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December
1

Doers of Good: I Am Zambia

DOERS OF GOOD: I Am Zambia

"Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects." – The Dali Lama

This is a story about two moms, their mission trips to Zambia with Mothers Without Borders, and the realization that more needed to be done to help stop the generational poverty they witnessed. I Am Zambia was co-founded by Diane Terry and Heidi Kiene who, during their visits to Lusaka, Zambia in south-central Africa, learned that adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable groups in Zambia. As females, they are often denied education and can be forced into child marriage, exploitation, and trafficking.

These two brave moms knew something more needed to be done, and I Am Zambia was created in 2015. With the ambitious goal of empowering vulnerable youth and young women in and around Lusaka, the 501(c)3 organization strives to educate, provide job training, spearhead community sustainability projects, and much more. 

When CBT Realtor® Karen Emerson met Diane and Heidi, she was in awe of what the women and their supporters have accomplished in such a short time. She knew she had to help where she could.

 "When I found out that women in this region often travel over three hours a day to bring water to the village for their families and that they are regularly denied an education, I knew I wanted to help," Karen explains. "This organization is helping through a multitude of efforts, but just teaching self-care to women in the village is a huge start."

 In the short time since its beginning, the non-profit has built a nationally accredited girls' business/entrepreneurship school focusing on job-skills and vocational training under the direction of the Zambian Ministry of Education TEVETA (Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority) program. Their first graduating class of 2022 had 55 students enrolled in four disciplines: food production, fashion and design, cosmetology, and computers/technology. 

Since 2017, IAZ has opened a rural primary school emphasizing literacy for young Zambians, built a medical clinic that serves 17 villages and 25,000 people, opened a restaurant so the girls can continue their learning, built a 3-classroom block, started garden projects, and installed water projects to serve the clinic, the school, and over a thousand people in the surrounding area. They see themselves as a holistic organization, meaning that, although education is their primary focus, ensuring clean water and basic medical care are available helps with their educational endeavors. Everyone learns better when their basic needs are met.

When asked how they've accomplished so much in such a short time, co-founder Heidi explains, "Our U.S.-based administrative staff are all non-salaried volunteers. This allows our donation dollars to go directly to the programs in Zambia. A donation to our program is an investment in an organization that provides not only hope, but successful outcomes for some of the most vulnerable folks on the planet."

Karen loves sharing the message and encourages donations. "Such a small amount of money can change the lives of so many," she says.

To find out more about I Am Zambia and how you can help, please visit iamzambia.org.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we have featured over the last year or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better.

November
11

Doers of Good: Advocates Against Family Violence

DOERS OF GOOD: Advocates Against Family Violence

For Realtors® and staff at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, November means more than the start of the holiday season. For the past 29 years, this month has also meant an opportunity to participate in the company's annual Turkey Tuesday, a fun bowling tournament and fundraiser for a local charity or nonprofit. Past recipients have included food pantries, children's foster programs, and animal rescues. Coming together to serve is a cornerstone in CBT's foundation.

We are proud this year to support Advocates Against Family Violence (AAFV) and our November Doer of Good, CBT Realtor® Johnel Nunes. As a volunteer and financial contributor for over five years, Johnel was introduced to the organization by her son Nathan, who was serving as a board member.

"I believe there is such a profound need for women and children to have a safe place to go in their times of need," says Johnel. "Too many women stay in abusive situations because they have no safe place to go."

Indeed, in 2020, in Ada County alone, there were over 5,500 calls to 911 related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, and child abuse. (Stats from Ada County Sheriff's Office, 2021.) AAFV works to eliminate domestic abuse by helping individuals make positive life changes through counseling, adult and teen outreach, court advocacy, affordable housing, emergency shelter services, and community involvement. Help is available in Ada and Canyon Counties, as well as throughout other parts of the state.

Johnel explains, "There are many women who have transferred from an emergency shelter into homes, giving them new opportunities, not only to grow as a family, but to grow as independent individuals."

