Giving Back & Paying it Forward
Since the early days of Red Sky, we’ve made a focused effort to give back to the community which has supported our agency and helped us grow. We believe in the power of connection and community, in doing well by doing good. We also believe that each individual finds passion and purpose in different areas. So again this year, we gave each employee time and treasure to give back and pay it forward.
As an agency, we find purpose in creating and sharing stories that matter. Particularly around the programs and causes we support…
Boise Bicycle Project | Bryan Escobedo & Marissa Lovell
Bryan: I’ll never forget the day I got my first bike. It was my fourth birthday, and I was surprised with a black and yellow Huffy with mag wheels. It gleamed in the morning sunlight, and I couldn’t wait to start riding it. This holiday season, I wanted to provide children in need the same feelings I had through the Boise Bicycle Project’s Adopt-a-Bike program. With a donation of $50, BBP provides kids with their dream bike (matching the child’s favorite colors) as well as a new helmet, lock and light. Thanks to Red Sky’s donation and their matching my personal donation, I was able to adopt the following six bikes for Abdul, Amina, Azmi, Colten, Shem and Tanner, respectively.
Marissa: Every December, Boise Bicycle Project organizes a Christmas kids bike giveaway to provide a child in need with their dream bicycle. Local nonprofits, social workers and after school programs nominate children who deserve a special Christmas gift, many who have never owned their own bike before. For just $50, BBP provides a bicycle, helmet, lock, light and a safety lesson. I was able to provide six children their dream bike and the extra goodies that BBP provides. This holiday season, Boise Bicycle Project plans to give 350 kids their very own bicycle with the help of community volunteers and donations.
Boise Police Department’s Victim-Witness Program | Gloria Miller
As a parent, we always want the best for our children. It’s amazing to witness the joy and excitement that holidays bring to children. Seeing our 3 year old’s eyes light up when she sees our Christmas tree for the first time never gets old. My heart goes out to parents of children where this may not be possible. Instead of joyful, the time of year can bring stress and guilt to parents that have trouble making ends meet. This year, I chose to lend a hand to those families who need some help making this Christmas special for their families.
The Boise Police Department has a Victim-Witness Program that works closely with families who have endured tragedy and need assistance during the holidays. Families are selected on a case-by-case basis and are asked to make a wish list for each family member. Many of these items are basic necessities, such as underwear, shoes and diapers. With the $100 Red Sky gave to each employee, plus a matching donation of $100 for employees who donated their own money, a total of $300 will go to the Victim Witness program. Last year alone, the Boise Police Department and its employees donated a total of over $6,000.
Boise Rescue Mission | Sara Spencer
Each year the colder weather brings a sense of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming holidays. From spending time with family and friends, to sitting around the table with an endless supply of food, I have always enjoyed the holiday season. With the hubbub of the holidays, it is sometimes difficult to take a step back and realize that there are many who do not have the resources to indulge in the luxuries that I have been afforded in my life. There are numerous families that are unable to provide a home cooked meal for their family, let alone the Christmas feasts I have grown accustomed to in my life. Each holiday season, Red Sky gifts us with time and a $100 donation to help out our community. They also provide a $100 match when we donate $100 of our personal funds.
Taking inventory of everything I am grateful for in my life I decided to donate my time collecting goods at Albertsons for the Boise Rescue Mission, as well as $200 dollars worth of food and $100 in cash in Red Sky’s name to the Boise Rescue Mission. During my time volunteering, we managed to fill three shopping carts with food and other needed items beyond the items I donated myself. It feels wonderful to work for a company that encourages their employees to give back to their community. Thank you Red Sky for allowing us the opportunity to give back to our community. If you would like to donate your time or money to the Boise Rescue Mission, please go to BoiseRM.org.
