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Nampa bar fundraising to turn school bus into home for local family

ladybird bus.jpg
Posted at 8:58 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 11:40:10-05

NAMPA, Idaho — Slick's Bar in Nampa is raising money and recruiting people to help turn a school bus into a home for a local family.

"Six years ago, Dane's family was touched by a suicide on Christmas Day," Sheila Sartorius, the owner of Slick's Bar said.

Not only did Dane James' kids lose their father, but Dane also became the sole provider for her family.

"Everybody has that moment that they remember everything was normal and then nothing was normal again," Sartorius said.

For Dane's family, Christmas day six years ago was that moment.

The staff and regulars at Slick's Bar got to know Dane during the pandemic.

"She came in and kind of touched everybody's hearts that work here so all of us friended her on Facebook," Sartorius said.

As life headed back to a sense of normalcy, Dane wasn't coming into the bar as much.

"We saw the posts about her--the rent situation in Boise and being out marketed and needing a place to live and then next thing you see, there's a picture of this school bus and she says it's home," Sartorius said.

The Slick's Bar staff immediately knew they wanted to help this family, so they started recruiting whoever they could to help turn a school bus from the 70s—which they're calling the Ladybird—into the James family's new home.

Ladybird bus project

One of those recruits is James McCaw who said he's never been part of a project like this, but decided to help for one big reason.

"The kids, they need a place I mean to call their own," McCaw said.

Sartorius said the James kids are special, asking for self-help books and other gifts for Christmas to improve their lives and the lives of others rather than toys. One of Dane's sons asked for help starting a foundation.

"To help, you know, people who are going through the loss of a loved one to receive a monthly package that reminds them that this person is still there," Sartorius said.

The goal is to complete the project in January Slick's bar is still asking the community to lend a hand.

"All hands on deck with this one. None of us have ever--we all kind of know about home improvements--none of us have ever taken on a task like this," Sartorius said.

Contractors, tiny home builders, anyone who has some experience and knowledge is who slick's bar is looking for. Even just donating leftover supplies from a project is a big help.

"A big part of what she wants to do is sustainability so if we could get donated supplies and things like that to complete this project, that would be amazing," Sartorius said.

Lady Bird Wishlist

McCaw said anything helps.

"If anybody out there wants to donate, I mean come down, come and look at the bus you can see, it may be something minute that you wouldn't even think about but to help a family that's had a tragedy is the best feeling," he said.

There's also a GoFundMe for monetary donations.

"It started in a tragedy but doesn't have to end in one," Sartorius said. "Our goal is to see them out, happy, healthy, watch their adventures play out, where they go and what they do and then watching four children come up and be independent adults that give back to the world."

Anyone interested in helping can contact Slick's Bar by clicking here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or text the hotline at (208) 398-4357.