North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
Nov.6, 2023
            Nov. 13: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Spokane Fire District 10 Chief Ken Johnson on the Medical Lake fire.
            Nov. 20: Noon lunch at the Bark. Tag Day – all members pick up gift tags for Holmes’ 40 for $60 holiday program for needy students and families.
            Bill Simer reminds that the club’s holiday gathering will be at his house on Friday, Dec. 1.  Details will follow.
            Steve Boharski said the work project at 2nd Harvest, planned for Dec. 4, will be rescheduled early next year.
Happy Buck$:
            Bill Simer and Laura Zahn were happy to attend the EWU football win over Cal Poly despite heavy rain and wind.
            John Mailliard was happy to wear a Marine T-shirt and Vietnam ball cap to honor the upcoming Veterans Day.
            Sheila Fritts was $2 happy to work on an Alzheimer care committee and to learn about a Salvation Army event.
            In honor of the upcoming Nov.11Veterans Day, Jerry Logan offered a trilogy of items, including a Johnny Cash tribute to Veterans and this special poem by Jerry:
As a Veteran and Rotarian
                        Humanity should exchange fact fabrication for Truth
            Humanity should exchange inhumane treatment for Fairness to all Concerned
                        Humanity should exchange War for Goodwill and Better Friendships
            Humanity should exchange tyranny for what is Beneficial to all Concerned
Ex-Foster kids with needs have a Safety Net
           For far too many teens and young adults, “the foster care system is a broken system,” said Molly Allen.
           And for a variety of needs, simple and complex, she said, “This is where Safety Net comes in.
           At the Nov. 6 club luncheon, Allen shared some of the stories, including her own son’s story about foster care.
           Allen, co-host of Dave, Ken and Molly on 9 3 ZZU-FM radio, and Coleen Quisenberry, owner of two local businesses, founded the Safety Net Inland NW in 2008.  Their goal: “What can we do to help our foster community?”
           Allen said her son was adopted out of foster care at age 10.  He now is 29 and has kids of his own.
           Many in foster care, she said, “age-out” from 14 to 18 years old, but “that doesn’t mean they have grown up,” Allen said.  The Safety Net mission is to ” provide resources to stay in school, build esteem, receive job training and handle emergencies when they have nowhere else to turn.”
           So help is available in the Safety Net with its acronym NARK – Networking For At-Risk Kids -- and its more recent program NICK – North Idaho Collaborating for Kids. 
           Allen said at least 150 foster care kids were contacted through the program last year.
          She is well aware that only about 3 percent of the age-out foster kids will earn a college degree and there are many former foster care kids in jails and prisons.
          After going through a referral application process, the former foster kids can get help with a wish list that includes some furniture and bedding, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, grocery gift cards and bus passes.  Donations are welcomed, but the agency also has a list of used items it can’t accept, including things like dishes, mattresses, old TVs or office furniture.  Safety Net has a “Donation Day” in March.
          The agency helped one young adult to get a drive-able car, Allen said.  She added there are limits on the requests.  One young lady wanted a $600 prom dress, “but I said, “how about $200?’”
          Many of the requests are worked through Volunteers of America, she said.
          One big challenge, Allen said, is the soaring rents in the area. She thinks the supportive program at Hutton Settlement “is wonderful,” adding, “Our dream would be to have a big home with a room for each kid and with a house mother to mentor and supervise.”
          Safety Net is all-volunteered.  In addition to Allen and Quisenberry, there are five board members, plus a vice president, secretary, treasurer and a program director, Jenny Hurd.
          With no governmental funding, Safety Net relies on donation from individuals and businesses.  A dozen local firms helped out at a September fundraiser at the Historic Flight Museum.
           For the Safety Net: “Foster teens need to know someone is out there to help unconditionally with their basic needs.”      
           “They need time to grow up and Safety Net is that support.”
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink