially for the better. Last Saturday was one of those times for me. The photo was a tribute to my friend Mark Person (photo with Josh Tewalt /Idaho Department of Corrections Director). The event supported Mark for five years work in support of individuals returning to community from incarceration. We ARE making progress in the work to mainstream issues for those who are making the effort to face their past and become solid members of the state of Idaho.
As we drift toward a new normal (post COVID) what will the Summer bring for the folks who work with the community we call Returning Citizens? Frankly, it is exciting! Hope you are ready because Idaho needs your voice! Several groups are emerging to share the message. Congrats to them. I know it is hard work and difficult to become credible. Look at a group called Idaho Recovery Advocacy Project lead by Chris Mecham.
Open House This Month I have long been an advocate for the need to work through coalitions to support returning citizens in their path to community. Early this month we had an event where it was apparent we are on the correct path. On Friday April 30th and May 3rd St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Idaho hosted an open house to let all see their new offices on Fairview. Note that our lead agency to the public in the Treasure Valley here in Idaho has developed to be St.