5 Organizations Working to Improve Life in Idaho
Known for its charming communities and natural beauty, Idaho relies heavily on the kindness of its citizens. Whether helping to care for pets without homes, providing food for those in need, or advocating for legislative action, these organizations bring people together to address problems, encourage one another, and make the state a better place to live for all. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
5 Active Organizations in Idaho
|The Idaho Foodbank||Boise||Largest distributor of free food assistance in the state, with a variety of programs and a network of community partners distributing over 20 million pounds of food annually|
|Idaho Shakespeare Festival||Boise||Offers performances of classic works at its outdoor amphitheater, as well as at schools for more than 50,000 children each year|
|Idaho Humane Society||Boise||Protects animals from cruelty and neglect, runs a pet food pantry, and offers veterinary services like vaccinations and dental cleanings while facilitating adoption and foster care|
|United Vision for Idaho||Boise||Promotes progressive action on a multitude of issues through civic engagement, education, and policy initiatives|
|Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation||Ketchum||Offers winter sports programs for youth at a range of skill levels, and established the Sun Valley Ski Academy to encourage academic and athletic achievement|
35 Years of the Idaho Foodbank
Idaho Statistical Snapshot
- Estimated population in 2018: 1,754,208
- Foreign-born population: 5.9%
- Number of veterans: 115,437
- Owner-occupied housing rate: 69.2%
- Median gross rent: $792
- Population 25+ with a bachelor's degree or higher: 26.8%
- Poverty rate: 11.8%
- There are just 19 people for every square mile of land in Idaho
- Unemployment rate: 3.2%
- Percentage of children below poverty level: 19.6%
- Elementary and secondary students eligible for free lunch: 69,300
- Obesity rate: 20%
- Median age: 41.6
- Leading cause of death: Heart disease
- People experiencing homelessness on a given day: 2,012
A Glimpse of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival
In almost every community, there are people struggling due to forces out of their control. In Idaho, there are non-profits dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout the state, providing financial assistance, meals, and even entertainment to those in need. With that in mind, here, in no particular order, are five organizations working to improve life in Idaho.
First up, at #1, we have The Idaho Foodbank. Founded in 1984, it's the largest distributor of free food assistance in Idaho, delivering millions of meals each year through a network of over 400 community-based partners across the state. It supports hunger-relief and educational programs that promote healthy families and communities, such as Picnic in the Park and Mobile Pantry.
To help students suffering from chronic hunger, the organization operates the Backpack program, where low-income children are given bags that contain enough food for around six meals and two snacks. It also runs the School Pantries program, which provides children and families in need with free supplemental food during the school year. Those who wish to support The Idaho Foodbank may donate online or send items from the organization's wish list.
Those who wish to support The Idaho Foodbank may donate online or send items from the organization's wish list.
Next, at the #2 spot, is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Its mission is to entertain and educate people of all ages through a range of programs, tours, and performances. Every year, the Festival's school tours reach thousands of children across Idaho and some of its neighboring states, including those in underserved communities. Through the many aspects of its Access Program, such as Signing Shakespeare and Captioning, it also serves people who otherwise could not participate in the theater.
The Festival supports emerging performers and promotes sustained employment opportunities for artists, hiring professional actors, technicians, and production staff to mount their main stage productions every year. Aside from donating online, those who wish to help may also sign up as a volunteer and assist the front of house during its shows throughout the year. The Festival also hosts an annual fundraising party, which typically features both live and silent auctions.
At #3 is the Idaho Humane Society, which advocates for the welfare and responsible care of animals and promotes humane treatment through education, awareness, and compassion. The IHS has several programs that focus on saving the lives of animals, such as the Inmate Dog Alliance Project of Idaho, which places difficult shelter dogs under the care of carefully screened participants, and the Pet Food Pantry, which provides resources to families and individuals in need.
The IHS has several programs that focus on saving the lives of animals, such as the Inmate Dog Alliance Project of Idaho, which places difficult shelter dogs under the care of carefully screened participants, and the Pet Food Pantry, which provides resources to families and individuals in need.
Its nonprofit veterinary hospital treats thousands of animals each year, providing a full range of services for pet owners, which include emergency medical treatment and educational presentations that emphasize proper care and the importance of spaying and neutering. The IHS is also able to provide veterinary services for low-income families and individuals who can't afford it otherwise. Those who wish to support the organization may apply to be a foster parent and take care of shelter animals at one's own home.
Taking the #4 spot is United Vision for Idaho, a progressive multi-issue organization dedicated to uniting Idahoans and placing the state at the center of a national movement for systemic change that aims to improve the lives of all Americans. In order to achieve its goals, U.V.I. focuses on political education, civic engagement, and strengthening relationships between diverse people and organizations.
Facing numerous challenges, such as an economic and political system that's designed to benefit a select few, U.V.I. trains staff and leaders, develops research and policy ideas, and takes direct action in order to ensure that people, not corporations, set the agenda. If you want to show your support, you may donate to them through their website or sign up as a member and join the cause.
If you want to show your support, you may donate to them through their website or sign up as a member and join the cause.
Finally, at #5, we have the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Founded in the 1960s, it provides exceptional winter sports programs for the youth of the Wood River Valley, allowing them to reach their full athletic potential and develop personal character. It offers a variety of programs that target people of all ages, from young skiers all the way to top-level athletes who want to compete in both national and international events.
Recognizing that strong academic achievement is important in creating well-rounded athletes, S.V.S.E.F., in partnership with the Sun Valley Community School, established the Sun Valley Ski Academy, where student-athletes are provided with a program that gives them a solid foundation for college while also benefiting from its many extracurricular activities. Those who want to get involved may send a gift online or sign up as a volunteer for their events.