Idaho winters are known for being harsh and cold — a fact which makes the need for winter gear and clothing in the state all the more necessary. And on the Fort Hall Reservation, which is home to 70 percent of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ 5,300 enrolled members, the need for such items is great.
Since early November, Jerry Buie, a therapist and the co-director of gay and bisexual men’s spirituality group Queer Spirit, has been collecting winter wear for residents of the 544,000 acre reservation, located between American Falls, Blackfoot and Pocatello. He has taken up the collection with the assistance of Clyde M. Hall, one of the tribes’ elders a long-time Queer Spirit member. The group is currently one of six across the country holding such drives.
Although Buie noted that the group has received many donations so far, he added that he and Hall still need to find more winter garments.
“We’ve already sent out one Suburban full of clothes, boots, gloves and coats,” he said. “My understanding from talking to Clyde is that it went very quickly.”
To meet this need, Buie has extended the drive through Dec. 7 (it was initially to end on Nov. 28) and added a drop off point — his office at Pride Counseling, 231 E. 400 S., Ste. 208. Donations may be left here Monday from 10 a.m.– 6 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Currently, Buie said the reservation needs winter gear such as coats, hats, gloves, boots and scarves. The following sizes are also needed: adult large, extra large and plus sizes and all childrens’ sizes. New and gently used items are acceptable.
“We all have those extra coats and jackets we don’t use anymore, so we might as well put them to good use,” said Buie.
For more information, call Jerry Buie at 801-557-9203.