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Joy in service at Humanitarian Center

This is the time of year when many people increase their focus on service to others.

The Idaho Falls Humanitarian Center provides that opportunity. They serve 140 agencies from Salmon to Driggs to Pocatello.

Hundreds of volunteers do everything from tying quilts for The Haven, to making homeless matts for men’s shelters so when they run out of beds, the matts can be placed under sleeping bags on floors.

They are made out of about 1,000 grocery bags and women crochet these into these matts.

Volunteers make folder games for homeless children and lots of hygiene kits for many agencies. It’s rewarding for volunteers like Shane Ackerschott.

“I was hurt a couple years back and really didn’t know where to turn and I was introduced to the Humanitarian Center and first couple times I came, I fell in love with tying quilts,” Ackershott said.

Many senior citizens find this opportunity incredibly rewarding.

“It’s very rewarding to work and help those who have needs,” Cindy Branson said.

One of the items they make here are these weighted blankets, filled with seven pounds of rice. They are especially comforting for kids with autism.

Even if people don’t volunteer at the shelter they can help by collecting things and bringing them to the shelter.

They could do a paper drive and pick up paper towels, diapers, toilet paper.

A drive collecting cleaning supplies would also be helpful.

Volunteers say this kind of service enriches their lives, and it some cases saves their life.

“We all come together,” Ackershott said. “We talk with one another. We feel love. We feel like a family here. It’s just been a blessing. It’s totally saved my life.”

They can always use more volunteers. For information about the Humanitarian Center and other volunteer opportunities go to

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