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Finding Ways to Fill Holidays with 'Comfort and Joy' for ID Families

Families living in relative comfort should take some time to think about those in need this holiday season, says Taryn Yates of the Idaho Children's Trust Fund. (emz993/Pixabay)
Families living in relative comfort should take some time to think about those in need this holiday season, says Taryn Yates of the Idaho Children's Trust Fund. (emz993/Pixabay)
December 22, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – As a grant manager for the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, Taryn Yates considers the well-being of children in a host of trying situations. More than 17 percent of Idaho children are living in poverty; others face unstable home lives as parents struggle with mental illness or addiction.

When decorating her house for the holidays this year, Yates caught herself staring at a sign that read "comfort and joy," and wondered how often people think about what those words really mean - and what it what it would take to make them a reality for Idaho kids.

"If Santa Claus could come and just grant that for everyone, what would they look like?" she queries. "What would they have? And I kind of started unpacking that in my head; it just really made me think about what we can do as community members to actually bring that reality to people."

Yates says it's easy - and human - to get wrapped up in your own family when you have a roof over your head and feel comfortable, and admits it's something she, as a busy mom, does too. But she notes the holidays are the perfect time of year to think about families who are struggling and decide on ways to help.

What can community members do to support people in need? Yates suggests starting with your inner circle.

"Maybe I can reach out to my neighbors and see if they need any help," she adds. "Do they need cookies? Do they need a babysitter? And then beyond that, extended family members - and just kind of extending that warmth and generosity on as much as you can."

Yates says her big idea is manageable - if everyone did what they could to help the families around them, there would be enough helping hands to make a big difference in the lives of children.

She originally shared these ideas in a column in the Idaho Falls Post Register, where she is a regular contributor.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID