2023 Grants Awarded
The Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) member votes have been tallied and 22 Idaho nonprofits that serve the Wood River Valley community will be awarded grants totaling $353,450 in 2023. Since its founding in 2005, WRWF has awarded 215 grants surpassing $3.4 million to 94 nonprofits throughout the Wood River Valley.
“WRWF members continue to demonstrate extraordinary generosity and have set yet another donation record this year,” said Sandy McCullough, WRWF President. “We are honored to collectively support those doing the difficult and much needed work to deliver services throughout our community.”
This year, the 325+ member Foundation funded local nonprofits that address health, education, outdoor initiatives, and emergency, social and therapeutic services. Our membership also overwhelmingly supported a second year of funding for our Focus Grant, a large scale, multi-year grant that is helping to close the opportunity gap in education. With this year’s grant, WRWF has now awarded a total of $200,000 for the creation of the Wood River Valley Early Learning Collaborative (WRELC) in partnership with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC).
“Our grant-making process was fueled by 50 of our members who rigorously reviewed grant applications and performed site visits to present a final slate of applicants for our full membership to vote on,” said Linda Segre, WRWF Grants Committee Co-Chair.
“WRWF members are interested in growing their philanthropic skills so volunteers are provided with training and technical tools to assist in the grant evaluation process. This sets them up to make informed recommendations on which applications to move forward to our final voting,” said Sarah Lurie, Grants Committee Co-Chair.
Listed below are the WRWF 2023 Pooled Grant Recipients, grant titles, amounts awarded, and their application descriptions.
2023 Pooled Fund Grantees
Girls on the Run Southern Idaho— Girls on the Run Program Blaine County $9,700
Girls on the Run Southern Idaho is respectfully requesting a grant from Wood River Women’s Foundation for $9,700 to support the fall 2023 and spring 2024 programs. An award would help offset an array of expenses incurred during a season. While the licensed, coach curriculum guide is not consumable, every girl is provided with her own program journal, program shirt, water bottle and 5k finisher medal each season. A team also requires program supplies for the season throughout the lessons. The service projects completed by the sites also require materials dependent upon what the teams agree upon and can vary greatly. Funds would also support girl and coach recruitment marketing, volunteer appreciation and a portion of administrative support to include a portion of our licensing fees. An award would also support the Fall 5k and event expenses.
Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley— LatinX Outreach & Human Resource Apps $5,000
Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley is requesting $5,000 to help fund the development and implementation of a Spanish speaking bereavement support group, as well as the purchase of Human Resource apps and a multi-language line membership. Our goal is to have patients be more comfortable with staff, be able to ask more questions, and for families to feel less burdened to do translation, creating more of a relationship of trust and cultural sensitivity. For the Human Resource applications, the investment is expected to cut down on payroll process time for the Office Manager by 10%. Currently, payroll takes approximately 4 hours for administrative staff. This includes double checking manual calculations, verifying days worked, and contacting staff because the paper time card hasn’t been submitted in time.
I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho- Elementary Program New Cohort $20,000
“I Have a Dream” Foundation – Idaho is requesting $20,000 to help launch a new cohort of Dream Scholars in the Elementary Program, which would bring the number of elementary students served to 80+. The organization is founded on the belief that given equitable access to resources, all children can realize their innate potential and achieve their dreams. Ultimately, the goal is to help under-served students build academic and social-emotional resilience so they can be successful in school, break the cycle of poverty in their families, embrace healthy and productive lives, reach their college, trade and career goals, and meet their aspirational dreams. Funding this grant will help close the opportunity gap in our community.
Idaho Basecamp— Sahm 5th Grade Outdoor Adventure Education Program $20,000
Idaho Basecamp is requesting $20,000 to fund the 5th Grade Outdoor Adventure Education Program. The Sahm 5th Grade Program is made up of two 6-8 week seasons where nearly five hundred 5th grade students from local and regional schools travel to Idaho BaseCamp’s Big Lost Campus for a three day/two night Outdoor Adventure Education experience. IBC provides this program at “zero” cost to the students and schools. The only financial obligation is for the school to cover the cost of transportation. Students sleep in tents and wake up to morning mindfulness in our Borah Basin Building. Led by a group of 5-6 well trained staff, some highlights are basic primitive skills, team building activities, low ropes initiatives and scientific inquiry. The goal of the program is to create a strong connection with our natural surroundings and to go home with a greater sense of IBC’s core values: Personal Responsibility, Courage & Respect for All. This program is entering its 6th year of operation and in order to continue to provide this experience at no cost IBC relies solely on grants and donations.