AAFV is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), supported by grants, foundations, and individuals who have invested in their mission. Individuals are welcome to learn more about Advocates Against Family Violence and ways to help by visiting their website, www.aafvhope.org, or by joining them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They are happy to have those interested attend AAFV In Action to learn more.

"We all go through storms in our lives," Johnel says, "and sometimes we just need the support to muster the strength it takes to heal and prevail."

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Check back in at the end of the month for some photos of our Turkey Tuesday event and to find out how much we've raised for AAFV so far!

Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

October
6

Doers of Good: Helping Our Homeless Population

Reaching Out to Help

For about five years, CBT Realtor® Ylonda Hays has been volunteering her time – and cooking skills – to feed the homeless community in Boise. She makes and serves chili in the colder months, collects clothing and supplies, shares the message of hope, and does whatever she can to help. We are proud to feature her as our October Doer of Good.

It's hard to pin down the exact number of homeless individuals and families in our valley. By some estimates, those experiencing homelessness have more than doubled in the last three years. Lost jobs, medical emergencies, landlords taking advantage of the increase in home prices and choosing to sell, or simply raising the rent, have all contributed to the challenges more and more families are dealing with across the country – and right here in the Treasure Valley.

Nonprofit organizations, city governments, area churches, and other organizations are doing what they can where they can. That's where Calvary Chapel Boise Homeless Outreach comes in. It all started because, according to Ylonda, "one guy had a heart for another's struggles and started showing up to feed homeless people and ministering to them through a meal and some clothing."

Now, volunteers serve food, send money to help, show up to pack bags of supplies, and visit with those who come to eat. "I'll take my kids," Ylonda explains, "and you will see many people cry because they are longing for their own kids and grandkids. We just try to show them love where we can."

Calvary's homeless outreach is funded by community donations. "We have to help each other," says Ylonda. "Times are hard, and anything we can do to help another human being is a good thing."

To help, visit Calvary Chapel Boise at www.ccboise.com or donate by clicking the GIVING tab on their website. Specify that your donation is for homeless outreach.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

September
23

Doers of Good: A Beacon of Hope

Helping Military Families

CBT Realtor® Kendra Gonzalez works hard guiding families in the Magic Valley to the homes of their dreams. Her time as a military spouse is never far from her mind, though, remembering the days when her husband and fellow Realtor®, Jesus Gonzalez, was deployed to Iraq, leaving the new mom alone and far from family. Fortunately for Kendra, she discovered the Service Member and Family Support Program through the Idaho National Guard.

The Family Readiness Group, or FRG, addresses physical, emotional, and financial support for spouses whose partners are deployed and for children who are missing their parent. They hold fun events for military families, assist with paperwork, conduct community outreach, work with mental health and crisis intervention professionals, and much, much more.

A volunteer for six years, Kendra attends monthly meetings, chaperones at military youth camps across Idaho, and helps plan and organize events for military families. She says, "Now that my husband is back from deployment, I want to be a beacon of hope and support for those wives that have a deployed husband."

She has enlisted the help of her husband, now a fellow volunteer, and recruited the rest of the Coldwell Banker Tomlinson team in the Twin Falls area to help at FRG's first Candy Corn Fall Carnival for service members and their families.

According to Sonya Nowland, Soldier and Family Readiness Specialist for the region, the carnival will be held on October first at the Twin Falls Amory and will feature chili, hotdogs, and lots of candy. Kids will be able to get their faces painted, play in a bounce house, and participate in fun games including a cake walk, a duck pond game, bean bag toss, and a photo booth. Costumes are welcomed but not required. The CBT team will be on hand to help with the games, serve food to the families, hand out candy, and assist wherever they can.

Of the organization, Sonya, who has been in her position for 19 years, explains that "all the services we provide are open to all branches of service. We also assist with veterans who are no longer wearing the uniform." 

For her part, Kendra sums it up this way: "Supporting FRG makes me feel happy. It fills my heart that I am giving back to the military."

