CALDWELL, Idaho — The biggest day of giving in the state is exactly one week away. Since 2012, more than $6.3 million has been raised for nonprofits as part of the annual Idaho Gives fundraising event.
As we gear up for this year, we want to look at how some of those donations have benefited the community.
The Salvation Army Caldwell came out $23,000 ahead after Idaho Gives 2018. With the money raised, the nonprofit was able to feed over 20 percent of the population in Caldwell. The money also supported a topnotch music and arts program that's raising spirits.
"It's not like you're performing for a crowd, you're performing for God, so it's a lot different," Paige Hensel said. "I feel like being a part of a church where I feel something different then performing on a stage is like peaceful, it gives me peace."
Hensel and Angelique Salinas are high school members of the "Reach for the Stars" music and arts program. They say it has changed their lives.
"When I open myself up to them I can say anything, like, if I'm going through something, I can talk to them and they're kinda like my family," Salinas said. "I can do anything in dance. Nothing can stop me."
Watching the positive impacts on kids is a big reason why Maj. Robyn Bridgeo and his wife have been Salvation Army officers for 17 years.
"We try to give them opportunities they might not be able to get otherwise, and to realize the only thing standing in their way is them," Bridgeo said.
"I can about social services and hunger," Bridgeo added. "We do that on a regular basis, but if I see a kid get to break the cycle of being the first one in the family to graduate, the first one to change their status and go and get a new goal and dream and they do something with that, that really, that really just does it for me."
The "Reach for the Stars" program won in three divisions in a Salvation Army regional competition in Oregon. Hensel and Salinas took home top prizes.
The Salvation Army, Caldwell Corps, says they are able to help so many kids and their families because of generous donations. Many of those donations come from Idaho Gives.
The Salvation Army Caldwell hopes to use money raised this year to send "Reach for the Stars" members to California to compete. They also hope to send 30 kids to camp. To learn more about the non-profits programs you can go to their website.
KTVB is once again a proud partner of Idaho Gives. This year's day of giving is coming up on Thursday, May 2. To look up local nonprofits you can donate to, check out the Idaho Gives website.