Program and retail growth continued at a strong pace in the 2000s. Early in the decade we served just under 6,000 people annually and by the end of 2009 the number had nearly tripled, with more than 15,600 people receiving direct services at 53 locations. Our organization also grew geographically, with the addition of both Easter Seals and Goodwill affiliations statewide in Utah.
$1.5 million endowment gift
In 2000, our organization received its largest philanthropic gift to date, as two generations of a Montana family donated $1.5 million to Easterseals-Goodwill’s endowment fund. The Rice family have been long-time friends and supporters of our organization and two of the brothers, Mike and Patrick Rice, served on our board of directors for many years. The family, including the brothers Mike, Patrick, Dan, and Peter, sisters Rosemary and Kathy, and extended family, made the gift in honor of the family patriarch and matriarch John and Mary Rice. The family credits John and Mary with instilling in them the importance of giving back to the community through their lifelong example.
Children’s therapy and early intervention open
The increasing prevalence of autism and benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of this and other developmental issues in young children led to the start of our autism services in Utah and Montana in 2007. Later in the decade, we added pediatric speech and physical and occupational therapy services through clinics in Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah. Our children’s services expanded to include an early intervention program in 2009 when we received a state contract to provide early intervention services for families in the Provo, Utah school district. Provo Early Intervention Program continues today and serves more than 400 children annually.
Re-entry services added in Idaho
Our organization began offering case management and employment services to adults leaving the Idaho prison system during the 2000s. Later, we added outpatient substance abuse treatment and mental health care. These re-entry services help people leaving the criminal justice system to address barriers and enable them to successfully re-enter the workforce and their community. Today, we provide services primarily to individuals in the specialty courts system in Caldwell and Mountain Home, Idaho.
WORC program helps welfare recipients in Montana
During the 2000s we were able to expand work-over-welfare services in Montana, called WORC, adding state contracts to assist welfare recipients in Cascade, Toole and Pondera counties in north central Montana, as well Big Horn County in the southeastern part of the state.