Inspired by a wall of giving three years ago, Valorie Blanchard organized the first Idaho Wall of Warmth as a unique take on a coat drive. Through collaboration with Sunny Harker, the Hall Foundation partnered with the Wall of Warmth to increase its outreach. During its first year of operation, the wall placed nearly 600 coats in the hands of those in need.
Last year, that number grew exponentially to 5,000 coats. Harker and Blanchard anticipate continued growth with a goal of 6,000 coats for this year’s Wall of Warmth. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Blanchard described the unpredictability of weather in Idaho and emphasized why giving coats is so imperative to the function of the wall and to the wellbeing of those in need.
“That’s how you know a native Idahoan or a native of Rexburg is that they’ve got at least one coat in the car. And it could be (just like you said) the fourth of July parade and being colder than cold. I remember a high school rodeo in Rigby at the end of June where it was sleet, and it was the coldest day I’ve ever had. So, just always have a coat,” Blanchard said.
Blue Wall of Warmth boxes for coats and winter wear donations are located inside many community stores and Good 2 Go gas stations. Donations will be accepted from now until December 12 at the following locations:
BLACKFOOT: N. Meridian Street, directly across from C-A-L Ranch Store
BLACKFOOT: Bingham Healthcare, Tadd Jenkins Dodge, Nate Baldwin State Farm, C-A-L Ranch Store
IDAHO FALLS: Action Motor Sports, Austin Kade Academy, Lyle Amado Barbershop, C-A-L Ranch Store, Good 2 Go Convenience Store (4 locations)
IDAHO FALLS: Lincoln Road, just west of Action Motor Sports
POCATELLO: 151 N 4th Ave, in the Streamline Chiropractic parking lot
POCATELLO: Streamline Chiropractic, Teton Honda, Children’s Dental of Pocatello, HUX Gun Shop, The Free Clinic, Good 2 Go Convenience Store and C-A-L Ranch Store
REXBURG: West Main Street outside of the Legacy Golf Course. Just East of John Adams GMC. (Please park at the Legacy Golf Course and walk over to the Wall.)
REXBURG: Idaho's Real Estate, City of Rexburg, C-A-L Ranch Store, Good 2 Go Convenience Store (next to Burger King), Harrison Ranch & Rodeo Supply (College Ave), and Broulim’s.
RIGBY: Tadd Jenkins Chevrolet, Good 2 Go Convenience Store (both locations)
SHELLEY: Good 2 Go Convenience Store
UCON: Good 2 Go Convenience Store
The wall is up December 1 – December 15. Any coats donated during the season that are not placed with someone in need this year will be used for next year’s wall. The managers of the wall request that no regular clothing items are donated with coats and jackets. Snow pants, gloves, boots, hats, scarves and other outer wear are also encouraged.