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First Federal Community Foundation Announces 2021 Spring Grant Awards

FIRST FEDERAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2021 SPRING GRANT AWARDS

19 Local Nonprofits to Share $452,500

Port Angeles, WashingtonFirst Federal Community Foundation has selected 19 nonprofit organizations to receive a total of $452,500 in funding during its spring 2021 grant cycle.

These nonprofits provide essential services and basic support for individuals and families in need in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties, said Foundation Executive Director, Jan Simon.

During this grant cycle, Simon noted, the Foundation has directed support to “nonprofits that are working to increase access to food, affordable housing, education, and healthcare, with additional funding directed to organizations that are fulfilling immediate needs that were caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Foundation President, Norman J. Tonina, described this year’s spring grant recipients as “organizations that make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable residents, serving as a lifeline – particularly during the pandemic.” He added, “The Foundation is proud to provide financial resources to these effective and responsive nonprofits who change people’s lives for the better, day in and day out.” Since the Foundation began making grants in 2015, it has contributed $4,894,000 to nonprofits in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties.

Spring 2021 Grant Awards were made to:

Bellingham Public Schools Foundation: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the GRADS program, which provides onsite, high-quality childcare and social-emotional support services to low-income teenaged parents, many of whom are homeless and non-English speaking, making it possible for them to focus on, and graduate from, school.

Cascade Medical Advantage: $7,500 Community Support Grant to help remove barriers to recovery by offering essential short-term assistance—including food, temporary housing, transportation, and medication—to people in Whatcom County who are engaged in opioid addiction treatment, most of whom are indigent and often homeless.

Coats for Kids: $5,000 Community Support Grant to provide new coats, socks, and shoes to approximately 200 low-income children in Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County: $50,000 Affordable Housing Grant to establish the infrastructure – including streets, sewer, and utility hook-ups – for 20 units of permanent affordable housing in Port Townsend.

Jefferson Healthcare Foundation: $20,000 COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant to provide emergency food assistance to 300 patients of the hospital, emergency room, family birth center, and primary care clinic, as well as financial aid to Jefferson Healthcare staff to relieve some of the burden of childcare costs.

Kids in Concert: $5,000 Community Support Grant to sponsor the participation of 100 Kitsap County children in one of four free summer learning camps.

Kitsap Community Resources: $50,000 Affordable Housing Grant to fund the construction of the Manette Project, which will provide affordable housing and case management support for nine low-income families with children who are formerly or currently homeless.

Kitsap Harvest: $7,500 Community Support Grant to fund the build-out of cold storage units, along with a food aggregation station, that will make it possible to provide more fresh and perishable foods to 3,000+ low-income Kitsap County community members.

NAMI of Whatcom County: $5,000 Community Support Grant to build capacity to serve the Latinx Community affected by mental illness.

Olympic Peninsula YMCA: $50,000 Community Development Grant to purchase a refrigerated cargo van to deliver more than 50,000 meals annually to 325 food-insecure Jefferson County children on weekends, non-school days, holiday breaks, and over the summer.

Opportunity Council: $5,000 Community Support Grant to help feed hungry home-bound Whatcom County residents by delivering food from food banks to their homes.

Port Angeles Food Bank: $50,000 Community Development Grant to help fund the purchase of the Food Bank’s “forever home.” This facility will serve more than 500 households weekly, and will include an innovative open market, commercial kitchen, and meeting space.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center: $5,000 Community Support Grant to provide more than 200 low- and middle-income students from Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties with engaging and meaningful science education.

Sequim Education Foundation: $7,500 Community Support Grant to make laptops available to low-income and homeless students in the Sequim School District.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul: $50,000 Community Development Grant to help meet the emergency needs of hundreds of individuals and families in Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties who would otherwise have nowhere to turn for help.

The Nature Conservancy: $50,000 Economic Development Grant to support three pilot projects that, when brought to full scale, will create approximately 30 jobs and generate $10 million in revenue in Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

Unity Care Northwest: $50,000 Community Development Grant to fund capital expenses for The Way Station in Whatcom County, where individuals and families experiencing homelessness will be able to access needed services and receive assistance in transitioning to sustainable housing.

