RICHFIELD, Idaho — The Lincoln County Youth Center is a long-term project by Lincoln County Commissioners and local nonprofit organization, Lincoln County Legacy Project, to provide children with an educational outlet outside of school.
Since August, board members have been showcasing the facility to residents, raising just over $9,000 through other small fundraisers and community donations. In the last month, the board received two major donations at a critical time.
Richfield United Methodist Church donated $5,000, and 4-Bros Dairy Inc from Shoshone donated $10,000 to help the dream become a reality.
"It just seems to me that this is a tremendous opportunity for the community to do something like this," says Glenn Baren, Richfield United's Chairman of Trustees. "They've needed this for years."
"Anything we can do to help the kids in this community thrive and find their passion, we're going to back that," adds Karma Fitzgerald, a Youth Center Board Member and 4-Bros Dairy, Inc. rep.
The donations will go towards this year's lease and some appliances needed throughout the building.
"We need electricians and plumbers to come in, take a look at what we have, and give us a list of what we need to do. We have some lighting fixtures that need to come down, and we need to get them replaced," said Fitzgerald.
Board members are looking to make the entire building handicap accessible.
Now that certain expenses are covered, board members and commissioners can focus on applying for much-needed grants. The first being a grant to help purchase the property for $250,000. The second grant is the 21st Century After School and Summer Programming to help construct a curriculum and gather supplies.
"This would allow us to have homework help, to have STEM programs, to have all kinds of different enrichment programs for kids after school also during summer camps so that is a huge need for us," says Lincoln County Commissioner Rebecca Wood.
Some other groups have also assisted the Youth Center's efforts this year. Pioneer Federal Credit Union donated a large number of old office supplies, Shoshone Family Medical Center donated a phone system, and a local Zumba instructor has been donating a portion of her classroom fees to help support the facility.
Although all of the donations have been very beneficial, the need for other community involvement is still high, and the County Office is open to anyone looking to help.
"There is nothing more important than our children in Lincoln County so if you really want to put your money to help somebody really succeed in life, to change lives, to allow children to reach their goals, come talk to us," said Wood.