Club Awards Grants to Two Nonprofits
The club established and maintains the Eagle/Garden City Rotary Charitable Fund from which we award grants in two annual cycles — summer and winter — to qualifying nonprofits that focus on one or more of Rotary’s seven areas of focus. (Protecting the environment is being added to the current six areas). Online applications were due on Jan. 11, and allocation committee members met Jan. 27, to review the applications and determine the awards. In all, six nonprofits submitted excellent applications requesting funds for specific projects and general programs. 
The $1,000 grant to St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Idaho addresses a definite need for people who were incarcerated but are now reentering society to have cell phones for communication. The organization will use the funds to purchase a flip-type phone and prepaid minutes for each returning citizen. According to Executive Director Ralph May, with these phones, "selected returning citizens are better equipped to find a job, make and keep appointments and stay connected with court-ordered requirements." Something as simple as a phone and minutes can give returning citizens a better chance of success and reduce recidivism. Our committee thought that the idea was creative and the population benefited by the project was unique.
The Learning Lab also received a $1,000 grant to replace outdated computers. The Learning Lab offers adult literacy through one-on-one or small-group instruction. It also has a unique Family Literacy program that helps preschooler prepare for success in school. Unfortunately, much of the Learning Lab's instruction has moved online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. And according to Executive Director Monique Smith, the organization's computer needs for staff and students couldn't keep up with the demand. With the grant, the Learning Lab will be able to replace a couple of computers and better fulfill its mission.
If funds were unlimited, we would have awarded grants to all six nonprofits who applied. Those who submitted applications but did not receive grants in this cycle included the Boise Rescue Mission's City Light Home for Women and Children, Camp Rainbow GoldCATCH and Purses With a Purpose Boise. As a club, we hope to support these deserving organizations through individual donations and volunteerism.
These organizations and any other local nonprofits are welcome to submit grant applications during our summer 2021 cycle. Check back for details on our website in late March or early April.