The Assistance League of Boise (ALB) and St. Luke’s Children at Risk Evaluation Services (CARES) are joining together to enhance the distribution of essential clothing and personal care items for vulnerable children being evaluated at the St. Luke’s CARES clinic. Through a shared passion of aiding children impacted by abuse and neglect, the new partnership between St. Luke’s CARES and ALB, also includes the Garden City Police Department.
The St. Luke’s CARES clinic is a nationally accredited child advocacy center that provides evaluations for children who are victims of abuse, neglect or exposure to domestic violence, and support and resources to their protective parents/guardians. The CARES Closet was established to provide basic needs for these children and families such as clothing, bedding, and hygiene items in the Treasure Valley and surrounding counties.
Due to the high demand of items needed from the closet, it couldn’t be adequately maintained through the St. Luke’s CARES team alone. The partnership has created a new inventory system for the closet and increased the stock of clothes on hand. This improvement will also enable law enforcement and health and welfare partners to utilize the closet 24/7 to provide clothing and items for the children and families they’re working with.
In 2021, the CARES Closet was able to provide necessary items to around 100 children being evaluated at St. Luke’s CARES clinics. This year, they estimate they’ll be able to provide clothing for many more children.
“The ALB has been busy organizing and stocking the closet with all sizes, from newborns to teens," said Molly Kaczmarek, practice manager for St. Luke’s CARES/FACES Clinic. "Thanks to this partnership and new inventory, we have a goal of providing basic clothing needs to over 500 children being evaluated in our CARES clinics in 2022.”
Garden City Police Chief Rick Allen, who is also a member of the ALB advisory board, says that the CARES team and ALB have become great partners with law enforcement.
“I had a front row seat to the amazing work of their volunteers," he said. "Recognizing the dedication of these volunteers, I asked that ALB partner with St. Luke’s CARES and fill that gap in needed items for the closet.”
Lynn Mounier, VP of marketing for ALB says that it was an honor to be asked by local police and St. Luke’s to form this partnership.
“This will impact the lives of so many children in our community in such a positive way, which is what our organization is all about," she said. "The closet will truly have an immediate and daily impact on aiding the underserved and at-risk children in our community.”
The CARES Closet exists due to the support and generosity of the community. Financial donations are preferred as they allow the team to purchase items most needed based on current inventory. Donations can be made through the St. Luke’s Health Foundation at (208) 381-2123 – please specify it is for the CARES Closet. Other helpful donations include school-aged kids clothing such as leggings, pants, shirts, underwear, shoes, and winter coats. All items must be new. Please contact the St. Luke’s CARES clinic at (208) 577-4460 regarding donations of clothing.
St. Luke’s CARES (Children at Risk Evaluation Services) is a nationally accredited child advocacy center that provides medical, forensic interview and victim advocacy services to children who have been victims of child abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. CARES was established in 1989 to provide children with a sensitive, kid-friendly, expertly staffed environment to be evaluated. In 2021, St. Luke’s CARES evaluated almost 1,700 children in the Treasure Valley and surrounding counties.
Assistance League of Boise is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is a chapter of National Assistance League®. The mission is transforming lives and strengthening our community through our nine philanthropic programs attempting to meet previously underserved needs in Ada County. Our funds are raised and spent locally to meet the growing needs of our community. Since its charter in 1980, Assistance League of Boise member volunteers have consistently provided quality service to Ada County. During the 2018-2019 year, nearly 350 members contributed over 60,000 hours to serve over 21,000 children and adults in our community.
Taylor Reeves is St. Luke's public relations contact for the Treasure Valley.