Santa pays visit to North Idaho warming center

Montana non-profit Santa Saks dropped off 40 backpacks at Ignite Hope

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Santa paid a visit to a North Idaho warming center recently, dropping off donations that will help dozens of homeless people.

A non-profit called Santa Saks based in Montana dropped off 40 backpacks filled with things like band-aids, gloves and tents. They went to Ignite Hope, the new warming center in Post Falls.

Looking through the backpack was like unwrapping a present for the people who help run the center. Presents are things you wish for and these backpacks are like gifts that give necessities to survive the winter.

The backpacks are stuffed with things like a first aid kit, a tent, gloves and hats. Santa Saks rolled into town yesterday to drop off the donations that the Director of Volunteer Services, Natalie Forsyth, described like a blessing.

People like Marnie Nickerson know just how important the donations are. "It means so many more people are going to be able to be helped served," she said.

Marine has slept at the center many times since it opened last month. Ground Force Manufacturing donated a warehouse for Ignite Hope that's open every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. regardless of the temperature.

For Nickerson, she said the center also, "makes it possible to save up enough money in two months to get a place of my own."

The people dropping of the backpacks may not have been wearing Santa hats, but it sure felt like Santa paid a visit.

The center is open until the end of February. Once it closes, the plan is to hand out the backpacks, that way the homeless will still be helped even after the doors close.

If you would like to donate to Ignite Hope you can contact them at (208) 292-3194.