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Women's food drive gets Boise Rescue Mission ready for holidays

Collecting food drive donations for the Boise Rescue Mission. (Courtesy Dawn Adams)

Early one morning, as Dawn Adams prepares for the ninth year of her food drive, she gets a surprise visit from Angela Nelson of Mountain America Credit Union.

Angela pays it forward with $500 explaining, “Someone in the community has nominated you for all the hard work you're doing to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission."

Each fall, Adams and her friends and business associates collect food and cash that’s used by the mission to provide holiday banquets for Treasure Valley families as well as food boxes they can take home.

"I have to help people,” Adams said. “And this is the way I can help the most people. I'm addicted to helping. And I'm addicted to making it bigger and better every year."

Last year the food drive was her best yet. There were 25,000 pounds of food delivered to the Boise Rescue Mission warehouse.

This year her goal is 40,000 pounds. Almost double last year. Adams can hardly wait.

"I'm really excited about this year," she said.

To meet her goals, Adams arranges friendly competitions among competitors. For example, last year’s top contributor to the food drive was John Hoyne’s ServiceMaster franchise. In fact, ServiceMaster has donated the most for the last two years.

“Dawn is a very persuasive, great lady," Hoyne said.

“This is something we all really want to win," Adams said.

To win for a third year in a row, Hoyne is going to have to step up his game.

“We're going to do something special this year that's going to elevate us back to that top spot," said Winder Buchanan of Servpro.

Traditionally, Servpro and ServiceMaster top the rankings, but with a smile, Adams notes there’s always an opportunity for someone else to knock them both down a notch.

Adams has no paid staff. There’s no board of directors to help with the food drive. And yet, in eight years she has collected 90,000 pounds of food and $18,000 in donations. Jason Billester, the Vice President of Development for the Boise Rescue Mission is amazed at her success.

“She knew that she could help people, just with her influence, business connections and beyond," Billester said. "She reached out to people and the food just started coming in."

It is a testament to what can be accomplished by friends and even competitors.

"She really, truly cares," Billester said.

If you’d like to join Adams' friends in raising food for the Boise Rescue Mission, send her a message on Facebook.

And don’t forget to nominate someone you know that’s doing great things for a Pay It Forward!

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