Kids Mountain Fund— Rota-Rippers and Rota-Ravens lease equipment $14,000
Kids Mountain Fund is requesting $14,000 to fund the lease and gear package for the 2023/2024 ski/snowboard season. The grant is specifically for programs that are taught at the Rotarun Ski Hill in Hailey, ID. These programs include the Rota-Rippers Elementary School program, the Rota-Ravens Middle School program, and the middle school Outdoor Hispanic Leaders (OHL) Program. The OHL program involves 15 kids getting trained to ski and snowboard at Rotarun on Wednesdays starting Jan 25, 2023, they will be taught avalanche awareness, mindfulness, and help to inspire others to join and gain these important skills. The OHL Program gear needs include securing new or lightly used good quality outdoor clothing to make them feel confident and capable in accessing the mountains as they are taught and trained in mountain and snow safety skills, learn how to camp safely in the outdoors, hike on trails, and gain knowledge and build confidence to become competent outdoor leaders.
Men’s Second Chance Living— Extension of Programs $20,000
MSCL House is requesting $20,000 to support vital sober living programs at the newly opened second home, which will serve approximately 16 additional men a year in the Wood River Valley. After reaching the longstanding goal of opening this second facility, it is now MSCL’s objective to provide equitable access to their proven wraparound programs to every resident. Support from the Wood River Women’s Foundation will make a significant impact in helping residents access the services and support that have made a quantifiable positive impact on the successful recovery of residents during the first four years of operation.
North Blaine County Fire District— First Responder Housing at Greenhorn Fire Station $20,000
The North Blaine County Fire District requests a $20,000 grant to help reach a goal of raising $1.5 million to install eight new housing units at the Greenhorn Fire Station located at East Fork Road and Highway 75. The more funds raised, the more affordable the rent will be. Currently, $1.7 million of the $3.2 needed has been raised and the eight homes will arrive in the summer and fall of 2023. Housing priority will be given to full-time and volunteer firefighters contracted with the North Blaine County Fire District and the City of Sun Valley. Firefighters and paramedics from other jurisdictions will be considered as space is available, consistent with policy on the six units already at the site. We need firefighters and paramedics living close by. One hopes you never need them, but when you do, you want them there fast.
Senior Connection— Nutrition $20,000
The Senior Connection is requesting $20,000 towards purchase of the raw food that is used to prepare the Meals on Wheels, congregate, and curbside lunches. The Meals on Wheels program serves all of Blaine County, from north of Ketchum to south of Bellevue. With two-thirds of older adults needing some form of assistance to go about their daily lives, the WRWF funding would ensure the Senior Connection can continue to offer critical public services to older adults to help maintain their independence and remain healthier living in their homes. The $20,000 grant will provide meals 5 days a week to 100% of Blaine County seniors who seek services for two months.
The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault— Youth Services $20,000
The Advocates is requesting $20,000 to provide seed funding for a new Youth Services Coordinator to develop a targeted program to support the health, healing and happiness of children and youth who have experienced family violence. The Advocates 2023 strategic planning identified a critical service gap. Children of The Advocates’ clients are not receiving coordinated services to assist with their healing from living in abusive home environments. This includes children living in shelter and transitional housing, and children of nonresident clients. The service gap is the result of 1) staff having full adult caseloads with no available time to focus on working individually with children and youth; 2) no point person ensuring that children are receiving regular direct client services and case management, and 3) a lack of expertise among current victim advocate/case management staff. In order to address this problem, The Advocates proposes to add a full-time, bilingual (Spanish/ English) Youth Services Coordinator. This position is instrumental on a daily basis, 30 children live in onsite housing. Non-resident clients have an additional 170 children. The Coordinator will oversee and provide direct client services to these children, youth and young adults.
The Community Library Association— Community Outreach Initiatives $17,350
The Community Library is requesting $17,350 to help fund community outreach initiatives and the Outreach Librarian position. The overarching objective of these initiatives is to cultivate a rich literary environment for the Spanish speaking children, young adults, and adult members of our community at this critical juncture in Blaine County. The Community Library anticipates having approximately 1,600 participants over the next year. The goal is for Blaine County to be a place where all individuals can enjoy the freedom, empowerment, and enrichment that literacy can provide. From parents reading a bedtime story to their children, to an increase in positive civic engagement – literacy and English language skills are invaluable to immigrant families. They are the means through which people can move out of poverty, find employment, and enhance life for the entire family. Improved literacy and language skills benefit not only the learner, but everyone in the community regardless of age, race, gender, or background. The Community Library wants to create opportunities where these types of experiences can flourish.