Vamos Outdoors Project: $5,000 Community Support Grant to provide academic and outdoor programming for approximately 60 Whatcom County migrant youth.

Western Washington University Foundation: $25,000 COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant for the Student Emergency Fund, which provides a financial lifeline for students needing support with rent, utilities, groceries, medical and dental bills, and more.

 

About First Federal Community Foundation:

First Federal Community Foundation is a private charitable corporation established with a gift of stock and cash valued at nearly $12 million from the parent company of First Fed, when the bank was converted to a publicly traded company. This gift underscored First Fed’s commitment to continue its tradition of giving back to the communities it serves.

In that same spirit, First Federal Community Foundation is committed to creating broad impact in the communities in which First Fed, the Foundation’s sole donor, maintains full-service branches.

Since the Foundation began making grants in 2015, it has contributed $4,894,000 to nonprofits making a difference in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties.

About First Fed:

First Fed is a local community bank, serving customers and communities since 1923, with 13 locations in Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties. First Fed is a subsidiary of First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB), a holding company for the bank and other investments.

In 2020, First Fed bank and foundation donated over $1 million to nonprofit organizations and First Fed’s team volunteered over 2,400 hours with nonprofits.

 

For more information, contact Jan Simon, Executive Director, at jan.simon@firstfedcf.org or 360-417-3112.

 

For a PDF of this press release, please click here.

First Federal Community Foundation Announces Fall 2020 Grant Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 16, 2020

NONPROFITS SERVING CLALLAM, JEFFERSON, KITSAP & WHATCOM COUNTIES SHARE $365,000 IN GRANT AWARDS

First Federal Community Foundation Announces Fall 2020 Grant Recipients

 

Port Angeles, Washington – Twenty-five nonprofit organizations will share a total of $365,000 in grant funding as part of First Federal Community Foundation’s Fall 2020 grant cycle, the Foundation has announced.

Grant recipients include nonprofit organizations that provide community support, address the availability of affordable housing, and deliver community and economic development projects. “Since it began making grants in 2015, the Foundation has contributed a total of $4,441,500 to difference-making organizations in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties,” said Foundation Executive Director, Jan Simon.

“All of the recipients in our Fall 2020 grant cycle are focused on improving lives in our communities, a mission that is even more urgent during these challenging times,” Ms. Simon noted.

First Federal Community Foundation Board Chairman, Norman J. Tonina, said that the Foundation is proud to play an even more critical role in our communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make a devastating impact on people’s lives. “We are acutely aware that many of our neighbors are experiencing great difficulty, with the ranks of the most vulnerable increasing daily. It’s our honor to provide support to these worthy organizations that are providing a lifeline to so many in need.”

 

Fall 2020 Grant Awards were made to:

  • Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the Grab & Go Meal Program, which provides prepared meals for distribution by three nonprofits on Bainbridge Island and in North Kitsap to people experiencing food insecurity as a result of the current economic crisis.

 

  • Bainbridge Island Boys & Girls Clubs: $5,000 Community Support Grant to provide full-day childcare services and meet the growing need caused by COVID-19 for affordable childcare, remote learning support, peer connection, physical activity, and social-emotional growth opportunities.

 

  • Bayside Housing & Services: $25,000 Affordable Housing Grant to provide essential services, including transitional housing, meals, and case management assistance in finding jobs and permanent housing, for two Jefferson County families of three for one year.

 

  • Blue Skies for Children: $5,000 Community Support Grant to provide bicycles and helmets, school-related computers and flash drives, tutoring, graduation fees and more for approximately 40 children, ages 6-18, who are homeless, low-income, or in foster care in Whatcom County.

 

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula: $10,000 Community Support Grant for the Learning Support Center in Sequim, funding increased staffing, upgraded technology for virtual learning, and new equipment to provide safe, direct educational support for more low-to moderate-income, disadvantaged children, ages 6-18.

 

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County: $10,000 Community Support Grant to fund scholarships for 40 children from low-income families to engage in online classes and receive additional academic, emotional, and social support in safe, equipped and supervised distanced learning sites.

