Article by Karen Bossick of Eye on Sun Valley
Wood River Women’s Foundation members will dole out a record $348,000 in grants during 2022.
The money is going to 16 Idaho nonprofits serving the Wood River Valley in the area of housing, education, outdoor initiatives, and emergency, social and therapeutic services.
WRWF President Terri Bullock said the amount is more than $38,000 above what the organization’s members awarded in 2020—their previous high.
“We are honored to collectively support those doing the work to deliver services throughout our community, especially in a difficult pandemic-driven environment,” she said.
New this year is a pilot Focus Grant—FG22—that offers up to $200,000 over a two-year period to address a pressing need in the Wood River Valley. In March 2021 the organization’s 325 members chose “Closing the Opportunity Gap in Education” as their first Focus Grant.
To that end, they will award up to $100,000 this year for the creation of the Wood River Valley Early Learning Collaborative with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. WRWF members anticipate investing another $100,000 for the project in 2023.
Sandy McCullough, WRWF Grants Co-chair said the organization’s grant-making process gives members a chance to learn about the work being done by nonprofits in the valley.
“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,” she said.
Here are the Wood River Women’s Foundation 2022 Pooled Grant recipients:
ARCH Community Housing — Housing for Essential Workers $20,000
Blaine County Charitable Fund—Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides financial aid to those needing help with housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare $18,000
Higher Ground Sun Valley— Higher Ground Cycling Program $18,275
Idaho Trails Association— Youth Trail Program 2022, which involves youth clearing hiking trails, $6,400
Ketchum Fire Department— Back Country Rescue $20,000
Kids Mountain Fund— Rotarippers Lease Package, which provides ski rentals for a tuition-free ski program $6,500
Men’s Second Chance Living— MSCL House day-to-day operations $20,000
Swiftsure Therapeutic Ranch— Safety Surround Wall, a solid wood kick wall to protect legs, knees, and feet $14,200
The Advocates— Healthy Child Development Program provides childcare for low-income victims of relationship abuse $15,000
The Alliance of Idaho— Support for Legal Services to help pay for citizenship fees, DACA renewals, and more $20,000
The Crisis Hotline— My Life Matters Enhancement dealing with schoolchildren in crisis $20,000
The Hunger Coalition—To implement a Promotoras program developing six lay health workers to bridge trust, language, and resource gaps in Spanish-speaking communities $20,000
The Space Idaho— Forward Learning Scholars program provides tutoring assistance to 18 students in grades six through nine
$18,900 Wood River Fire & Rescue— To purchase and deploy 15 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) with first responders and police to improve survival in cardiac episodes $18,526.
In addition, five organizations received smaller grants:
Kiwanis Club of Hailey $2,400
Syringa Mountain School $2,400
The Nature Conservancy $2,400
Wood River Land Trust $2,400
The Community Library $2,500.
The Wood River Women’s Foundation has awarded 183 grants surpassing $3 million since its founding in 2005.
Members of the Wood River Women’s Foundation each donate a set amount each year for a pool, then review applications from nonprofits to decide which to fund. They also have a social component, meeting for occasional Mix & Mingle parties.