There is a dual significance to May the 4th: it is national Star Wars day of course (May the 4th be with you), and it is also #IdahoGives day.

On this day every year, people who live in Idaho or who just care a great deal about charities in the state are encouraged to give to their favorite non-profit. This year, I have a favorite I want to tell you about.

When I walked into the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology a few years ago, I could see it had potential, but it was like many other small museums. The organization was 100% volunteer supported. It’s a private museum, so they don’t get any state or Federal funds unless they get grant funds for specific projects, yet admission to the museum is still free.

There is a suggested donation, and when you visit you should give that and more. Don’t worry, they take checks, credit cards, and briefcases filled with cash or rare gems.*

*As long as the gems have been legally obtained and you don’t mind if they sell them to keep the lights on.

The exhibits and lighting needed some work. Items needed to be cataloged digitally. Stuff needed to be cleaned, garbage cleaned out of storage areas.

I met a few key people and did some consulting with the museum. They started using Past Perfect Software to catalog one of their collections, and I helped them import some catalog items that had been previously created in an Excel spreadsheet.

Fast forward a few years, and the museum is a different place. Lighting is better. The front desk and gift shop have been modernized. There are screens and new displays everywhere, and more is on the way.

The museum hosts geologists and other experts to do talks, conduct field trips and take student tours and Scout troops on hikes in the foothills nearby to teach them about geology and its value.

The museum is about more than mining. It is about the rocks and minerals that make up the earth we live on, the resources that come from those minerals, and how we use them.

I’m proud to have been a part of this organization, and I continue to consult with them from time to time. There are some great people doing great things there: Steve, Clint, Shirley, Eliza, Coyote, and many more.

So when you are deciding where to donate this year, consider the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology. Check out their website and what they are up to, and if you want to donate click on the link below.


The Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology is a 501(c)3 non-profit and all donations are fully tax-deductible.

And join me there on the afternoon of June 11th. I’ll be talking about mine site remediation and restoration, a side of mining that isn’t often talked about. More on that as the talk gets closer, but mark your calendars now. You won’t want to miss it.