Wow: The Generosity Project, a Wood River Valley-based nonprofit focused on youth, is donating $1,400 to the National Alliance for Mental Illness-Wood River Valley to support wellness programs.

According to a press release from Wow, whenever a class participates in a Wow Project, the organization donates $25 on behalf of each student to the partnering nonprofit. Fifty-six students from Betty Ervin’s studio art class at Wood River High School painted birdhouses that were on display at the “Journey to Wellness” art show on Monday at the KIC building in Ketchum. Each student researched a famous artist who had a mental illness, and then painted one of artist’s works onto a birdhouse.  

This is the first time NAMI-WRV has collaborated with Wow and the first time working with the high school art department.

“We are so thankful for the partnerships in the community that raise awareness,” NAMI-WRV Executive Director Christina Cernansky said. “We will use these funds to continue our Stigma Free campaign to raise public awareness to the mental health issues that are within our community.”

According to the press release, backing will also be used to support ongoing well-being programs and to assist with NAMI-WRV’s five free support groups in the valley.

“Wow believes it is critical to empower youth to positively impact their communities, that we teach them that their voices matter, and they not only have the power, but the responsibility to make a difference,” the release stated. “In order to help students understand the power of generosity and the role that nonprofits play in sustaining our small, but thriving community, Wow immerses students in all angles of the philanthropic experience: time, talent, and treasure.”

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