Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has declared November as Idaho Nonprofit Awareness Month.
We found another good nonprofit. Project Linus is a national organization, but it does have Idaho chapters. There is one in Pocatello representing southeastern Idaho. Project Linus is a group whose members make quilts and blankets for children who live in southeastern Idaho who are at risk. The blankets ride along in police cars and fire trucks. They are also distributed to hospitals, social service agencies, and other medical care facilities. The group needs help. They need material and donations. KIDK thought it would be a good opportunity to Pay It Forward.
"Angie is here with me. Across the street, we're heading into the First Presbyterian Church. They are downstairs. The ladies are meeting right now. They don't know we're coming. There is one lady that's helped us set this up. We're going to go across and surprise them now and you've got the goods right?" asked Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz to Angie Nelson.
"Let's Pay It Forward," said Nelson, with Mountain America Credit Union.
"OK, time to Pay It Forward. Let's go do this," said Kunz as the two walk across the street.
They enter the church and go downstairs.
"Hi there. Excuse me. Where is Joyce?" asked Kunz.
"Right behind you," said the group of women gathered around sewing machines.
"Right behind us?" repeated Kunz. "Where's Joyce. Are you Joyce?" he said.
"Right," replied Joyce.
"Joyce Weaver? asked Kunz.
"Yes," she said.
"With Project Linus?" asked Kunz.
"Correct. This is Project Linus," said Weaver.
"This is a big project," said Kunz.
"It is," said Weaver.
"Well, I'm Todd Kunz from Channel 3, and I have a good friend here with me. This is Angie Nelson from Mountain America Credit Union," said Kunz.
"Well, we're here Joyce today because somebody in the community here thought that you were doing some pretty good work with Project Linus, making a difference for others and because of that, I'm here on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union to Pay It Forward today with Todd," said Nelson.
"Wow!" said Weaver.
"So for that, we have $500 cash today, just for you," said Nelson.
"Oh my goodness. Wow! You know what? Thank you!" said Weaver.
"Oh, you're so welcome," said Nelson.
"I will tell you that we've been making so many blankets, especially teens, which take more than two yards each, that we were running short on fabric and our fundraisers have been trying to get people to get on the ball and I wondered if we would run out by the end of the year, but with this, we certainly will not," said Weaver.
"Oh, I love hearing that," said Nelson.
"I'm going to cry. Thank you so much," said Weaver.
"Great," said Kunz.
"Thank you," said Nelson.
"Thank you," said Weaver.
"And thank all of you too," said Nelson.
"These kids can't help what kind of a family situation they are born into and it's just a way of passing on some love," said project facilitator, Tracy Meyer.
"Sick children that have nothing," said delivery person, Renae Mansfield.
"Every once in a while, we'll get a 'thank you' card from someone and those are tear jerkers and that's why I do it, for the kids," said secretary Shirley Atkinson.
"The best part is that I have actually seen children with the blanket before, so I know that they are receiving them," said Mansfield.
"You come away from that and that's got to tug pretty hard at the heart?" asked Kunz.
"It does, but it also makes us realize that we are helping, even if it's just a little bit at a time. We are helping the community," replied Mansfield.
Project Linus made and donated 1,087 blankets in 2015. They are almost at 700 so far in 2016, with 125 during the month of November already. If you would like to donate, you can reach Project Linus by calling Joyce Weaver at 208-478-2170.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday and Thursday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.