2022 Grants Awarded
The Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) member votes have been tallied and Idaho nonprofits that serve the Wood River Valley will be awarded grants totaling $348,000 in 2022. Since its founding in 2005, WRWF has awarded 183 grants surpassing $3 million to nonprofits throughout the Wood River Valley.
“To our delight 2022 proved to be a record-breaking funding year for WRWF,” said Terri Bullock, WRWF President. “Our generous philanthropic-minded members contributed close to $350,000 for Wood River nonprofits. This is more than $43,000 above what we awarded in 2021. We are honored to collectively support those doing the work to deliver services throughout our community, especially in a difficult pandemic-driven environment.”
This year, the 325+-member Foundation funded local nonprofits that address housing, education, outdoor initiatives, and emergency, social and therapeutic services. New in 2022 is the first-ever, multi-year Focus Grant (FG22). To help close the opportunity gap in education, WRWF awarded up to $200,000 for the creation of the Wood River Valley Early Learning Collaborative in partnership with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. More information about this transformational initiative will be shared in the coming weeks.
“Our grant-making process provides our members with a window into the important work being done by nonprofits in the Valley,” said Sandy McCullough, WRWF Grants Co-Chair. “We equip our members with the technical tools necessary to evaluate grant proposals and make informed decisions about where the pooled funds will be awarded and put to needed use.”
Listed below are the WRWF 2022 Pooled Grant Recipients, grant titles, amounts awarded, and their application descriptions.
2022 Pooled Fund Grantees
ARCH Community Housing — $20,000
ARCH Community Housing Trust – Housing for Essential Workers
ARCH is requesting $20,000 for the development of housing for essential workers (teachers, medical professionals) to help provide affordable rental housing. These workers earn too much to qualify for federally funded housing yet not enough to afford market-rate housing in Blaine County. Through private philanthropy, ARCH will buy land, build homes and rent them to essential workers at rates based on their household income.
A WRWF grant would be matched by a 50% matching challenge and 100% of a grant would be used to build housing as ARCH is able to fund its operations through existing revenue. Rental revenue maintains the home and delivers a modest revenue stream which funds additional housing.
Blaine County Charitable Fund— $18,000
Blaine County Charitable Fund – Emergency Assistance Grant Program
Blaine County Charitable Fund (BCCF) is requesting $18,000 for their Emergency Assistance Grant Program which provides swift financial aid to citizens in Blaine County who are experiencing hardship due to an unanticipated crisis, and who lack other resources to obtain financial assistance. Assistance is focused mostly (but not exclusively) on housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare in times of unanticipated crisis. Funds are paid directly to creditors.
A grant would be utilized during the months of July-Dec 2022. By December 2022, the program will provide 100% of qualifying applicants with assistance commensurate with their demonstrated need; will create multiple pathways for applicants to maintain stability and knowledge for moving past crises; and will serve 125 or more households. In addition, a WRWF grant would partially fund a Bilingual Family Care Coordinator staff position.
Higher Ground Sun Valley— $18,275
Higher Ground Sun Valley – Cycling Program
Higher Ground is requesting $18,275 to purchase five adaptive cycles selected specifically for age- and ability-appropriateness. A grant would also help fund certified therapists to provide individualized instruction to the 20 selected participants with the goal of enabling them to gain the physical and cognitive skills needed to ride as independently as possible following their training program.
Higher Ground will conduct an “After Action Review” to reflect on and evaluate this program. HG recreation therapists will use surveys, equipment usage, and participant feedback to determine effectiveness and assess the impact of this new initiative.
Idaho Trails Association— $6,400
Idaho Trails Association – Youth Trail Program
Idaho Trails Association (ITA) is requesting $6,400 for staff planning and implementation of two Wood River Valley youth trail trips this summer including overseeing outreach and setting up logistics with volunteers and crew leaders. ITA’s Youth Trail Program’s purpose is to clear trails for public access, and to connect youth with the outdoors.
