Kathy Harris


2020. Sort of makes you choke just to say it. A year most of us want to forget. We have faced more uncertainty, sadness, illness and death than most of us have ever known, or should ever have to know.

Yet, at a time when we experienced unprecedented shutdowns, unemployment, and isolation, we also experienced a year of incredible giving. Local non-profits worked outside the box, and figured out how to keep rolling. The impact of this virus had a downward effect on donations to so many (maybe all) of our local nonprofits. But, that didn’t stop them. They figured it out. And individual donors that could dig deeper and donate, did. It was reported that Battelle Energy Alliance raised a record amount for the United Way.

I certainly don’t know everything that has happened in this area, but I have been blessed to witness first hand what an incredible community we live in.

To name just a few, the food pantry and social services office at St. Vincent de Paul has stayed operational. Community Food Basket held food box distributions in mall parking lots. EICAP has kept its food pantries in Rexburg and Salmon open, and energy assistance operational. It was all done differently, but it was done. Shop with a Cop continued. The Salvation Army offered a Thanksgiving meal, and the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen figured out a way to stay operational. And, although they couldn’t offer it’s standard congregate meals, the Senior Center continued with handing out box lunches.

Nothing looked the same, but the good people of this community dug in their heels and refused to give up. Promise Ridge and The Haven continued to provide shelter to those in need, even with diminished financial contributions.

The good people of this community knew these operations needed to continue. It was all done differently, but continue it did.

So, after some reflection, I won’t look at 2020 as a year to forget. I will remember it as a year of resilience and fortitude, and with gratitude for all those that refused to give up.

Kathy Harris keeps busy earning and spending in Idaho Falls, while trying to make a small difference by being involved with a couple of local nonprofits.