Helping Works

Helping Works by Anna Webb: Third annual Idaho Gives is May 7

Anna Webb.
Anna Webb.

The long-awaited Idaho Gives, a day of online giving hosted by the Idaho Nonprofit Center, lets donors give any amount, large or small, to their favorite charitable causes. The donation website (link through this column at is open for 24 hours on May 7.

Casey Bender from Strategies 360, a firm helping publicize the event, said nonprofits have gotten particularly creative this year to bring in the donations. They’ve taken to social media. They’ve made videos and come up with fun events on May 7 to inspire the public.

Here’s a sampling of the festivities (Note: this list is not complete. Check with your favorite organization to see if they’re doing anything special).


•  Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Dr., waived regular admission fees all day, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Idaho Gives donation station on-site, free “Art Answers” and hands-on studio art exploration from 4 to 7 p.m.

•  Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, free admission all day, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Food trucks, chances to give on-site, and to meet staff and the Garden Fairy. New entrance ribbon cutting ceremony with the Boise Chamber at 10 a.m.

•  ACLU of Idaho hosts an event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at A Cupcake Paradise 813 W. Bannock St. Photo booth with Lady Liberty costume, frame and prize wheel for ACLU swag. Proof of a $25 or more donation gets you a cupcake and a raffle ticket for a six-pack of cupcakes. Proof of a $15 or more donation gets you a raffle ticket for a six-pack of cupcakes. Many more festivities, including family cupcake decorating.

•  Good Samaritan Home, 3501 W. State St., 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., snacks, drinks, home tours, prizes and donation stations.

•  BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Development Squad: 6 to 7 a.m. at Pacific Source, 408 E. Parkcenter Blvd. Team members will do an early morning spin on rollers. From 4 to 8 p.m., the full team will be at Fort Boise/Reserve Park to end the day with a ride, open to the public. Bring your bike, a helmet and water. Food and drinks will be available.

•  Girl Scouts of Silver Sage: Boise Foothills clean up from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts Friendship Square, 610 Reserve St. Celebration BBQ from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

•  St. Paul Family Life Education Center: 1440 W. Bannock St. Open house from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. showcasing the new computer lab. Tours, snacks included.

•  Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence Chalk art Challenge: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on 8th Street between Idaho and Bannock. Come watch young artists and activists illustrate poems on the theme of gender equity. Live music and prizes.

•  The Idaho Nonprofit Center will have two “host locations” where nonprofits will offer brief presentations and performances throughout the day. Stop by 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grind Modern Burger, 705 W. Fulton St. in Boise and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tiger Props, 850 W. Main St. Find a full list of participants at both locations on the Idaho Nonprofit Center


(link through this column).


The Community Builder, Hope for the Homeless welcomes much needed donations, including bus passes, backpacks, new socks, sleeping bags, and more. Find a full list online. Donate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 120 16th Ave N.

More about Idaho Gives

This year, more than 675 organizations are participating. In addition to donations from the public, participating nonprofits will compete for a share of the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s $55,000 awards pool. The Center will give cash awards to the top 10 nonprofits (in three size categories) based on the numbers of donors.

Last year, Idaho Gives raised over $750,000 from over 7,500 donors.

Zions Bank Accepting 2015 Smart Women Grant Applications

Zions Bank is accepting applications for its 2015 Smart Women Grants, open to anyone whose proposal promotes “the empowerment of women or directly benefits women or low-income and underserved populations in Idaho and Utah.”

Six $3,000 micro-grants will be awarded, one in each of the following categories: Small business start-up and expansion; community development; continuing education and teacher support; child and/or elder care; health and human services, and arts and culture.

Find an application online or call (800) 737-6586. Applications must be received or postmarked by Monday, July 6. Grant recipients will be announced in September.

Applicants need not be clients of Zions Bank nor are they required to be residents of Idaho or Utah. Employees and immediate family members of Zions Bank and its affiliates are not eligible.

Since the program began in 2005, Zions Bank has awarded $199,347 through the Smart Women Grants. Past recipients include Feed the Gap, which provides food for low income kids whose families don’t qualify, or haven’t applied for food assistance; The Jesse Tree of Idaho, which helps individuals facing the threat of homelessness with emergency rent assistance; Dunia Marketplace, a fair trade, nonprofit organization that supports artisans in rural Idaho and on tribal reservations, and others.