This program aims to engage at least 25 youth including more young people from varying socio-economic and cultural backgrounds; empower and motivate young people to participate in more outdoor experiences; and build future public land stewards. ITA partners with Wood River Trails Coalition on its trail work and with I Have a Dream Foundation on youth outreach. In 2021, youth projects cleared over 35 miles of hiking trails across Idaho.
Ketchum Fire Department— $20,000
Ketchum Fire Department – Backcountry Rescue
The Ketchum Fire Department (KFD) is requesting $20,000 to purchase an all-terrain vehicle with tracks and a trailer. This unit will be used to transport responders, equipment and victims from backcountry incidents.
Over the past 2 years, KFD has experienced an increase in calls for service in the backcountry and has developed several technical rescue teams. It’s service area covers 690 square miles of BLM and Forest Service lands, much of which is rugged terrain. Moving responders and equipment to emergencies in these areas is a tactical challenge. This vehicle would also provide an efficient means to extract injured firefighters and smokejumpers from remote areas.
Kids Mountain Fund— $6,500
Kids Mountain Fund – Rotarippers Lease Package
Kids Mountain Fund (KMF) is requesting $6,500 to provide season-long leased sports equipment to children enrolled in Rotarippers, a program that is community-supported, tuition free, and designed to inspire diversity and inclusivity in winter sports. KMF is expecting 100 kids to participate in 2022; a grant would fund equipment leases for the 2023 winter season.
Participants are often the first generation in their family to ski or snowboard. Rotarippers recognizes that diversity hasn’t always been reflected on the slopes and that the financial cost can be out of reach for many local families. Providing free equipment leases enables more children in the valley to have the opportunity to participate on the mountain.
Men’s Second Chance Living— $20,000
Men’s Second Chance Living – MSCL House Operations
Men’s Second Chance Living (MSCL) is requesting $20,000 for day-to-day and operational expenses including residential staff support, home management and supervision, and home maintenance and repairs. MSCL is the only local provider of safe, substance-free, affordable housing to men in early recovery from substance use disorder.
The programs at MSCL address underlying recovery needs including medical and behavioral health care, nutrition assistance, financial education, matched savings accounts and funding for education. All residents must be employed to receive services. Effectiveness data is collected through semi-annual surveys, exit interviews, and six-month post-exit interviews.
Swiftsure Therapeutic Ranch— $14,200
Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center – Safety Surround Wall for Main Arena
Swiftsure Ranch is requesting $14,200 to install a solid wood “kick wall” in the main area to enhance environmental safety. Currently the arena is surrounded by a barrier of metal corral panels which were intended to be temporary when the main arena was built in 2016. Swiftsure Ranch serves over 300 riders of all ages and backgrounds who experience physical, medical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. A wooden surround wall is safer for horses and participants to protect legs, knees and feet from possible entanglement in the barrier.
The large indoor arena is Swiftsure’s main arena and is used year-round in all weather conditions. With a WRWF grant, Swiftsure would begin construction of the wall in August 2022 and expect completion by year end. A wood arena wall can last for decades, providing a safety benefit for many years.
The Advocates— $15,000
The Advocates – Healthy Child Development Program
The Advocates is requesting $15,000 to fund financial assistance for childcare for low-income victims of relationship abuse. Quality childcare is the most critical unmet need of The Advocates’ clients, it increases the ability of 80% of their client’s to have jobs, and it improves the overall well-being of working clients.
While the long-term goal is to establish a self-sustaining program that enables survivors of relationship abuse to obtain affordable, quality childcare, in the interim, a grant would assist The Advocates in offering a robust Child Care Assistance Program. For 80% of The Advocates’ clients, measurable outcomes of an assistance program will include improving the quality of childcare, improving their financial stability, and increasing their ability to work.
