Nothing else I could do for Christmas would top this feeling.
I wasn’t the only one making the delivery. Two homeowners who opened their homes for the tour, two representatives from our ticket vendor RE/MAX Prestige, and my husband and two oldest kids came too. We got a tour of Promise Ridge, which is also the Minnie Hitt house.
I haven’t mentioned this before, but it is awfully fitting that our recipient was an emergency shelter housed in a historic mansion. It was built for Minnie Hitt, a woman ahead of her time who experienced financial prosperity by working as a savvy banker in a time when most women weren’t professionals. I can imagine her smiling down on Promise Ridge and the work they’re doing with women.
On the tour we saw the communal family room and kitchen and a few of the private rooms. Some of these rooms consist of just a bunk bed for a mom and her child, but others are full of bunk beds where multiple families bunk together. Seven families can live in the home at once, and everyone shares two bathrooms.
The woman giving us the tour was Amanda, who manages daily operations. She started out living in Promise Ridge; after eight years of renting a home in Nampa, the house went up for sale, and she and her two-month-old daughter found themselves with no place to stay.
A few bumps in the road and a trek across the state later, and Amanda found herself living at Promise Ridge. Because of her natural abilities—likeability, a listening heart, and maturity—she secured her job there, where today she makes a living helping other women get back on their feet. Just like Promise Ridge helped her get back on hers.
Amanda helps each woman set measurable goals that will help her achieve independence in 90 days or less. Since Promise Ridge opened in May 2017, they’ve served 27 to 30 families.
If the true measure of a community is the way it treats those in need, I hope ours will be judged on two things: The incredible, unexpected support locals gave to the Historic Homes for the Holidays tour, and the way Promise Ridge extends a hand UP to women who want a better life for their families. This is service at its finest, and I thank you, all of you, for your support and for the chance I’ve had to watch all this unfold.
Merry Christmas! •