And there’s more ...

Zions Bank is also inviting the public to nominate homes for makeovers during the 25th annual Paint-A-Thon service project. The project benefits low-income elderly, disabled, and veteran residents in Idaho and Utah. Typically, homes are referred to Zions Bank by city and state housing agencies, aging services, community organizations and local churches. This year, Zions Bank is inviting the public to nominate qualified homeowners.

To qualify for consideration, homeowners must meet federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income guidelines, detailed on Zions Bank’s blog (link through this column at Application forms are also available on the site.

The average age of last year’s home owner was 73, with an average monthly income of $1,645. Home nominations are due by May 13, 2015. For additional information, email

In addition to painting, Zions employees will provide yard clean-up, pruning, mowing, planting and minor repairs as needed by homeowners. The cost for all paint and supplies is contributed by Zions Bank.

Nostalgia fans: Have any good stories about Cascade Lake 4-H Camp?

Cascade Lake 4-H Camp near Donnelly is turning 50 years old. Camp alumni are invited to return to the camp and share their stories and memories on Saturday, May 23. The day begins at 10 a.m., and includes a barbecue lunch and light dinner. The evening concludes with a campfire and other camp activities. Campers are invited to stay overnight in a cabin (first come, first serve), or bring their own campers.

To RSVP or get more information, call 250-8444 or go to the website. Reservations are due by May 8.

The camp originally opened as a camp for kids participating in 4-H programs in Southwest Idaho. Today, other groups, including church groups, schools, sports programs, and others use the camp. Many groups, including the Ada County Grange, Meridian Gospel Tabernacle, Nampa Countryman’s Club, Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen and other civic groups, have contributed over the years to the camp’s upkeep and improvement.

Dental Foundation grants available

The Dental Foundation is calling for grant applications through May 15. This application is open to projects or initiatives that improve the oral health of Idaho’s underserved citizens, including uninsured and low-income Idahoans.

Find an application and more information about eligibility requirements online.

Celebrate World Red Cross Day by giving blood

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood this May in honor of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on May 8, the birthday of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement founder, Henry Dunant.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit the website or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Those who are unable to give blood can support blood donations and invite others to make a lifesaving donation by creating a SleevesUp virtual blood drive. Find details online.

National group chooses Bishop Kelly teacher as History Teacher of the Year

The National Daughters of the American Revolution have chosen David Skinner as their national American History Teacher of the year. Skinner, who teaches at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, will speak at the group’s annual convention at Constitutional Hall in Washington D.C. in June. Skinner said he plans to speak on the importance of teaching and learning American History.

“I am troubled by attempts by states like Oklahoma to restrict the teaching of our history (specifically Advanced Placement United States history) to only a pro-America point of view and bypass our mistakes and struggles. I am also concerned about colleges and universities no longer requiring history as part of their undergraduate requirements, which has already lead to a shrinking of the history department at many schools including Boise State. My third beef is with the College Board. In spite of the AP’s attempt to modify the exam, they have turned the test into a reading comprehension and writing exam with less emphasis on content. Expecting a teacher to cover 400 years of American history with any depth is impossible and counterproductive to my teaching goals of having students enjoy learning about American history and digging beyond the surface for the stories that enlighten and inspire us.”

Congratulations, Mr. Skinner (Full disclosure: David Skinner was my American Government teacher at Boise High in 1983. Along with AP history teacher Russ Heller, there was no better, smarter, frequently irreverent academic duo in town).

High-tech nonprofit seeks support for summer learning scholarships

Discover Technology, an Idaho nonprofit dedicated to strengthening STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills in Idaho students grades K-12, is looking for donations to help low-income students attend summer engineering and robotics camps.

Children participating in past camps have built drones, their own computers, robots, and have learned programming and app development. Camps will take place in Boise, Nampa, Idaho Falls, Hailey and Rathdrum.

The cost for one scholarship is $300. If you’d like to donate, write

Learn more about the nonprofit and its summer camps online.