To volunteer with FRG or to find out what you can do to help military families, reach out to Sonya at sonya.d.nowland.nfg@army.mil.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we have spotlighted over the past several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

July
20

Doers of Good: Northern Star Dog Rescue

DOERS OF GOOD: NORTHERN STAR DOG RESCUE

CBT Realtor® Tom Caples and his wife Amanda put their money where their mouths are. As founders of Northern Star Dog Rescue, the couple saw a need and decided they had to do all they could. We are pleased to feature them as our July Doers of Good.

Both Tom and Amanda have volunteered hundreds of hours at local shelters over the years. As a result, they were witness to the number of dogs – dogs that could have been amazing pets – euthanized because there just wasn't room for them. They may have been "long-timers" or have had some behavioral issues that would have taken a lot of time to correct. They both felt drawn to doing more to help, and NSDR was born in January of 2021.

The mission of NSDR is to assist in saving shelter dogs from euthanasia. "That's about 90% of the dogs we save," says Tom. "The others come may come from hoarding cases or incidents of severe abandonment or abuse. Due to the large number of dogs in shelters, located here in Idaho, as well as in other states such as Utah, Texas, and Arizona, many dogs who are not immediately adopted are being euthanized. Most of the dogs we save have literally minutes left before we swoop in to save them."

The organization is 100% foster-based, meaning there is no actual "shelter" location. The dogs rescued from their dire circumstances are placed in homes, which helps them "decompress from the stresses of being in a shelter or from being neglected," Tom explains. "We believe this helps our dogs be more successful in transitioning to permanent homes."

Though most of Tom's waking hours are spent in his real estate business, he is active with NSDR in an advisory role and as the treasurer on the 501(c)3's board of directors. "Amanda handles the day-to-day," he tells us. "I take part in the public events where I am needed most. We've also opened our home to foster some of the more challenging dogs. I dedicate a lot of my time outside of real estate to help these dogs transition into a normal life of just being a dog and a companion. It's sometimes difficult and requires a ton of patience, but it's very gratifying to see the progress these dogs make."

He adds, "People sometimes forget that, like humans, many of the dogs we see are traumatized by the 'system' they get caught in. Showing them a loving home life is critical to saving them."

In the very short time the rescue has been operating, 170 dogs have been saved. According to Tom, donations are the "lifeblood of our organization." In addition to donations, NSDR charges a $300 adoption fee for each dog. Though that certainly helps, "it doesn't cover our expenses for vet visits, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and other medical needs. We have several dogs who have had to have surgeries to improve their sight or correct a deficiency and could have been the reason the dogs were relinquished in the first place. Sometimes, we use our personal funds to cover the costs, and that's one reason real estate has been such a blessing."

Tom goes on to explain that the organization provides crates, beds, food, and supplies to many of their foster parents. "This helps us keep more loving homes when those folks might not be able to afford to do it otherwise."

When asked why the Caples took on such a big task, Tom is quick to answer. "There are too many success stories of dogs that go from no hope to finding amazing families and forever homes. It's almost as if the dogs realize what they've been through and realize they will finally be loved. It's incredibly rewarding."

Of his career in real estate with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, Tom says, "Coldwell Banker has always been a huge proponent of giving back. It's part of our core values and has given me the opportunity to give back. Coldwell Banker's support and love for animals is longstanding. They have had many national campaigns for bringing homeowners and dogs together. It seems to be a perfect fit for me."

In closing, Tom adds, "It's important to find something that tugs at your heart and contribute what you can, no matter how small. Just do your best to leave this place a little better than you found it."

To help Northern Star Dog Rescue continue its mission, visit them online at https://northernstardogrescue.org/ or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northernstardogrescue

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

June
14

Doers of Good: Featuring NeighborWorks Boise

DOERS OF GOOD: PAINT THE TOWN

For 40 years, NeighborWorks Boise has been helping our senior, veteran, and disabled neighbors by painting their homes. 40 years. Over 3,300 homes. More than 11,000 volunteers.

