Saturday, June 19, 2021

Help forge a Pathway to Independence

| October 15, 2020 1:00 AM

It’s human nature to see the empty portion of life’s glass.

To fret and worry about imperfect jobs, old cars, daily problems, election year politics and the added weirdness that is 2020.

And it’s human nature to want more, and overlook what we do have. Such as the average person’s abilities.

I’m neither genius nor fitness model, but the particulars of this brain and body have never gotten in the way of holding a job, easy friendships, raising a family and independent living. I’ve enjoyed — and taken for granted — all of those things.

Listening to someone who is differently abled and who has faced challenges in those areas quickly reminded me my glass is not only half-full, it is full, should I choose to value the “everyday” more.

But this is no pity party. Quite the opposite. It’s a celebration.

Through the years, The Press has sponsored many a nonprofit at annual fundraisers. As a Press family, we’ve attended most — all worthy, all necessary to this community. But here’s an admission: Tesh’s October Pathways to Independence event is my favorite.

It’s the clients. The hope. The joy and determination. Their stories — many reported in this newspaper — are so inspiring and uplifting, reminding me I have so much to value. That something as simple and easily taken for granted as “everyday” independence is cause to celebrate.

Tesh serves people with many different kinds of disabilities, teaching life, job, or interpersonal skills, and connecting clients and families with practical and other resources. Tesh also facilitates community job opportunities and itself employs interested clients, thanks to contracts with local business partners.

Better said, Tesh helps people transform their lives.

Every person has value. Being “different” is unique, not broken. Every person has something to offer this world, and that’s beautiful.

But forging pathways to independence takes resources. And this year, Tesh’s “ask” must be virtual. So if you haven’t already, please join me this week in supporting Tesh’s fundraising and awareness event, sponsored by Mountain West Bank and Kootenai Health.

Tax tip: As education is part of its mission, Tesh donations enjoy an extra tax benefit, so you get back a big hunk of what you donate come tax time.

If you're a business owner or manager, please consider calling Tesh. They provide supervised office services such as cleaning, shredding, small assembly, and mass mailing. And who knows; maybe your next best employee is a Tesh client.

To learn more, see or call 208-765-5105.

Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network whose family threshold is graced by a unique doormat created by the folks at Tesh. Contact her at