The Idaho Community Foundation has awarded eight Forever Idaho South Central grants totaling over $ 36,000 in Blaine County.
The foundation said it had redesigned its grants based on feedback from its nonprofit partners, which resulted in larger awards for community organizations in Idaho.
“Giving larger grants with fewer restrictions on how to spend them was crucial for nonprofits working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis in Idaho,” said Cara Nielsen, vice president of the Foundation for Philanthropy and Impact, in a press release. “We are continuing this with our Forever Idaho grants this year.”
The foundation said it was focusing its Forever Idaho grants in four areas: family homelessness and basic needs, educational opportunities, mental and physical health, and access to services.
Kristy Heitzman, executive director of the Blaine County School District Education Foundation, said flexible funding was especially important.
“Unrestricted funds allow us to meet the greatest needs as they arise,” Heitzman said. “This was especially important in a time of uncertainty during the pandemic and continues today.”
Heitzman said an unexpected need this year was for a new eye screening device to assess students’ eyesight. The previous equipment was 15 years old and was no longer accurate. A new vision screening device has now been purchased for $ 8,000.
“Without these funds, many students would not have the opportunity to undergo appropriate screening for potential visual needs, which plays an important role in their learning opportunities,” she said.
This year’s Forever Idaho South Central Fellows in Blaine County are:
Blaine County Hunger Coalition: $ 5,768
Blaine County School District Education Foundation: $ 7,500
Blaine County Seniors Council: $ 5,000
Wood River Valley Hospice: $ 5,000
I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho: $ 3,000
Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation: $ 2,500
NAMI-Wood River Valley: $ 5,000
Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center: $ 2,500 ￼