Submitted by First Federal

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.
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