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It's Your Business 2018: Youth nonprofits have big impact on community

A Kids Klub, Inc., family dinner in 1999. My parents, Dave and Arlene Palmer, with their three granddaughters (L-R) Avery, Hailey and Brianna. All three are alumnae of Kids Klub, Inc.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
A Kids Klub, Inc., family dinner in 1999. My parents, Dave and Arlene Palmer, with their three granddaughters (L-R) Avery, Hailey and Brianna. All three are alumnae of Kids Klub, Inc.


Lorie Palmer

In 2017, for its debut issue, “It’s Your Business” focused on several family-owned businesses throughout Idaho County. Our communities would not be the same without them.

This year, in this expanded section which gets its name from the weekly column I write for the Free Press, we wanted to focus on some of our county’s youth development programs.

Although these entities are non-profits, they are nonetheless businesses within our communities:

According to the web-site Board, “Nonprofit doesn’t mean nonbusiness. Since the ‘non’ part of profit simply refers to where profit goes (back into the organization, not to shareholders), a nonprofit is otherwise a mission-driven business, complete with business processes, revenue, P&L, employees, etc.”

I know there are some disagreements on competition with the private sector and when a nonprofit should act like a business, but I think we can agree that the youth programs in our area are operating with the best of intentions to focus on and care for our area’s children and young adults.

I had the privilege of serving on the Kids Klub, Inc., board in Grangeville for 13 years, in two different stints. Both of my daughters attended Kids Klub: Avery started out in the program when it was in a building on the north side of town. Hailey attended at GEMS. They each stayed on with the program from kindergarten through grade five, when sports and other activities kicked in. They each participated in Kids Klub Choristers for several years (performing on local television and even cutting CDs with director Wendy Lindsley) as well as the middle school Xperience Xpedition programs.

Though our children were blessed enough to have their grandparents for childcare when they were infants and toddlers, they were fortunate to be in the care of Kids Klub once they entered their elementary school years. As two working parents, my husband and I not only felt good about where they would be after school – safe, warm, fed – but also appreciated the homework assistance and enriching extracurricular activities.

As a volunteer on the board – which I should say is a working board where each person has a job – I learned the value of a budget, good, loyal educators running the program, and dedicated, passionate people who were concerned not only with the day-to-day and year-to-year running of the programs, but also the long-term sustainability and ability to reach more children.

In addition to Kids Klub and a variety of other local programs and organizations which helped shaped my girls (including a strong church presence), 4-H also played an important role in their development. While Avery was only in it for a few years, Hailey had 11 years of 4-H in horse, horticulture, scrapbooking and table setting activities, to name a few. She served on the Mod Squad leadership group and found a way to be successful outside of the school setting through 4-H and all it offered. When she recently got her first “real” job in Boise, it was her participation in 4-H that first grabbed the attention of her soon-to-be boss. “When I saw all those years you were in 4-H, I knew I was going to hire you,” he told her. What a testament for an incredible program.

Those of us who live in Idaho County already know we are fortunate. How much more blessed are we to have wonderful options for our youth, run by people who genuinely care for and invest in their lives? Join us in learning more about some of these programs in the 2018 issue of “It’s Your Business.”

Lorie Palmer Russell has worked for the Free Press for 23 years. She feels volunteering in the community is important and although she is no longer on the KK board, she volunteered with the GEMS PTA (newsletter) and with her church Wednesday night children’s group for years and now helps with publicity for Distinguished Young Women of the Camas Prairie.


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