Helping build homes - Habitat for Humanity

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.

Featured Grant: The Composites Recycling Technology Center (CRTC)

Rep. Derek Kilmer, left, congratulates Pennies for Quarters founder and president, Matthew Rainwater, middle, and CRTC CEO, Dave Walter on their grant award.


Featured Grant: The Composites Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) in Port Angeles received a $50,000 grant to build a demonstration tiny home in collaboration with the nonprofit, Pennies for Quarters.

One out of every four homeless individuals is a veteran. Pennies for Quarters is committed to transforming the lives of homeless vets by
developing a community of 24 tiny houses that provides transitional shelter, common resources, and access to community and social services.

The nonprofit CRTC will build the homes using modified coastal Western Hemlock harvested from the North Olympic Peninsula and supplied in large part by the Makah Tribe, and carbon fiber scrap that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The homes will be durable, energy efficient, and have the warmth and beauty of wood while being resistant to bugs, mold, and rot.

“Increasing the availability of affordable housing is very important to First Fed. This grant, which also benefits homeless vets and provides manufacturing jobs, makes it a good fit for Foundation support.”
— David T. Flodstrom, Foundation Board Member

First Federal Community Foundation Releases 2019 Annual Report

The year 2019 marked a milestone for First Federal Community Foundation, representing five years of contributing to difference-making nonprofit organizations in the four counties where First Federal, the Foundation’s sole donor, operates full-service branches.

We at First Federal Community Foundation are grateful to First Federal for demonstrating both the foresight and generosity to establish our Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life and investing in the future of our communities. We are honored to carry on First Fed’s legacy of addressing the needs of our community with contributions of $3,767,500 in our first five years.

In 2019 alone, the Foundation contributed $800,000 to organizations focused on affordable housing, community support, community development and economic development. By county, $235,000 was directed to projects in Clallam County; $195,000 to Jefferson County; $60,000 to Kitsap County; $165,000 to Whatcom County; and $145,000 to projects affecting two or more of our target counties. For details on all the grants we have made since our inception, click here.

We hope that the 2019 Annual Report will give you a sense of appreciation for the many organizations that are supporting our communities, serving as a safety net for those most in need, and building a strong and vibrant future for us all.


Fall 2020 Grant Cycle is now open!

The First Federal Community Foundation’s Fall 2020 Grant Cycle is now open! Applications accepted through September 1st. Click here to learn more!

Local Nonprofits to Share $350,000 in Grant Funding from First Federal Community Foundation

Spring 2020 Grant Recipients Announced

Port Angeles, WashingtonFirst Federal Community Foundation announced it has chosen 14 regional nonprofit organizations to share $350,000 in grant funding in the Foundation’s Spring 2020 grant cycle.

The recipients are organizations in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom Counties that provide community support, address the availability of housing, and deliver community and economic development projects.

“These counties have significant needs, particularly exacerbated by the coronavirus,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Jan Simon, adding that the Board of First Federal Community Foundation is honored to help make a difference with each organization that it selects. Ms. Simon noted that since the grant program was launched in January 2015, the Foundation has given grants totaling $4,026,500—including the current grant cycle.

First Federal Community Foundation Board Chairman, Norman J. Tonina, said that the Foundation also focused its giving during this grant cycle on the emergency response funds that community foundations are spearheading in the four-county region to address the COVID-19 crisis.

“These foundations have their finger on the pulse of the community’s needs and a nimble, effective approach to delivering critical funds for the greatly increased needs for food, shelter, childcare, and more,” said Tonina. “We appreciate their leadership and we are pleased to support them in their efforts.”

Spring 2020 Grant Awards:

Affordable Housing:

  • Kitsap Rescue Mission: $50,000 to rebuild the roof of Kitsap County’s only emergency, year-round, low-barrier shelter for homeless individuals and families. This grant will enable the Kitsap Rescue Mission, whose building had been closed, to reopen and resume providing on-site services.
  • Lydia Place: $50,000 to break ground this summer on Whatcom County’s Heart House, an 11-unit permanent, supportive, low-income housing project for homeless mothers with children from prenatal through age 5. Heart House will also provide on-site childcare and supportive services to promote long-term stability to disrupt the cycle of homelessness.

Community Development:

  • Trinity United Methodist Church: $50,000 to make the 149-year-old building fully ADA compliant, doubling the number of community service organizations benefiting from their free and affordable function space, and continuing to serve as the only infant and drop-in childcare facility in Port Townsend.
  • Whatcom Family YMCA: $50,000 to support the construction of a new and larger early learning facility to alleviate the severe childcare shortage that Whatcom County is experiencing.

Community Support:

  • Helpline House: $10,000 to support Helpline House’s Kid’s Pantry Program. This program provides 100 bags of nutritious, kid-friendly foods to meet the weekly needs of Kitsap County’s children, which is particularly needed now that free or reduced-price lunch through schools is not available.
  • Jefferson County Farmers Markets Association: $10,000 to strengthen the food security of those with low incomes by offering a dollar-for-dollar match when shoppers use SNAP or other food assistance currencies to purchase nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables at any of seven farmers markets in Jefferson, Kitsap and Clallam Counties.
  • North Olympic Foster Parent Association: $5,000 to update the clothing closet with new and necessary items, purchase backpacks and school supplies, and furnish items needed for the Annual Holiday Dinner, all in support of Clallam County’s foster children and foster families.
  • Port Angeles Food Bank: $10,000 to support the food bank in optimizing their operations, developing staff and board capacity, and growing their volunteer program in preparation for an expected increase in usage caused by the pandemic, as well as the Food Bank’s upcoming move and facility expansion.
  • The Arc of the Peninsulas: $10,000 to fund the Full Circle Meals Program, providing meals to the underserved and those on the “front lines” during the COVID crisis, while supporting the Kitsap restaurant community and helping to restore the local economy.
  • Washington State University Kitsap Extension: $5,000 to purchase a moveable cold storage trailer system that will allow fresh produce to be transported to and from food access sites for use by Kitsap Harvest and other area nonprofits’ food programs.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants:

  • Clallam Community Foundation: $25,000
  • Jefferson Community Foundation: $25,000
  • Kitsap Community Foundation: $25,000
  • Whatcom Community Foundation: $25,000


About the First Federal Community Foundation: First Federal Community Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable corporation that began making grants in 2015 with a generous gift of stock and cash from the parent company of First Federal Bank, when the bank was converted to a publicly traded company. With this gift, First Federal Bank made clear its commitment to continue its tradition of supporting 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 Bank – the Foundation’s sole donor – maintains full-service branches.

About First Federal: First Federal is a subsidiary of First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB). First Federal is a Washington-chartered, community-based bank headquartered in Port Angeles, WA, and serves Western Washington with six branches in Clallam and Jefferson Counties; two in Kitsap and two in Whatcom Counties; and a lending center in King County. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. / (360)417.3204 / (800)800.1577

First Federal Bank and its Foundation are proud to have been ranked by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top two of 25 mid-sized corporate philanthropists in the Pacific Northwest in both 2017 and 2018. “We are committed to putting our resources to work strengthening the communities we serve, and improving the life and experience of others through our contributions and volunteer activities,” said Matthew P. Deines, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Federal Savings & Loan.