Serving Those Who Serve
As it says on their website, CDAIDE
is “serving those who serve”. More specifically, this area nonprofit focuses on outreach to our Coeur d’Alene area restaurant and hotel workers. Their vital support provides resources and emergency financial assistance to the individuals and families who rely on service work to make a living. Learn the facts about CDAIDE
and the service industry they support at the Democrat Club. Rebecca Smith, Board President of CDAIDE,
will be our presenter this Friday. You can hear her, on October 11, at the Iron Horse Bar and Grill
CDAIDE is an independent, community-based nonprofit. It originated as part of the strategic planning process of First Presbyterian Church
in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
In 2014, First Presbyterian began a yearlong process to discern its future mission outreach. As a part of this effort, First Pres gathered input on community needs from local leaders and organizations. One result of this process was a decision to create an outreach program to workers in the hospitality industry, who are among the most under served in our community. Given First Pres’s downtown location, they also happen to be their neighbors.
“Hospitality workers form one of the hardest-working yet most fragile groups in our community. Whether they are servers, cooks, dishwashers, cleaners, receptionists, or others, they often struggle with limited income and assets, lack of insurance, and an absence of the resources their families need. In our area, many face a seasonal work cycle, with a long winter of reduced work and pay. Unexpected medical expenses, auto breakdown, or a lapsed rent payment can spell crisis, even homelessness or job loss, for them. Until now, they were not being served by any specific organization. Our support may include financial aid for urgent needs, access to health care, connection to community resources, mentoring, counseling, and other measures to meet individual needs. All of our services are offered with no strings attached.”
About Rebecca Smith
Rebecca has extensive experience in nonprofit development. In fact, she founded or co-founded several nonprofits. Before relocating to North Idaho, she helped to found the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, the Patterson Park Public Charter School, and the Baltimore Education Coalition. She moved to Coeur d’Alene in 2011. Since then, Rebecca co-founded the Raising Idaho Standards for Education for which she currently serves as chair.
Rebecca also teaches college English at Gonzaga University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brown University and a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. While her background is primarily in education, Rebecca feels passionately about using her skills in nonprofit startups to lay the groundwork for forwarding the vital mission of CDAIDE to serve this hard-working, yet vulnerable segment of our community. Rebecca serves as president of the board of directors of CDAIDE.