We're proud to feature NeighborWorks and Paint the Town as our June Doers of Good recipients. Joining teams of volunteers painting homes across the valley, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson agents and staff made their Saturday morning all about sprucing up the home of a neighbor in need in NW Boise. From drab to dazzling, the home has a shiny new look, the homeowner is thrilled, and our team is pleased, knowing they did something good for our community and had some fun in the process.

Team leader and CBT Boise office manager, Danielle Cullip, says, "I love leading PTT because I am able to bring the CBT team together to help someone in our community that is needing it. Together we increase the homeowner's property value and brighten up not only their homes but their smiles as well."

To Danielle, "being a Doer of Good means I have the opportunity to help within my community. I am able to lend a hand to those that need it, and hopefully make a small difference in their lives."

She encourages everyone to get involved on some level, however they can. To that end, she says, "Even though the Paint the Town event is over for 2022, NeighborWorks Boise focuses all year to address the housing needs in our valley. From affordable rentals to their Homebuyer Education Program and homebuyer counseling, neighborhood revitalization, and pocket neighborhoods, NWB is a critical member of our community."

To help or donate, contact NeighborWorks Boise at https://nwboise.org/.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

April
26

Doers of Good: Benefiting The Women & Children's Alliance

Doer of Good: Abigail Gibson

The Coldwell Banker Tomlinson #DoersOfGood program is designed to shine a light on the givers in our real estate family, and, by doing so, encourage others in our community to help wherever they can.

We were pleased to wrap up April by telling you a bit more about our #CBTDenimDay efforts to help The Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise. Throughout the month, sold #CBTDenimDay buttons to our agents and staff in an effort to raise money and awareness for the WCA.

Abigail Gibson, a Realtor® in our Meridian office, has been a volunteer at the WCA for many years and suggested we make Denim Day the focus for our April #DoersOfGood program to assist worthy organizations in our community. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Denim Day is designed as a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence. The WCA works to both protect and assist those in abusive situations and educate the public about how to stop the cycle.

"I have had the privilege of volunteering for years," Abigail explains. This has resulted in "many memorable hours spent, showing the change I want to see in our community! The second chance that these women and children can have through the WCA...for a fresh start in life and the opportunity to raise their children with the morals, values, grace, unconditional love, kindness."

The WCA has a rich history in our valley. Since 1910, the WCA has provided safe housing for women and children. In the last 40 years, the focus has been narrowed to provide shelter and supportive services to individuals impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. These services are provided at no cost and span a four-county (Ada-Canyon-Elmore-Boise) service area representing 30% of the population of the state of Idaho.

Since its founding, the WCA's crisis program has evolved into one of the most vital, unduplicated, comprehensive programs in our community and region. The WCA has been at the forefront of providing services to women, men, and their children healing from domestic abuse and sexual assault. Providing safe places for women and children to live has always been at the core of their mission.

Abigail says, "It's difficult to see such need for the resources that the WCA provide, yet incredibly rewarding to see the women share their personal stories of recovery and a fresh start through the fundraising that I have been able to assist in. I loved that they were able to open a second shelter along with dedicating a purple ribbon police car to Ada County!"

The work done by the WCA, their volunteers, and our community will, Abigail believes, "result in such positive change for our future generations."

To learn more, or to donate to the WCA, visit www.wcaboise.org.  

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

April
12

Get Your Denim On for a Purpose

#CBTDenimDay

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.

 

Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.

It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well. 

Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.

The organizations we are coming together to support are:

Boise area:

Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com

Spokane area:

YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org

Tri-Cities area:

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org

Lewiston/Moscow/Pullman:

Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.org
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org

Idaho Falls area:

The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org

To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.

March
9

Doers of Good: Practice Kindness Every Day

Extending Random Acts of Kindness Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day was last month, and many of our agents and staff marked the day by making an extra effort to help others. Rather than spotlighting a specific charity or cause in March, we asked, why can't this be every day? If each of us did one small thing to help a neighbor, a stranger, a co-worker, regardless of the day, think about the ripples of good that would spread throughout our communities!

