Crisis Hotline calls increase 400%

  Tammy Davis isn’t a very tall person. But what she lacks in size, she makes up for in impact. Heroes do come in all shapes and sizes.

 Tammy has been helping our community for decades. She’s currently serving her second stint on Bellevue City Council and has thrown her hat in the ring for reelection. She helped found the popular Bellevue Haunted Forest. She recently resurrected the Building Material Thrift Store, helped found the Neighbors Helping Neighbors movement and has been the executive director for The Crisis Hotline for nearly two years.

            “I love what I do,” said Tammy, who moved to the valley from Massachusetts nearly 30 years ago. “I’ve been a ‘community mama’ my whole life.”

            We’re lucky to have Tammy, since our community has never needed more mamas looking out for us. The COVID crisis hit us hard and number of calls to The Crisis Hotline is proof.

            Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, calls to the Hotline have increased 400%. Thankfully, Tammy and her small team had braced for the battle.

            “You could see the storm coming. Being visible made a big difference,” Tammy said. “With everything happening, any one of us can get overwhelmed emotionally and then we can’t think straight. This is difficult on all of us.”

Tammy Davis is a “community mama” for the Wood River Valley.

            Since she took over at the Hotline, a second 24-hour call-in line offering bi-lingual services has been added and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign was created. Both have offered an olive branch for the Hispanic community. She also helped form the Hispanic LantinUS Task Force, which meets each Friday.

            “We’re still here for you” is the message the Hotline is sharing.  A simple phone call can lead to all kinds of assistance. The Hotline teams up with every organization in the Wood River Valley that can help, from The Advocates to The Hunger Coalition to little know County services.

            “We help people get into their best zone and then help them get the resources they need to remain there,” Tammy said.

            To help support these resources, Tammy recently stepped in to save the Building Material Thrift Store (BMTS). For 20 years, the beloved BMTS was located in Hailey. But after the Wood River Land Trust closed the unique thrift store, Tammy jumped in to re-open the BMTS at 213 North Main Street in Bellevue. This not only saves tons of usable construction and home materials from going to the landfill, it also helps provide revenue for the Hotline and its partners. The new BMTS model includes the ability for customers to select one of the Hotline’s nonprofit partners to share in the proceeds.

            “Were all here to serve this community and make it as healthy as possible,” Tammy said.

When I commented that even though she’s a small woman, she sure does a lot of heavy lifting for our community, she replied, “I may not be tall, but my impact is big.”

            To find our more, please call 208-788-3596 or got to thecrisishotline.org.

By Mike McKenna

Chamber Corners appear bi-weekly in the Wood River Weekly