Kathy Sacher Wilson has a vision born of experience. With five children of her own, four of whom are now young adults, Wilson has long been connected to what she sees as an endemic Idyllwild problem — that many of Idyllwild’s youth and young adults don’t have a road map for their future or their lives. “So many of them are lost,” said Wilson. And she faults home situations — working or absent parents, not enough parental involvement or supervision, and, as a result, kids wandering into negative pathways. “These kids need help,” she said. “Many have come to my home knowing they’d get a hot meal.” She noted the young folk might also get some stern words from her. “But they’d know I care,” she said.
For many years, Wilson, with the support and involvement of her own children and many young helpers, has staged the Idyllwild Haunted Ghost Town. Profits from the month-long Halloween enterprise went to the Idyllwild PTA. And at times, some of the most troubled of town youth have worked for her, helping her stage the event. “Even kids who have stolen from me, at the event, are now welcome back in my house today,” she said. “They were arrested, they paid their retribution, and they deserve a chance to find their way forward — to become good citizens.”
So Wilson is championing a new endeavor, Young Idyllwild. She is trying to raise funds through crowd sourcing to pay for the process of securing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation. She wants to partner with other organizations, with trade schools and on-Hill instructors who could provide vocational training for some of these young people.
Eventually she’d like to find land upon which she and her volunteers could erect a steel building to become a permanent location to stage and house a variety of activities — activities both run by and benefiting Idyllwild’s at-risk youth. “Better yet, let’s get them on a pathway before they become at risk,” urged Wilson.
“We’re asking for your help to form an organization that would work with young people, Idyllwild’s teens and young adults, to produce activities and events in our community,” she said. “They will help with the ideas, planning and production of community events open to all — to the young and the young at heart – something to keep Young Idyllwild busy and provide opportunities for them to give back to their community.”
Wilson said a percentage of profits from staged events would fund the needs of Idyllwild youth — food, shelter and education. “I’m open to ideas from the community and to working with other organizations.”
The first stage is to fund forming the nonprofit, about $1,000, according to Wilson. She is trying to raise the funds through a crowd-sourcing online site, gofundme. To contribute, visit www.gofundme.com/ow0mrs.
Wilson said if the $1,000 goal is not reached, any funds raised would be donated to the Idyllwild School Booster Club that provides outdoor education field trips for Idyllwild Middle School students.
Leo Blair, one of Wilson’s committed young volunteers, said there is a definite need in Idyllwild for a place where young people can contribute to the community. “Something like this would give a lot of people something to do and a way to help,” he said. It would also keep people from going down the wrong path with alcohol and drugs.” Leo worked for four years for Wilson as a Haunted Ghost Town volunteer. “I worked one year as an actor and three years backstage helping to organize actors and crew.”
Should you have ideas or wish to volunteer to become part of a committed nucleus to help Idyllwild teens and young people, contact Wilson at 951-659-3228, 951-282-5629 or [email protected].