For those in the main stream media that constantly harp on Idaho's past brush with a scattered few Nazi types, Bite me. The true spirit of Idahoans surfaced late this week, as the news that our local food bank had been burgled. A security camera caught views of two or more young people, just after 4:00 am, Thursday Morning. Entering the office for the day, Athol City Clerk, Charlotte Hooper, found to her dismay, three doors broken into. With the key apparently in a place that was discovered by the punks, they opened the safe and took all the cash and approximately $3500 worth of Fred Meyer shopping cards, all activated. That was then, this is now. As of my last available report, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department had in custody, one of the alleged perpetrators, with knowledge of the others involved. Their Christmas will be spent in jail.
When the news broke, Thursday, donations started to trickle in. By Friday, it was a torrent. People drove for miles to either go Christmas shopping for the people that were to depend on the missing gifts, or to drop off money. I sat and watched as one after the other, folks waited patiently in line behind those waiting for assistance. When one man's turn came, he handed Charlotte Hooper, Food Bank director, two crisp one hundred dollar bills, turned on his heel and walked out of the office. Some were the Who's Who of our area, some were kids that wanted to give back, and everyone in between.
Silverwood Theme Park donated an amount equal to the estimated stolen cards, plus two pallets of stuffed toys and t-shirts. The Shoshone County Sheriff's Department, took the seats out of a prisoner delivery van, filled it with things they had gathered for local people and drove it all down to Athol. Rathdrum Food Bank donated $1000 worth of food. This my friends, is the real North Idaho.
By the end of office hours Friday, donations had totaled over $15,000 in the two days following the break-in. At this writing, I have mused that in all probability, the givers were the biggest winners. To those nose high in the air, Eastern reporters and editors that think we are all knuckle dragging, mouth breathers here in our part of the Country? Again, Bite Me!
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
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