Nonprofit Spotlight

02 Oct 2017

Local Organizations Working to Make a Difference

Summer 2017

| Images: Courtesy Habitat for Humanity, Teton County Library Foundation, Friends of the Teton River, Womentum and Alex Lemieux

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY “A hand up, not a hand out” is the motto of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area. Over the past two decades, the nonprofit has built over 30 Teton County homes. To participate, potential homeowners have to earn less than 80 percent of the county’s median income, pass a rigorous background check, need housing, be able to pay a mortgage, and be willing to participate in the process. They must also contribute at least 500 hours of “sweat equity” toward the construction of their home and attend a dozen homeowner education classes. Homeowners also pay $2,500 toward closing costs and purchase their homes with a zero interest loan. The organization’s latest project, The Grove, Phase III, is scheduled to break ground in June. WOMENTUM This female-focused nonprofit aims to “empower and connect women as leaders within their community.” The organization began 11 years ago with a mission to help women develop skills and confidence and provide opportunities for networking. The signature Womentum program is “Womentoring,” which pairs women up in one-on-one mentoring relationships. The program runs for nine months and helps women develop their leadership skills in order to serve in all types of leadership roles, including those in their professional, civic, and personal lives. Womentum also hosts a variety of workshops, dinners, and events. Program graduates are local entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, office holders, and artists, and their endeavors benefit the whole community. FRIENDS OF THE TETON RIVER Teton Valley, Idaho-based nonprofit Friends of the Teton River works to promote "clean water, healthy streams, and thriving fisheries in the Teton Watershed." The organization focuses on community education, science, restoration, and collaborative efforts related to protecting and improving water quality, stream flows, and maintaining healthy fish and wildlife habitat, with an emphasis on the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. The group also encourages people to connect with and enjoy the river through a variety of events and restoration opportunities. Research is a key part of those efforts and the organization works to collect data and use the best available science to help formulate restoration and protection plans while partnering with stakeholders, agencies, and nonprofit colleagues. TETON COUNTY LIBRARY FOUNDATION The Teton County Library Foundation raises and manages funds to support the library in connecting local residents to resources for learning and engaging with the world and community. The foundation purchases books, computers, downloadable materials, and audio resources for library patrons to use in addition to funding library programming such as the Page to the Podium series of author events, Writers in the Schools, summer reading programs, and the Mountain Story Festival. Additionally, the foundation funds hardware for technology tutoring and a variety of services and resources in both Jackson and Alta, Wyoming. Overall, the foundation funds about 10 percent of the library's budget.
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