Idaho Foodbank | Amanda Watson
The Idaho Foodbank knows how to maximize their volunteers! They have an online registration process, a private entrance at their warehouse where volunteers are debriefed on their task and a quick transition into hands-on packing, prepping and moving food for hundreds of hungry Idaho families. Donning plastic gloves and hairnets, a few friends and I spent a couple hours preparing five-pound bags of chicken donated by Tyson to the Idaho Foodbank. Along with about twenty other volunteers for our two-hour slot, we unpacked large boxes of raw chicken and labeled, bagged and re-boxed the chicken for distribution to families. In two hours, our group packaged 3,600 pounds of chicken that is going to feed 720 families around Idaho. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Idaho Foodbank, register online here http://idahofoodbank.volunteerhub.com/events/index
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho | SPAN Idaho | Chad Biggs
Selecting one deserving local charity is impossible for me each year, which is reflected in the variety of my colleagues here at Red Sky and in our personal giving. So I cheated this year for a couple reasons. Similar to last year, we will be shopping for the most needed items on the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho with our Red Sky match and personal donation. They do a phenomenal job of keeping families as comfortable as possible, in a home-like setting, during challenging times as they seek care for seriously ill or injured children.
This week I also lost a high school classmate suddenly, and reading all of the heartfelt posts and memories about him has been both amazing and tremendously sad. It also is a reminder of the hopelessness that depression can cause, even to those whose character and spirit have no bounds and inspire nearly everyone they meet. WIth that in mind, I will be donating the remaining portion of these funds to SPAN Idaho to help suicide prevention in our state. Let this be a reminder to all of us to enjoy every moment with one another and to take the time to share how much someone means to you.
Salvation Army | Idaho2Fly | Jess Flynn
This year I chose to give back to an organization I’ve known my whole life, and to one that I just learned of this fall. Whether living in Poughkeepsie, NY, Austin, TX, Pittsburgh, PA or Boise…the Salvation Army as a key part of the social safety net was a constant. The ‘hand up, not a hand out’ mentality of the organization resonates with me. This year, I’ve started donating both time and treasure to Salvation Army of the Treasure Valley. In particular, the amazing Marian Pritchett School for Parenting Teens – one of the only of its kind in the country.
This year, cancer has shown up in the lives of far too many people I know, including the husband of a dear friend and mentor. As Robert and his family journeyed down this path he was introduced to the Idaho2Fly program, which uses flyfishing related activities as a basis for bringing men with cancer and other life impacting illnesses together to be supported. In Robert’s memory and to honor his spirit, I was proud to donate to this amazing program.
Spay Neuter Idaho Pets | Tracy Bresina
With help from Red Sky, I chose to give back to pet owners and animal lovers in the Treasure Valley. Although it may not be top of mind during the holiday season, keeping our shelters from overpopulation and preventing homeless pets is helpful to our community all year long. The average female dog that is not spayed will have 16 puppies per year. The puppies are then able to reproduce within that year their own 16 puppies and the numbers just keep multiplying from there. With my combined $300, I was able to spay or neuter four dogs. I was thrilled to be able to help three pet owners with limited funds of their own, who care deeply for their pets and their community. (This is Cookie, one of the four dogs!)
Women’s and Children’s Alliance | Amber Broeckel & Lynda Bruns
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill
Amber: This time of year brings so many opportunities to put others first. Thanks to Red Sky, we have the opportunity and the means to do so. This year I chose to purchase presents and necessities for the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. I also attended a tour the WCA offers called “If these walls could talk” to learn more about domestic violence and start volunteering with them in the new year. All I can say is, what a great organization and resource for our community!
Lynda: During the holiday season, we at Red Sky feel it’s important to give back to the communities that we serve. We are encouraged to support charities that are meaningful to us by using donation funds provided by the agency. As a long standing supporter of the Women And Children’s Alliance, I have decided to contribute to the “Truckload of Warmth” campaign supporting women and children who have left abusive family relationships. Helping women to become self sufficient and productive members of the community only benefits all of us.