The Crisis HotLine, Inc.— Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) Support $12,000
The Crisis Hotline is requesting $12,000.00 in a grant from the Wood River Women’s Foundation to provide financial support to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program, as NHN continues to build social and emotional capacity within the secluded and often forgotten pockets of our community. NHN will also leverage funds from community outreach and at our Hispanic Heritage Celebration. The Crisis Hotline requests help to support the full-time staff of NHN and the outreach planned for Summer/Fall 2023. NHN is actively collaborating with Elevate Commercial, Ashoka’s Youth Venture Network, Libraries Without Borders and Building Material Thrift (BMT) to establish mini-libraries/meeting rooms at two mobile home parks, Sun Tree Hollow and Country Chalet. NHN has been actively working with the families at both MHPs through the Enhancement of My Life Matters Program and has built trust with the families. The focus planned for this year’s outreach and Hispanic Heritage is “Emotional Strength in Hispanic Families/Children”.
The Space Idaho– Educational Opportunity— $20,000
A grant from The Wood River Women’s Foundation will allow The Space to respond to the increasing number of economically disadvantaged students who are seeking services by ensuring that every student in grades 6-12 has access to high quality academic tutoring. Last year, WRWF provided crucial funds for The Forward Learning Scholars program (FLS), 23 6th through 9th-grade students identified by school social workers as needing extra assistance due to a combination of under-resourced backgrounds and academic challenges. This program has been a huge success, attracting new students and families, and working in partnership with other community organizations in order to reach the students who need us most. In Fall of 2022 The Space experienced a rapid increase in the number of students with socio-economic and academic needs seeking educational opportunities. They responded by hiring additional staff and moving to a larger office space. The Space is seeking support to continue meeting increased demand so all students have access to the educational opportunities they deserve. The Space provides a full-spectrum of services including: individually tailored tutoring in all academic subjects, college application support, and exam prep, GED test prep.
Wood River Fire & Rescue— Resuscitation Through Simulation $20,000
Wood River Fire & Rescue is requesting $20,000 to fund the acquisition of a modular simulation ecosystem to enhance the clinical education of their providers. Evolving their service is critical to accomplishing their mission. The objective is to fund the purchase of a modular simulation ecosystem to enhance the provider’s clinical education. This would include the purchase of an advanced life support mannequin and integrated technology package to support our EMS training program. Ultimately, this training solution will allow WRFS to create and develop realistic medical simulations in the pre-hospital setting. This unique training environment yields better education and preparation for the rigors of emergencies seen in the field. The long-range objective is to create an EMS simulation lab that combines advanced patient simulators with modern healthcare technology in an immersive environment to provide high-fidelity training to first responders. This is a holistic approach to training that will better prepare providers for the realities of patient care in the community.
YMCA— SummerBridge 2023 $20,000
This grant will be used to build the Y’s SummerBridge program by funding youth leader wages, educational materials, curriculum, transportation, nutritional snacks, field trips and outdoor equipment. The Wood River Community YMCA has been working in youth education for the purpose of eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for many years. The Y has done this work through initiatives like Y Power Scholars, Y SummerBridge and Y After School Education and Care. Unfortunately, the outbreak of COVID-19 significantly impacted children, especially those from lower-income families. It has widened the gap significantly. The good news is that the Y is prepared and ready to make a meaningful difference.
To address this critical need, the Y is running summer education programs including SummerBridge and Nature Explorer. The Y will bring together the College of Idaho, Teach For America, Blaine County School District (BCSD), Sun Valley Community School, I Have a Dream Foundation, and other community partners to deliver high-quality summer literacy, math and STEM in an effort to recapture lost-learning days. To help staff these initiatives, the Y will use its regular summer staff and hire 20 to 25 additional interns from the College of Idaho who will be accompanied by faculty advisors and Teach For America staff members, along with other certified teachers. The Sun Valley Community School will subsidize housing for interns and visiting staff, and the Y will cover all other associated expenses, including salaries and tuition for College of Idaho faculty and interns. Together, these programs will serve well over 250 students this summer using Alturas Elementary School in Hailey, and the Y facility in Ketchum. Because the students will be nominated by BCSD teachers, we know we will be serving the most vulnerable students from the communities of Carey, Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum.