The Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR) is a non-profit, multi-service charity in Idaho which provides “troubled children and families a bridge to a valued, responsible, and productive future” that was started by Reverend James Crowe and his wife Ruby in 1953 in Rupert, Idaho on a ranch.
Rev. Crowe and his wife started the ranch as an alternative to incarceration, institutionalization, and hospitalization for children. Over the years it has branched out into so much more than just that. The Idaho Youth Ranch gets its support from the revenues of their thrift stores all over Idaho, the first store was opened in Boise in 1982. It provided people in the community who were on a limited budget access to clothing, coats, shoes, blankets, cooking utensils, furniture and a wide variety of other items at a very cheap price. The money was put back into the community for youth programs. The Idaho Youth Ranch also gets it support from generous private donations.
How it Works:
People drop off their gently used items at an Idaho Youth Ranch donation center, each store has one. The items are checked over and placed out on the floor for sale. Each week the stores have a different tag color that is marked on clothing and other items that are 50% off the tag price. For every 12 cents, you spend you get a point on your Loyalty Card. Once you reach 20,000 points you get $20 to spend in any store you would like. The only catch is you have to spend the points all at once and you also have to pay the sales tax.
Where Your Donations Dollars Go:
- Adoption Programs
- Alternative Education for Children
- Foster Care
- Vocational Training
- Family Counseling
- Case Management
- Independent Living Services
- Crises Shelters
- Community-Based Group Homes
- Therapeutic Residential Programs
- Employment for Youths in IYR Programs
- College & Vocational Scholarships
- Financial Assistance
For myself, I am a musician and being on stage all the time I have to keep rotating my clothes. I became an Idaho Youth Ranch shopper because I am always on a very limited budget for clothing and frankly I would rather spend my money on new strings for my guitar than a huge clothing budget. Not only that but I think it’s wonderful that donations to the Idaho Youth Ranch have kept 2,500 + tons of items that could be recycled out of our landfills. I like green concepts!
Here are pictures of outfits I have bought during the last few months and all eight of these outfits cost me under $40. The skirts ranged in price from $2.50 on a colored tag day sale and the dresses about $3.50 when I found them on sale. The tops were anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00. You may have to do some digging to find what you are after, but the Idaho Youth Ranch keeps things in very good order by size, color and item type.
All of these clothes were in excellent condition. In fact, a few still had the original tags from the store where they were sold brand new. At the end of the day, my wallet is happy, and I have done something good for the community and the environment. There are 29 Idaho Youth Ranch Stores in Idaho. If you haven’t gone shopping in one before you should! It’s a great way to support Idaho’s Youth!!!
If you are a child or family that is in trouble or could use some help contact The Idaho Youth Ranch toll-free at 877-841-8141.