 

  • Catholic Community Services of Western Washington: $5,000 Community Support Grant to fund supplies for the volunteer Olympic Bluebill Builders, retired engineers who install life-saving safety equipment such as access ramps, grab bars, and handrails in the homes of the elderly and those with disabilities in Kitsap, Clallam, and Jefferson Counties.

 

  • Communities In Schools of Whatcom County: $10,000 Community Support Grant to increase trauma-informed, one-to-one and group tele-mentoring for in-risk and at-risk, homeless, and extremely low-income students, connecting them to needed basic resources, technology and a caring adult who will coach them through these difficult times of isolation, frustration and other potential risk factors.

 

  • Jefferson Community Foundation’s Housing Solutions Network: $25,000 Affordable Housing Grant to promote Jefferson County’s economic recovery by protecting and expanding the availability of affordable housing for its workforce with “Housing Connections,” a program that trains new landlords, connects them to local lenders for renovations, and also helps match them to renters.

 

  • Key City Public Theatre: $30,000 Economic Development Grant for the completion of the Facility Expansion and Improvement Project, to provide for better accessibility, address COVID-related safety issues, and reopen the Theatre, which contributes to the sustainability of Port Townsend’s historic districts.

 

  • Kitsap Conservation District: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the Farm-to-Food Bank Program, delivering fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms to the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition, providing hungry community members with healthy food while also supporting a vibrant local farm economy.

 

  • Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center: $5,000 Community Support Grant to serve immigrant families affected by the pandemic by providing rent, energy, legal and food assistance, and more.

 

  • Morningside: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the High School Transition Program, a skill-building, weekly job club which prepares Clallam County students with disabilities, ages 16-21, for work, inclusion, and independence after graduation.

 

  • Northwest Youth Services: $10,000 Community Support Grant for the REVIVE Behavioral Health Program, which provides access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment for Whatcom County’s low-income youth and young adults experiencing housing instability and homelessness.

 

  • Olympic Angels: $5,000 Community Support Grant to engage 80 new community volunteers to provide long-term relational support, and make deep connections with 30 new foster children and their caretakers in Jefferson and Clallam Counties in the year 2021.

 

  • Parkview Services: $25,000 Affordable Housing Grant to provide no-cost HUD housing counseling services to prevent foreclosures for approximately 40 struggling homeowners in Whatcom, Kitsap, Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

 

  • Port Angeles Waterfront Center’s Field Arts & Event Hall: $50,000 Economic Development Grant to underwrite the construction costs to achieve LEED Certification, which directly contributes to reducing carbon emissions, energy and waste, conserving water, prioritizing safer materials, lowering community exposure to toxins, and reducing operating costs.

 

 

  • Scarlet Road: $5,000 Community Support Grant to increase case management hours and serve more clients through the Aftercare Program in Kitsap County, which empowers survivors of sexual exploitation to achieve self-sufficiency.

 

  • Serenity House of Clallam County: $30,000 Affordable Housing Grant to purchase a service vehicle that provides the maintenance team a secure space for tools and materials, and the mobility required to maintain 75 units of low-income housing, a night shelter, three offices in Port Angeles, Forks, and Sequim, a youth drop-in center, and thrift store.

 

  • Skookum Kids: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the Academic Mentors program that serves 60+ Whatcom County foster families by providing weekly one-on-one mentoring for students with a safe and healthy adult to help them catch up and stay on track with their schooling.

 

  • Soroptimist International Of Port Angeles Jet Set: $5,000 Community Support Grant for Live Your Dreams Awards, a grant program that provides women in Clallam County, who are the primary financial support for their families and who are overcoming enormous obstacles, with resources to improve their education, skills, and employment prospects.

 

  • The Answer For Youth: $5,000 Community Support Grant for the STAR Lab, providing access to computer labs, 10 months of grade school and high school tutoring, and 12 months of job skills training and job search assistance to homeless, disadvantaged, and marginalized youth and young adults in Clallam County.

 

  • The Port Townsend Main Street Program: $65,000 Economic Development Grant to underwrite an events and marketing campaign that supports the sustainability of local businesses, increases Port Townsend’s visibility and attracts people and spending to the business districts that have been hard hit economically by the pandemic.

