PITTSBURG, Kan. — Thousands of dollars are going to a Pittsburg-based nonprofit in hopes of inspiring the next generation of healthcare workers.

An organization called UCare and the Community Health Center of southeast Kansas are each pitching in $25,000 for the Inspire Health Foundation. That’s a total of $50,000 aimed at promoting healthcare careers among Kansas students, specifically in rural areas.

Inspire Health’s mission is to teach kids, as early as pre-K to young adults, about the different types of careers in healthcare. The nonprofit provides schools with age-appropriate learning tools, like books and hands-on activities.

“Recent purchases I made were for first responder play kits for preschool or lower elementary students. First Responder Day is coming up. National First Responders Day is on October 28th, and that is one of those health careers that we are really in need of,” said Rebecca Turnbull, Inspire Health Foundation Executive Director.

Recent data shows the majority of areas with a “primary care professional shortage” are rural, a statistic Inspire Health aims to curb.