In 2003, Hope’s Door Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho, began as a response to the horrific murder of Angie Leon at the hands of her abusive husband. The shelter was opened as a sanctuary for victims of domestic violence to seek refuge before more lives could be taken. It is the only domestic shelter from violence specific to women and children in Canyon County and is part of the nonprofit Advocates Against Family Violence (AAFV).
AAFV works to eliminate violence in families and homes by empowering individuals to make positive life choices through support, advocacy, education, awareness, affordable housing and community. AAFV also operates an apartment complex for transitional, affordable housing; a learning center; a 24-hour hotline; parent information resources; teen outreach; rural domestic violence program and court advocacy besides the shelter, Hope’s Door.
In November, Lynne Lent, Middleton (Idaho) Church community services director, became aware of AAFV and Hope’s Door. She visited the office to get acquainted and find out what the needs are for the organization. There are always 28 families at the shelter, and many come to Hope’s Door with little, if any, clothing and resources. With the holidays coming up, the desire to help was kindled even more, and Lent brought the idea of helping before the board. As a small church, our resources are scant sometimes, but we definitely wanted to help.
With a large donation of food from some people who were moving out of state and some coats she bought and donations of many needed items from several members, the first delivery was made. The ladies were so very appreciative for the delivery. A couple of weeks later, Leroy Cortez and Lent delivered another load of supplies and paper products. It was decided we would take one or two families to sponsor for Christmas gifts.
A tree was set up with the wish list gifts as ornaments and many members took them and bought the gifts. On Dec. 18, 2017, Cortez and Lent delivered another load including the gifts plus hats, gloves, socks, school supplies, craft supplies, toiletries, paper products and canned foods.
Our church has embraced the mission of this organization and plans to continue donating as much as it can. Several of us will go to lunch soon to get more familiar with its operation and the people who give of themselves to help those who find themselves in unfortunate situations. We pray our involvement is doing as Jesus stated in Matt. 25:34–36 to help those less fortunate than we are: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; for I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.’”
Lynne Lent, Middleton Church community services director, and Leroy Cortez, Middleton Church community services assistant