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Idaho Falls counts down to Idaho Gives

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - At midnight Thursday, it's go time on the second annual Idaho Gives day of donating. For 24 hours, people across the state of Idaho can donate to hundreds of nonprofits.

In Bonneville County alone, 29 groups are participating.

"You can go shopping online and say 'Oh, I heard about that good cause. I bet I can find them here', then search by a keyword," said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper.

One of those keywords may be "animals," as humane societies and the Tautphaus Park Zoo are participating in Idaho Gives.

"Last year the society participated and all money raised went to the otter exhibit. This year, the society is participating again, and all the money is going to go to the Dave Wilson Scholarship Fund," said Beth Rich, superintendent at Tautphaus Park Zoo.

That fund creates opportunities for more kids to participate in zoo education programs.

Education is also the goal for the Idaho Falls Arts Council.

"Ten dollars will get googly eyes at Youth Jam. It can get three students to come into a matinee who otherwise wouldn't get to see it. You can also do larger amounts to help subsidize families to come in to Artitorium when it opens in August," said Brandi Newton, executive director for the Idaho Falls Arts Council.

There are some nonprofits you might not think of, like the Senior Citizens Community Center. Workers there deliver meals and provide programming at no cost to seniors.

"Until we are needed by a family, they don't realize we are here. So sometimes it's hard to get donations in because they don't know about us," said Valisa Say, executive director.

"The non-rofit groups really take care of all of the final needs in our community. They deserve support," said Casper.

That's why the Idaho National Laboratory has signed on as a major sponsor for the event.

"We are invested in what they are doing, we care about the services they bring in, and it's a great opportunity for everybody to give and make a difference," said Lori Priest, community relations spokesperson for the INL.

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