Future Wolverines receive first big donation

The Future Wolverines Foundation on Wednesday, April 20 received a $1,500 check from Northwest Farm Credit Services to help the nonprofit provide local kids with funds for sports fees and equipment.
 Founded in February by Herb and Kelly Haun, of Haun Packing, Future Wolverines actively seeks donations to pay for things like registration, equipment, uniforms, shoes, and other expenses associated with non-school sponsored activities. 
Not all families have room in their budgets for these extra expenses, leaving some kids sitting on the sidelines instead of participating.
 Future Wolverines and Northwest Farm Credit are trying to change that.
 “There are a lot of different needs in our rural communities and one of those needs involves our kids, some of them who can’t participate in sports because their families can’t pay for fees and equipment,” said Northwest Farm Credit’s Randi Svaty who was on hand last week to present the check to the Future Wolverines Foundation. “We believe every kid should have the opportunity to actively participate in sports and other activities and that cost should not be a deterring factor.”
 Northwest Farm Credit is a financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, and rural homeowners for customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. 
   Svaty said the business is invested in rural communities, also donating funds to a number of other causes throughout the year.
 “We do what we call our Rural Community Grant Opportunity,” she explained. “You can apply for any type of community need, as long as it’s a nonprofit. It used to be, you could apply quarterly, but now it’s open all year around. We’ve given to fire departments, children’s relief organizations, recreation departments, and we do a lot with food banks. It’s up to $5,000 that you can receive. You can apply any time of year. It requires a letter of recommendation.”
 Northwest Farm Credit, which serves communities as far north as Council and New Meadows, donated funds to Weiser two years ago when the tennis courts needed to be refinished.
 Also on hand last week during the check presentation was Weiser Recreation Department Director, Ken Anderson, who said that the Future Wolverine Foundation has served as a reminder to keep an eye out for kids who need assistance.
 “Honestly, now that we have a new focus on it, you kind of start seeing it a little more often,” he said of identifying kids in need. “I don’t want to say that there is a huge chunk out there, but there is enough that you can make a difference. It’s kind of like driving through a neighborhood. Most people are not in the habit of looking at all the roofs, but if you are in the business, you look and you know what roofs need work and which ones don’t. Now that we are a little more focused, you stop taking things for granted.”
 Anderson added that the money received from the organization stays separate from the recreation department funds, which has offered scholarships for kids in the past. 
   “It’s not like they (the foundation) give it to me, and we are like, ‘Whoa, what does the rec. department need?’ It’s not about us. The rec. department is basically the referral department, so when someone comes in and needs something, we now have an avenue where we can refer them to have those needs met.”
 Other referral sources include schoolteachers and others within the community who can make referrals to the foundation.
 Foundation President, Colton Mills, said that some families have multiple children, making things even tougher.
 “As a rural community, we get several people who want to participate and maybe their families can’t afford it, and it does get expensive quick, especially if you have two, three, or four kids trying to do sports at the same time,” he said. “We are trying to make sure every kid is able to play, that it’s not a money issue or equipment issue, providing an avenue so kids can participate. We want to make sure that by the time they are in middle school, when they do finally get to play for the first time, they are not so far behind and develop with the rest of the kids.”
 The effort not only helps in defraying costs, but also builds relationships, according to founder Kelly Haun.
 “One teacher told us that she recommended a kid to get equipment and she said the relationship with that child has changed because they found out that someone cares and they follow through,” she said. “That kid’s whole attitude toward thr teacher changed. That’s what we are looking for; we want to change lives.”
 Haun added that the foundation most recently furnished the Weiser Recreation Department with a $300 check to help cover kids for sports programs.
 For more information, call Kelly Haun at (208) 573-0812.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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