Builders Building Hope

ESI and Morgan Construction provide a check for creating Builders Building Hope at a press conference in Idaho Falls in February 2021.

The Idaho nonprofit Building Hope Today plans to use a $250,000 donation to hire an executive director and increase its national outreach to prevent child sexual abuse.

The donation was made earlier this month by Matt Morgan, owner of the Idaho Falls company Morgan Construction and founder of Building Hope Today. Morgan received the money after merging his company with ESI Construction in December. Morgan Construction is continuing to operate with the same name as a subsidiary of ESI, the state’s largest privately-owned general contractor.

A major part of the donation will go toward hiring an executive director and other full-time staff members who will lead the nonprofit as it expands. Building Hope Today’s project manager David Alexander said they are in the early stages of the national search and expect to hire the director by the end of 2021.

The nonprofit offers training services to police departments, local prosecutors, counselors and other groups about the best ways to detect and handle instances of children being sexually abused. Building Hope Today has offered training sessions to multiple police departments in Idaho as well as Washington, California and Texas.

A two-day training program for eastern Idaho was held in the fall of 2019 and another for Ada County was scheduled for mid-2020. Alexander said the group hopes to begin offering training sessions to smaller police departments around the state.

“Our larger metro areas can have officers devoted to this kind of work, but we find that training is especially valuable to officers in more rural areas where they are asked to do many things,” Alexander said.

At the same press conference that accompanied the donation, Morgan also announced the creation of Builders Building Hope. The group is a partnership between Building Hope Today and construction companies in Idaho to underwrite training costs and otherwise help the nonprofit reach people. Morgan donated an additional $25,000 to help launch Builders Building Hope.

“Morgan grew up in the construction world and is of the opinion that men in that world can and should step forward to protect children,” Alexander said.

Brennen is the main education reporter for the Post Register. Contact him with news tips at 208-542-6711.

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