Nonprofit organizations throughout Idaho banded together on Thursday, May 2, to raise money as part of Idaho Gives.
The one-day event brought in nearly $2 million, with more than 12,000 individual donors. A total of 589 nonprofit organizations participated, and events were held throughout Boise and in cities as far north as Coeur d’Alene and as far south as Pocatello.
“Last year we set a pretty high goal of $1.5 million, but Idaho crushed it again,” said Idaho Nonprofit Center President and CEO Amy Little in a press release. “From big cities like Coeur d’Alene and Boise to smaller communities like Jerome, New Meadows, and Ammon, we have worthy organizations in nearly every Idaho county.”
In Boise’s Lusk neighborhood, Lost Grove Brewing Manager Kylie Bolland organized a block party for dozens of participating charities. The event stretched for blocks and featured dozens of organizations.
“It was an awesome community event,” Bolland said. “It was very smooth, all the nonprofits seemed really happy. It kind of did exactly what we aimed for as far as connecting nonprofits with the community and connecting nonprofits with other nonprofits.”
Michael Cullen of Bittercreek Alehouse and Jake Black of Lost Grove Brewing were instrumental in putting on the event, Bolland added.
For the Birds of Prey NCA Partnership, which works closely with the Bureau of Land Management, falcon trainer Monte Tish of Tish Raptor Rehab showed off a golden eagle bred in captivity.
Nearby, Idaho Trails hosted a log sawing contest that drew dozens of cheering spectators.
Around the corner, Cory Rodriguez of Life’s Kitchen greeted visitors alongside a pair of teens enrolled in his program. Life’s Kitchen, with the slogan “Serving Second Chances,” teaches at-risk youth how to work in commercial kitchens and catering businesses while helping them pass the GED. The Life’s Kitchen cafe is open to the public for breakfast and lunch, Tuesdays through Fridays, at 1025 Capitol Blvd.
In addition to spurring individual donations and raising awareness, Idaho Gives offered an award pool to participating nonprofit organizations. The funds awarded a variety of activities and competitions for participating organizations.
The pool was funded by George and Bev Harad, A.J. and Susie Balukoff, the Micron Foundation, Idaho Power, Zelham, HD Insurance, Boise Cascade, John Rusche, Guild Mortgage in Meridian and Idaho Community Foundation, according to a press release from Idaho Gives.
Meridian Canine Rescue, which participated in the Lusk event, received $1,000 for getting the first verified online donation of the day. It also raised money in person with the help of the bulldog Edgar, who waited patiently for affection and donations, outfitted in an adorable vest with plastic pockets perfect for carrying cash.
Another pet-related nonprofit, Moonsong Malamute Rescue, Inc., won $750 for having the best philanthropic photo of the day.
Idaho Gives is a program of the Idaho Nonprofit Center and is underwritten by Idaho Central Credit Union, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Idaho National Laboratory, and KTVB. For more information about the event and participating organizations, visit idahogives.org.