 

  • Wild Bird Charity: $10,000 Community Support Grant for the Wild Bird Starfish Food Bag Program that provides nutritious, kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare weekend meals for children who qualify for free or reduced meals in school districts in Whatcom County.

 

ABOUT FIRST FEDERAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION:

First Federal Community Foundation is a private charitable corporation that began making grants in 2015 with a gift of stock and cash valued at nearly $12 million from the parent company of First Federal, when the Bank was converted to a publicly traded company. This gift underscored First Federal’s commitment to continue its tradition of giving back to the communities it serves.

In that same spirit, First Federal Community Foundation is committed to creating broad impact and improving the quality of life in the communities in which First Federal, the Foundation’s sole donor, maintains full-service branches.

For more information, contact Jan Simon, Executive Director, at jan.simon@firstfedcf.org or 360-417-3112.

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

 

Featured Grant: Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County

Zindy’s Repair Story—A Family and Community Collaboration

When Zindy bought the old print shop in Quilcene about sixteen years ago, she knew she had found a gem, and she also knew it needed some polishing. Over the years she put a lot of work and love into the solid old structure—adding a bathroom, a kitchen, and insulation. Even as her hard work transformed the space, she never had the resources to fully finish the building and make it the home she imagined. Meanwhile, living with the exposed insulation was taking its toll on her health. Her children decided they would like to help her finish the house for Christmas, but ran into a number of road-blocks. Then her daughter-in-law suggested contacting Habitat.

Habitat assessed the home and, in partnership with Zindy, began work on the major safety issues. The electrical system was completely rewired by a local electrician, bringing it up to code and updating all of the electrical panels, wires, outlets and switches. Next came the bathroom, made safe by removing an unattached bathtub and building a support wall and installing an accessible shower.

Then Zindy’s sons stepped in to complete the sheet-rocking and painting on their own. And suddenly, the potential Zindy had always seen in the building was realized. “It’s wonderful,” she says. “Absolutely great. It’s the first normal home I’ve lived in in 30 years,” she adds—remembering, with some fondness, the years she spent in makeshift arrangements such as a motor home and an army tent. As for the new shower, “absolute heaven” is the way she describes it.

Zindy will pay for part of the costs of the project with a zero-interest loan from Habitat, with the remainder made possible by a grant from Repair Program Sponsor First Federal Community Foundation and the hard work of the volunteers at the Quilcene Habitat Store. Zindy’s family contributed many hours of sweat-equity to make the project happen and a discounted rate at Mount Walker Inn allowed Zindy to temporarily vacate while Pops Electric and Coon Plumbing completed work.

Featured Grant: The Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE)

Two Hooligans co-founders prepare for apple pressing season.

 

Featured Grant: The Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) was awarded $50,000 to expand delivery of the First Steps Business
Training Program in Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

The Program offers cost-free training and support to low-income individuals from underserved communities to move out of poverty and become leaders in building resilient, sustainable and equitably shared community wealth through entrepreneurship.

CIE looks for every opportunity to help get new businesses launched. One such example is Two Hooligans Cider. “Two Hooligans” refers to co-founders Mackenzie Grinnell and Jaiden Dokken, childhood friends who grew up on, and have returned home to, the Olympic Peninsula. Providing cider to Finnriver Cider for the new 7 Cedars Hotel, and with prize money from CIE’s business competition and CIE’s ongoing support, Mackenzie and Jaiden are creating their own facility to bring Two Hooligans Cider to other locations by winter 2020.

“Entrepreneurship is leadership in action that benefits entire communities.”
— Mike Skinner, Executive Director, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Featured Grant: Whatcom County’s Max Higbee Center

Members of the Max Higbee Center celebrate construction of their new facility.

 

Featured Grant: Whatcom County’s Max Higbee Center is named for the late Dr. C. Max Higbee, who led the special education program at Western Washington University and spearheaded passage of a law requiring free and appropriate public education for all children with disabilities that became a model for federal legislation.

The Center supports and empowers teens and adults with developmental disabilities to build community, friendships, life skills and health through recreation. First Federal Community Foundation awarded $50,000 to the Center to remodel and expand their new facility, allowing the Center to nearly triple its program space and eliminate its growing waitlist.