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Edible Tree Project uses gleaning to help feed the hungry

Edible Tree Project uses gleaning to help feed the hungry

A young and up and coming non-profit wants to utilize food sources that are already growing around us to help feed Spokane's hungry. The Spokane Edible Tree Project plans to map and glean Spokane's fruit and nut trees to benefit organizations like Second Harvest.


“There's a lot of under utilized resources in our community,” said Kate Burke, founder of The Spokane Edible Tree Project. Still in early stages of development, Burke is drawing on similar tree gleaning projects from Seattle and Portland. Edible Tree will harvest produce from public trees as well as from trees that private property owners register with the organization.


The 24-year-old Spokane native has been working at Second Harvest for the last year through AmeriCorps VISTA focusing on projects like Plant a Row which encourages local gardeners to plant a few crops for the food bank distributor. Burke connected with the Portland Fruit Tree Project at a conference and they have been helping her get Edible Tree off the ground.

University High School students prepare to honor classmates at Homecoming

University High School students prepare to honor classmates at Homecoming

As University High School prepares to celebrate homecoming this weekend, students brace to honor and celebrate the life of two classmates killed in a car crash earlier this week.

On Saturday, 15-year-old Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott were killed when the car they were in left the roadway and crashed into a tree.

The driver, a fellow classmate, survived the crash and is now at home recovering.

Josie's favorite charity was Toys 4 Tots; her classmates now plan to keep her giving spirit alive.

On Friday morning, U-High hopes to fill the gym floor with donations for Toy 4 Tots.

Later in the evening, when football players from U-High and Central Valley High School meet on the field for the homecoming game, they will all have "U" stickers on their helmets.

"I know that she would just want everybody to heal," said Josie's dad, Rick.

"And she would just want them to continue to laugh and love. They were great, great kids," he added.

Wake Up Call joins Toys for Titans

Wake Up Call joins Toys for Titans

University High School is hoping to fill their gym floor on Friday morning with Toy for Titans in memory of Josie Frier and McKenzie Mott. The greater community can support the student's efforts in the morning by grabbing a cup of coffee at The Wake Up Call.

The Wake Up Call will be accepting donations for Toys for Titans, which will then be used to purchase toys for Toys for Tots, Josie's favorite charity. Those who make a donation will be given a $1 discount on their morning latte. Donations will be accepted at all four Wake Up Locations:

  • 1703 S. Dishman-Mica Rd.
  • 112 N. Evergreen Rd.
  • 1106 N Pines Rd
  • 210 N. Sullivan Rd.

For more information on what the U-High community is doing to remember Josie and McKenzie visit the U-High Community Facebook Page.  

Community reaches out to U-High after tragedy

Community reaches out to U-High after tragedy

News of a deadly car crash spread fast.  Two University High School sophomore girls, killed Saturday night, their classmate seriously injured.

The shock and pain reverberated through the community over the deaths of Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott.  Emails, Facebook posts, pictures and calls started flooding in, showing support for the families and a high school in pain.

Father celebrates daughter's life, commitment to charity

The father of Josie Freier, one of two teens killed in a car crash Saturday night is hoping to carry on her legacy by speaking out about his daughter's life and what she would want people to do to remember her.

Freier and her friend, McKenzie Mott, were killed in a single-car crash Saturday night. The driver of the car, Preston Maher, is in the hospital in stable condition. All three were sophomores at University High School, whose student population has been devastated by this tragedy.

"They were great, great kids," Rick Freier, Josie's dad, said.

Freier, an investigator with the Spokane Valley Fire Department, said his daughter loved helping other people. The 15-year-old loved playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, made funny faces and gestures and had a good spirit.

"Understood the difference between right and wrong; I want them to remember a person that was willing to stand up and say that's wrong," Rick Freier said.

YWCA talks about domestic violence with the Purple Purse

YWCA talks about domestic violence with the Purple Purse

One in four women will face domestic violence, but domestic violence is rarely talked about. The YWCA of Spokane is working to change that through their Alternative to Domestic Violence Program and is bringing light to the topic this October with Allstate's Purple Purse Campaign.


“There's a large possibility that someone in your personal network will be affected,” said Erica Schrieber, Manager of the Women's Opportunity Network at the YWCA. More women are impacted by domestic violence than breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer combined.


YWCA Spokane is one of 30 in the nation that was selected to participate in this year's Purple Purse Campaign. As the purple purses travels around Spokane this month they will serve as both a fundraiser and conversation starter to open a dialogue about the different forms that domestic violence can take.


Firefighters taking Toys For Tots donations in memory of U High student

The family of 15-year-old Josie Freier, who was killed in a car crash this weekend, is honoring her by supporting her favorite charity and are asking for the community's help as well.

Freier was only 15, but already she had a favorite charity, Toys For Tots, and that's why her family is asking if you want to honor her or donate in her honor that you do that by donating to Toys For Tots at any Spokane Valley Fire Department station.

Right now, the most toys they're receiving are at Fire Station #9, located right next to University High School, where Freier attended school.

Firefighters say they're also getting notes for the family and they're willing to pass those on as well.