Feel-Good Friday: 'Idaho Man' Gives Hope for the Future through Volunteering

Jerry Receives an Honor (Credit: East Idaho News)

We had a brief hiatus to Feel-Good Friday last week, because CPAC 2022 in Florida was all-consuming. But we’re back on track, and visiting Idaho Falls, Idaho for this week’s uplifting story. Everyone has heard of “Florida Man,” and you know when this leads any headline, the story will be something… interesting. But this “Idaho Man” lead in portends nothing but good!


Ashley Home Stores of Idaho Falls partners with East Idaho News for its “Feel Good Friday” segments, highlighting people who are doing good for the local community and giving them recognition and honor. This week, they received emails and letters honoring a man named, “Jerry,” who volunteers in the kindergarten class at the Bush Elementary School.

Jerry has been such an awesome help here at Bush Elementary this year. You can tell he has a passion and a heart for helping and working with kids. He takes his own personal time out of each day to volunteer in our kindergarten class and help out wherever our busy kindergarten teachers are (or anywhere where we need help). He also helps out with an after-school program, and when he was offered pay, he politely declined as he just enjoys what he does. He is so kind and caring towards the kids and has been such a great asset to our school.



You can see the joy and love Jerry has for these kids as he talks about why he volunteers his time.

“If I’m alive, I’ll be here,” he said.


Not only does volunteering with these yougins give him life, but Jerry is investing in the quality of their lives as well.

“I’m getting paid more than anybody could ever pay me,” Jerry said.

As parents across the nation battle against teachers unions and school boards for control and involvement in their children’s curriculum and education, Jerry shows the way to do this by his involvement and the positive impact it has on the children, as well as the teachers. The Catholic School community in Brevard County, Fla. has long known this, and highlights the benefits:

Children and adults alike benefit from the presence of others. Communities help us connect with one another and feel included. This is crucial for developing children who are learning about the world around them and their place in it. Here’s how being involved in the community helps children thrive.

People do best when they feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Children especially rely on this sense of belonging to figure out who they are. It allows them to see where they fit in and what makes them stand out. Children also need to know there are people around that can be counted on when they need help.


The kindergarteners of Bush Elementary know they can count on Jerry. In turn, Jerry knows he can count on the kids and the Idaho Falls community. This interdependence of individual involvement and community care makes the world a better place.

There is a lot of ugliness going on in our nation, and in our world right now, which is why we need stories like Jerry’s. His investment in these children reflects his hope for the future, because children are our future.


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