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Swinging for 'Safety'

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | December 9, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — If you ever wondered about the impact a few hundred dollars can have on a life, ask Molly Allen.

“You would be surprised how much that can really help a youth,” she said.

That could be in the form of a warm bed, a service dog, a bus pass or groceries.

It could pay for a car repair, a visit to the dentist or insurance.

“There’s so many things,” said Allen, co-founder of Safety Net, a nonprofit dedicated to help those aging out of the foster care system.

Ladies in the 9-hole Tuesday morning league at Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course are all in.

They presented a $575 check to Safety Net at Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty on Tuesday.

“This is an issue that is significant for a lot of board members,” said Ann Melbourn, league vice president.

Diane Turner, league president, said kids who age out of foster care often have nowhere to go.

She and her fellow golfers, about 60 in the Tuesday morning league, want to be sure they don't have to go it alone.

“I personally feel the more kids we take care of, the better off they’re going to be,” she said. “They’re going to go on and help somebody else.”

Each year, the Tuesday morning league selects a charity to support.

“If we keep our money here and help people, we’re better off as a community,” Turner said.

Safety Net, based in Eastern Washington but expanding into North Idaho, annually helps about 100 young men and women, from age 18 to mid-20s, who are no longer in foster care. While most people that age would have relatives they can turn to in hard times, those aging out of foster care don’t.

“They need that sustaining support,” Allen said.

Donations help keep them on the right road and let them know they are not alone. It might allow them to pay for car insurance, which allows them to drive to work, and thus, a place to live.

Safety Net does not hand out cash to clients.

“It’s amazing how we use our money,” Allen said “We have very little overhead.”

She said Pepper Smock, owner of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, has donated more than $35,000 over the past few years to help Safety Net.

“It means a lot to us,” Allen said

One young man supported by Safety Net is attending medical school, Allen said. They will continue to help him.

“We’re never going to let him slip through the cracks,” she said.