On February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day, agents and staff here at CBT surprised neighbors with yard cleanup, trash pick-up, and groceries. They paid for coffee and food orders for those behind them in the drive-through. One purchased lunch for a group of law enforcement officers in a restaurant. Still others opened doors, complimented clothing, and put shopping carts away.

Small or large, monetary or not, little kindnesses can change someone's moment, day, and, yes, life. Challenge yourself and those around you to do something randomly kind, not only one day a year, but every day.

We'd love to hear about your random acts of kindness! Share in the comments. Who knows what good you will inspire!

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

February
15

Doers of Good: Featuring The Idaho Humane Society

Doers of Good: Leah and Dave Morgan

The Coldwell Banker Tomlinson #DoersOfGood program is designed to shine a light on the givers in our real estate family, and, by doing so, encourage others in our community to help wherever they can.

Our February #DoersOfGood are a very special couple who have made it their mission to support animals in need. Leah and Dave Morgan, Realtors® and leaders of The Morgan Team at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, work with the Idaho Humane Society doing whatever they can to help.  Leah provided this first-person account:

We have a long-time history of service AND loving animals and like many people, got especially involved when our daughter wanted to get involved as well.  We started with the Idaho Humane Society by fostering animals (cats and dogs) and started helping with the IDAPI (Inmate Dog Alliance Project of Idaho) where we helped bridge the gap between the now-trained dog "graduating" and the family introduction.  It is amazing to see a dog have a purpose, be well trained, AND become a family member! 

As we fostered dogs and cats, sometimes just for a few weeks while meeting possible new owners/family members and helping the dog have good manners with some light training and learning their "issues" and showing them kindness and some structure, we could literally SEE dogs learn they were safe and were going to be treated well. 

On occasion, we would get a call for an entire litter of kittens and their mama who needed a spot until the kittens were old enough to adopt.  We created the "cat" room in our house so we could quarantine them in their own comfy space.  In most instances, we loved every animal and loved the process of helping them find their furever families. When we didn't have fosters, we were happy to just go walk the dogs at the shelter! 

One particular cat that we fostered, an all-black cat, was not cuddly, wouldn't let us or anyone hold him, and over and over the families that came to meet him passed him by. He was very well behaved and rarely would get on the furniture, etc.  By month 13 of fostering him, we knew his quirks and decided to just adopt him ourselves.  That VERY night, he crawled up on the end of the bed and purred loudly – he KNEW he was home!  It turned out that he was our 13th foster animal, and we renamed him Sirius Black since he was much more like a dog!

We continue to support the Idaho Humane Society by doing the annual See Spot Walk, donating, and fostering whenever possible.  There are so many needs and areas the Humane Society can use our help – from doing laundry at the shelters to delivering supplies, fostering, and of course, adopting a new family member to make your home even more complete! I hope you consider making a donation to them today!

The Humane Society is solely run on volunteer efforts, donations, and fundraisers. The largest fundraiser is See Spot Walk.  We've been donating and participating almost every year since 2009 (and twice while on vacation!).  Donations help tremendously, not just money but things like towels, blankets, food, and supplies, and most importantly time walking the dogs, doing laundry, cleaning cages, sending info, staffing the front desk, delivering items, and fostering, to name just a few. 

When you think how much a furry friend completes the home and family for nearly 75% of Idahoans, it's no wonder the need is so great. 

Coldwell Banker fosters a culture of giving, knowing we are more than real estate agents and that community is in our nature. Being a "Doer of Good" and sharing #CBGoodNews reach far beyond real estate. This is the "good stuff" in life, why we want to give in multiple "causes" and believe that we all can make a difference beyond our expertise of buying and selling real estate. We are only as strong as our community, so it behooves us all to do everything we can.

 

To learn about The Idaho Humane Society and explore all the ways you can help, please visit https://idahohumanesociety.org/.

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Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months or tell us in the comments below about what lights your fire when it comes to making our communities better. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/03/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/03/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of INTERMOUNTAIN MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 10:18:41 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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