Bad Economy Taking Toll on Kids Unlimited

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, June 26 2012 at 6:23 PM, Updated: Tue, June 26 2012 at 7:26 PM

13-year-old Grant Linville travels from Eagle Point to play basketball at Kids Unlimited in Medford.

"Out in Eagle Point we don't have any basketball programs," said Linville.

He's one of many kids who, without Kids Unlimited, would not be able to play basketball and get coached during the summer.

"If you're not doing anything, you're bored, and when you're bored, you get in trouble," said 13-year-old Tanner Hill, who also comes from Eagle Point to play basketball.

Kids Unlimited became nationally recognized when President Obama stopped there as part of his campaign in 2008.

However, as the bad economy continues to linger it's taking a toll on
Kids Unlimited and other nonprofits in our area.

"The need is greater and the resources to assist kids are less," said Tom Cole, Executive Director at Kids Unlimited.

Staff at Kids Unlimited say it's been even more difficult to fundraise, with nonprofits going to the same people asking for donations;  donations that are dwindling.

"State services are declining, resources from government are declining [...] it's a trickle down and when we're at the front lines of serving kids and families, we feel that," said Cole.

According to Tom Cole, he's had to lay people off, and consolidate summer programs for kids.

"It's tough because I think nonprofits are already operating at a very rubber meets the road system anyway," said Cole.

Mother, Dinah Linville says it's imperative Kids Unlimited gets the funding they need.

"It is a safety net for kids who wouldn't have any other opportunities," said Linville.

Tom Cole said people who have been volunteers are now clients using services. He said just two-years ago they were in a position to donate...but now need the help.

In the fall, it's possible he might have to consolidate more programs.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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