WMH Foundation launches 2024 scholarship campaign

By: 
Philip A. Janquart
When you make a donation to Weiser Memorial Hospital Foundation through Idaho Gives, you are helping to support area students.
 Now in its fourth year, the WMHF Healthcare Scholarship aims to assist students seeking degrees and certifications in the healthcare field. 
 Funding for the program comes primarily through the online Idaho Gives campaign, which takes place April 29 through May 2 this year.
 You can find out more here: www.idahogives.org.
 “It’s four days of philanthropic giving throughout the state and there are other nonprofits from Weiser that are participating,” said WMHF Executive Director Kimberly Burgess. “Our main focus is to raise resources to continue funding our healthcare scholarship.”
 A total of 10 scholarships have been awarded to students pursuing education in a healthcare related field since the foundation launched its program in 2021, two students initially receiving $1000 apiece. In 2023, six scholarships were awarded. This year, the foundation plans to award a total of seven students $1,000 each.
 In 2023, WMHF raised $6,000 through Idaho Gives, receiving funds from 73 different donors. Administrators would like to build on that.
 “Idaho Gives has all of these unique challenges, like contests, if you will, that nonprofits get to participate in and one of them is called ‘Surpassing the Past,’” Burgess explained. “Of course, we want to raise more [money] than we did last year, but one of the other things we’re looking to do is involve and recruit new donors, to surpass the 73-donor mark from last year.”
 Participating in the challenge could result in a cash prize through Idaho Gives’ sponsors, which would directly benefit the scholarship fund, so everyone is encouraged to make a donation of any amount.
 Participants can choose from the preset donation amount buttons on the Idaho Gives site, but there is also a “choose your own amount” button that allows donors to exactly how much they would like to give.
 “It all adds up; it all helps, and I think that’s the big thing,” Burgess said. “We would be really grateful for a contribution, of any amount.”
 For the second year in a row, WMHF is matching funds received.
 “Our (WMHF) Board of Directors and (WMH) Trustees have partnered together to create a matching fund,” Burgess said. “They have pooled their resources financially to create that. So, if somebody donates, say $25, the fund will release another $25 from that pool of money.”
 So far, board members and trustees contributed $1,200 to the matching fund.
 Money raised this year will go to fund scholarships next year, the foundation working ahead to keep things on track.
 “I’m proud of our directors and trustees because they are asking people to make contributions to Idaho Gives, but they are also contributing themselves. They aren’t going to ask people in the community to do something that they are not willing to do themselves, whether that’s volunteering, giving their time and talent, or their financial resources. They are leading the way, setting an example and stepping up.”
 The deadline to apply for the WMHF Healthcare Scholarship was April 15. Burgess noted that the scholarship selection committee received more submissions this year than ever before.
 “We don’t usually release the number that we have, but it’s in the double digits,” she said. “I can tell you that we had a pool that included students as far north as Midvale down to Weiser, and all over Washington County. It’s students that are just graduating this year and those that are all the way up into their last year in college.”
 They can use the money for a variety of fees and expenses that typically come with higher education, such as books, lab fees, parking, and more.
 “We just want to encourage people to consider making a donation during Idaho Gives, to make a donation that is meaningful to them, no matter how much it is,” Burgess said. “It’s been really rewarding to be able to give back to the community, especially to students that are going into a healthcare related field.”

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18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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