RealtyOne Group - December 2018

December 2018

2058 E. Franklin Rd. Ste. 100, Meridian, ID 83642 • www.rogprofessionals.com • 208-375-3750

CHANGING THE LIVES OF TREASURE VALLEY CHILDREN

How Giraffe Laugh Accomplishes Their Mission, and How You Can Help than a mortgage payment — many people cannot afford quality care for their kids. We want to provide assistance to families in that income bracket and pair them with children from other diverse backgrounds.

I’ve been working for Giraffe Laugh for over 28 years, and I can’t explain to you what it’s like to receive a high school or college graduation announcement from past children who we’ve served. Some were at risk, and, without structure, many could have easily ended up on a different life path. The statistics show that if we can’t provide an outlet for children in this demographic, our society pays for it down the road with crime, prison sentences, and other adverse effects. Now, not every child is doomed to failure by any means, but we’re seeing a systemic impact when the needs of many are ignored. In our efforts to end a cycle of poverty, every school or marriage announcement we get from our kids is a way for us to see the influence we’ve had on the community.

“For every child we say yes to, we have to say no to three others, which is why we desperately want to expand our services.” otherwise not available. Every day, we have the pleasure of serving 200 kids through our four locations with an emphasis on ensuring school readiness, empowering families, and building strong futures for the children of our community. There is a drastically underserved population in Idaho, and many families meet the criteria for ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed. Those who fit in this subset of the population aren’t considered low income, but they aren’t financially stable enough to live with basic comforts. There’s a gap that many of these residents exist in, and when you factor in the costs of child care — often more Only 48 percent of Idaho kids are prepared for school when they enter kindergarten, creating an undeniable need in our community. Idaho is just one of five states in the country that doesn’t have support for early childhood, which limits our youth in pivotal years of their development. Giraffe Laugh wants to change that for the kids of our state so that they can have opportunities

Many of the children we see are hungry, and that’s why we’re thankful for our partnerships with the Idaho Foodbank and Nutrition Works. With them, we can provide three healthy meals every day. When you’re helping kids overcome vocabulary issues or speech impediments, it’s pivotal to provide optimal nutrition.

Many of those we serve don’t have access to books, or, in some cases, have never seen a book. Some older children struggle to communicate in complete sentences. Serving them properly means feeding each kid, and we’re fortunate that our partners share that sentiment. Like most nonprofits, one of our biggest hurdles is funding. We have about 500 kids on our waitlist, but due to financial constraints, we can’t serve everyone in need. In the past year, our scholarship need has risen about 35 percent, and every year, it increases. Not every child has the option to be helped by family or grandparents, and that makes organizations like ours even more crucial. For every child we say yes to, we have to say no to three others, which is why we desperately want to expand our services. If you have more questions, please reach out to us on our website, GiraffeLaugh.org. We’d love to help serve you or others in the Treasure Valley. There’s nothing more pivotal to a child’s growth than the first five years of their life. Let us help.

– Lori Fascilla

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