Written by Kevin Bailey, Idaho Nonprofit Center
It's that time of year again: Idaho Gives kicks off May 1st through 4th as Idaho’s largest nonprofit giving event.
Over 600 nonprofits are expected to participate in the giving campaign that last year raised $3.7 million for charities across the state.
For those of us with kids, this is a time to support the nonprofits in our backyard that make the Treasure Valley the best community in the world to raise our kids in.
Idaho Gives is a program of the Idaho Nonprofit Center, a statewide nonprofit that exists with the mission to help Idaho’s nonprofits be the strongest they can be. As CEO of this amazing organization, it is humbling and also a great privilege to host our state’s largest nonprofit giving event, in what will be the 11th year this year. This is our chance as a community to put our dollars behind our values and support the dozens of fantastic organizations that support our kids and our families and create a community where everyone—most especially, our kids—can thrive!
Although it’s impossible to select a ‘best nonprofit’ for kids in the Treasure Valley, I wanted to highlight five nonprofits that I think are key in helping create a future where all kids in the Treasure Valley can grow and flourish. All links will go to the organization’s Idaho Gives page. We encourage you to give what you can to your favorite nonprofits!
Idaho AEYC: A nonprofit on the forefront of providing the resources to ensure that all children enter Kindergarten ready to learn. Did you know 58% of Idaho youngsters are not Kindergarten ready when they first step foot in the classroom? Idaho AEYC is working to solve that and has resources for both stay-at-home parents as well as for those in full-time childcare such as their Ready for Kindergarten resource kits.
Library Foundations like Meridian and Garden City: Libraries have become such an essential part of our parenting routine. I often have Fridays off and have our two year old and 5 year old (who doesn’t have PreK on Fridays) in tow. Inevitably, our routine has been to head to the library, where the littles get lost in the latest Paw Patrol and Minecraft books, or get busy playing in one of the play areas while I open my laptop and catch up on emails or even dive into a book myself. Having these free spaces in our community brings such peace of mind. But donations are needed to help fund capital projects and ongoing outreach that isn’t funded as part of the city tax revenue.
Land Trust of the Treasure Valley: You may be asking, ‘What is a land trust and what does it have to do with my kids?’ Great question! One of the reasons we moved to Boise was because of the amazing opportunity to have a thriving urban environment with social and cultural offerings right up next to protected open space for recreation. Being in the foothills or the Boise National Forest have shaped some of our family’s most cherished memories. Instilling the value of stewarding our treasured open spaces along with the recreational and health benefits that these spaces provide is worth protecting. Land trusts ensure that our kids have access to these special places for generations to come.
Wassmuth Center: When we first moved to Boise a couple of years ago, I learned about the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and was instantly proud that we live in a community that upholds the values of kindness and where all are valued and treated with dignity. This is such an important value for our family and I’m so excited that the Center is embarking on a new classroom headquarters that will allow our kids to field trip to and learn from right off the greenbelt path near downtown!
CATCH: What is CATCH? It’s an ambitious nonprofit with the goal to end family homelessness in the Treasure Valley. Currently there are over 400 families in the Treasure Valley who do not have permanent housing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when a family lacks housing stability, the adverse effects on children will be huge. Your children likely have classmates in this situation and it goes unnoticed. Creating stability for families in crisis creates stability for the whole community, from your child’s classroom on down.
What are you favorite kid-centered nonprofits?
Happy Giving on May 1st – 4th at www.idahogives.org!