Happy New Year! After 4 days of traveling from Florida to Idaho on the train, Claudia and I arrived home at 1 am on December 18th, just in time to spend the holidays with our family. What a trip....some amazing train stations, great scenery and lots of time to reflect on 2020. After 4 and 1/2 months, I'm glad to be home. I've continued my daily walks and the pictures above are from my walks. The miniature Statue of Liberty at City Beach Park in Sandpoint, a view of Schweitzer Ski Mountain from Sandpoint, ice cracks in the shape of a tree in the creek that runs behind our home, exposed rocks along the "Long Bridge" into Sandpoint, and our grandkids on Christmas.
As I reflect back on my journey, I want to thank everyone who followed my ride and stay in Key West. I am very grateful for your kind thoughts, words of encouragement and generous donations to the Youth Services programs of the Rotary Club of Sandpoint. Your generosity helped raise over $14,000 and we have already begun putting the funds to good use. Our Board has approved donating $2,500 to the Lake Pend Oreille School District's “Resource Closet”, a dedicated a space within Farmin Stidwell Elementary School that provides storage of basic necessities, donated by the community, for students and their families in need. The funds will be used to purchase new items to restock the "closet".
Resources including clothing, coats, boots, shoes, eyeglasses, hygiene items and more are collected and made available to teachers all over the district upon request. There is a constant need to restock the “closet”, as the need in our community is great and ongoing, especially in these most difficult times.
Coincidentally Betsy Dalessio, the “closet” coordinator, is also in the middle of a giving campaign through the Avenues for Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to the provision of housing, supportive services, and critical resources for families in need throughout Idaho. This campaign matches funds up to $2,500 for other non-profits supporting students in need. Therefore, the donation from the Rotary Club of Sandpoint, combined with the generous match from Avenues for Hope, total $5,000.00 for the “Resource Closet”. Thanks again for your generous support.