The Alliance of Idaho— $20,000
The Alliance of Idaho – Support for Legal Services
The Alliance of Idaho is requesting $20,000 to provide affordable and/or free legal services to families in Blaine County. A grant from WRWF would allow The Alliance to provide 133 hours of legal advice to those who cannot afford to pay, take the legal load off other local nonprofits so they can focus on the mission-driven activities and services, and continue providing ethical and dependable legal services that help further The Alliance’s position as a trusted hub for impacted communities.
The Alliance is working to build a safe, inclusive community in Blaine County by helping to reunify parents separated from their children at the border, working with asylum seekers, helping people find dependable and affordable general legal services, paying for citizenship fees and DACA renewals, and connecting families with the resources they need when their primary wage earner has been detained. Their trust-building work was advanced in 2021 with the hiring of the valley’s only woman Latina Executive Director and by securing the legal services of the only bilingual immigration attorney in the valley.
The Crisis Hotline— $20,000
The Crisis Hotline – My Life Matters Enhancement
The Crisis Hotline (TCH) is requesting $20,000 to enhance its “My Life Matters” program which started in the Blaine County School District in 2014. A grant would fund additional staff time, training, community outreach and bilingual materials for parents to teach them how to engage with children in crisis and be equipped to have these conversations with their kids.
Through its “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” volunteer teams, TCH will deliver bilingual support and workshops throughout the community to parents in their homes, workplaces, churches, civic groups and schools. TCH’s goal for this enhancement is for parents to learn and understand the training their children are receiving in school so they are best positioned to support themselves, their children and their families to understand basic brain development, mental health, the signs of suicide and what to do about it if they see it.
The Hunger Coalition— $20,000
The Hunger Coalition – The Value of Trust/Promotoras
The Hunger Coalition (THC) is requesting $20,000 to develop and implement a new Promotoras program, a community-based model of lay health workers who work in Spanish-speaking communities to bridge trust, language and resource gaps. Promotoras often work in low-income communities where resources are scarce and barriers are tall. THC’s model emerged from monthly meetings with its Latina leaders and will be adapted to focus on strengthening food security.
A grant would fund the leadership development of six high-respected Latinas, two of whom are already identified and are local public officials. As ambassadors for food access, they will increase outreach in Spanish speaking neighborhoods and will work from the Bloom Community Food Center during food distributions. Promotoras also support health education, prevention efforts and help source financial assistance.
The Space Idaho— $18,900
The Space Idaho – Forward Learning Scholars
The Space Idaho is requesting $18,900 to fund the second year of the Forward Learning Scholars Program. The mission of The Space Idaho is to achieve equity and empowerment through education and to create an environment in our community where all students, regardless of socio-economic status, can access the tools to prepare for the postsecondary education opportunity that best fits their academic and financial needs. The Forward Learning Scholars program consists of eighteen students in grades 6-9 who were identified by school social workers as needing extra assistance due to a combination of under-resourced backgrounds and academic challenges.
The program connects students with academic support systems, newfound interests, tutors and each other. High-dose tutoring is proven as one of the most effective ways to increase the academic achievement of lower income students. Student progress is tracked by measurable objectives such as improved grades, test scores, surveys and the percentage of students who continue to use the program’s academic support services. A grant would enable The Space Idaho to continue the program in 2022 and to provide opportunities for expansion and innovation.
Wood River Fire & Rescue— $18,526
Wood River Fire & Rescue (WRFR) – Chain of Survival
Wood River Fire & Rescue is requesting $18,526 to purchase and deploy 15 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) with first responders and police throughout the community to improve survival in cardiac episodes.
WRFR is seeking to address out-of-hospital cardiac arrest mortality; early defibrillation is a critical component of survival as each minute of delay represents a 10% drop in chances of survival. WRFR has a two-step plan for deploying the AEDs: one step will identify vulnerable coverage areas within its service range of 1,500 square miles as well as within population centers; and the second step is to equip local law enforcement officers with AEDs in their service vehicles and provide training in how to use them.