Boise-Based Organization Donates $ 16,000 to Idaho State Nursing Students


By Kalama Hines

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POCATELLO, Idaho ( – A recent donation of $ 16,000 is just the latest in a Boise organization’s ongoing efforts to honor its namesake.

The John William Jackson Fund was established about 20 years ago, following the death in 1994 of the son of founder Bill “Action” Jackson. This latest donation, which brought the organization’s annual total to more than $ 100,000, provided scholarships to eight nursing students at Idaho State University.

Since its inception, the organization has traveled to Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Montana, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington to collect unused and junk construction materials from job sites. These materials are then recycled and the money is donated.

“The mission is to advance academic scholarships, from elementary to college and university – we don’t give scholarships to elementary school students, but we bring them out and introduce them to the performing arts,” he said. declared Action.

The performing arts, especially music, were among John’s many interests. Like football and mountaineering, the money generated by the fund also goes to sports programs, mainly football and mountaineering.

This latter donation is, however, further testimony to the organization’s commitment to its philanthropic work.

After collecting waste materials from numerous construction sites across the state, including the recently dedicated Pocatello LDS Temple, the fund donated $ 16,000 in scholarships to eight students in the nursing program of the ISU.

The fund normally supports ISU’s Meridian campus – and its accelerated nursing program for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. But this time, Action said, the university asked if it would be willing to split the donation between the Meridian and Pocatello campuses, which it was happy to do.

Associate Dean and Director of the ISU School of Nursing Dr. Karen Neill said the fund’s commitment and donations, which have grown over the past two years, have always been appreciated, but with the increase in the demand for nurses, it will have an even greater impact.

“Most of these students are from rural Idaho,” Neill said of the impact. “These scholarships help them realize their dream of becoming a nurse, and many of them want and will return to their rural communities to practice nursing.

Proof of this sentiment, three of the four students who received the scholarship are from the small community of Rupert, with a population of less than 6,000, according to the 2019 census.

“In my mind – wow, where would you find a situation where three Rupert students ended up getting three of the four (awarded) scholarships?” Action said.

The Minidoka Memorial Hospital, serving the Rupert area, currently has eight open nursing positions, according to the hospital’s website.

The $ 16,000 brought the fund’s total donations to nursing and health sciences scholarships to over $ 100,000 for the year, Action said. An additional $ 41,500 was donated to the ISU in May, he added. The Brigham Young University-Idaho Nursing School in Rexburg also received $ 6,000 of the grand total.

And these efforts take a lot of work.

On average, Action explained, the organization collects between $ 1,000 and $ 2,500 worth of recyclable materials at each construction site, which means it took nearly 100 construction sites to collect the total. year for nursing programs only.

Neill is impressed when you consider the amount of work it takes to produce the massive annual total and the nearly $ 2 million he has donated over his 20 year history.

“He’s an older man and he always goes out and does the job himself, with his team,” said Neill. “They scrap metal and they turn it into scholarships, and we are very grateful for the money they have provided to our students.”

The John William Jackson Fund mainly works with large construction companies and larger construction sites, due to the labor-intensive material collection process, so the organization does not accept small donations. Those interested in donating to the organization, however, can do so here.

“He lost his son and he wanted to do something good, and that’s his response,” added Neill. “She’s such an interesting and fabulous person to do that… it’s really something else.”

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