First Federal Foundation provides grants to nonprofits

Organization provides total of $400,000

PORT ANGELES — First Federal Community Foundation has selected 17 nonprofit organizations — 14 working on the North Olympic Peninsula — to share a total of $400,000 in funding during its current grant cycle.

The recipients are “difference-making organizations in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties that bring hope and help to individuals and families in need,” said Jan Simon, foundation executive director.

“These organizations provide housing, food, emergency cash assistance, medical and mental health services, and so much more,” she said.

Including this fall grant cycle, the foundation’s giving in 2021 will total $867,500, said Board President Norman J. Tonina.

“We are proud to provide resources for these dedicated organizations that are serving as a lifeline and building brighter and better futures for our friends, neighbors and communities,” he said.

The foundation has, in seven years of grant-making, awarded more than $5.3 million in grants to nonprofits, government and tribal organizations and school districts.

Of that total, grant awards have been made in the following funding categories:

• $1,351,300 to organizations addressing homelessness and the availability of affordable housing.

• $2,280,000 to community development projects.

• $807,700 to organizations providing community support.

• $650,000 to efforts that support economic development.

• $220,000 to organizations addressing hardships caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the fall 2021 grant recipients.

Clallam County

Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County: $100,000 Affordable Housing grant to purchase 4.5 acres of property within Sequim city limits, on which Habitat will build 30-40 new, permanently affordable homes for ownership by Clallam County residents.

Peninsula Behavioral Health: $50,000 Affordable Housing grant to fund crucial renovations to the Arlene Engel Home in Port Angeles, an assisted-living residence which provides specialized care for vulnerable low-income residents with severe and persistent mental illness.

Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic/Sequim Free Clinic: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide free podiatric services to medically underserved, low-income patients in Clallam County.

Forks Community Food Bank: $25,000 Community Development grant to underwrite a portion of the wages of the Food Bank’s first — and only — employee, ensuring it can continue serving as it has for the past 50 years; and fund the purchase of meat and dairy products for distribution to about 11,255 families in 2022.

Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County: $5,000 Community Support grant to replace the greenhouse, which is used to propagate, overwinter and maintain vegetable starts and tender plants grown to provide produce for local food banks.

Soroptimist International of the Olympic Rainforest: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide for basic and targeted needs of low-income veterans, single moms and families, homeless adults and children, and women and children fleeing domestic violence in Clallam County.

Jefferson County

East Jefferson Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide vouchers for housing and utilities, groceries, transportation and more for individuals and families in need.

Jefferson Healthcare Foundation: $30,000 Community Development grant to replace and upgrade a fleet of advanced life support defibrillators at Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center.

Puget Sound Voyaging Society’s Community Boat Project: $30,000 Affordable Housing grant funding paid internships for local youth between the ages of 18-24, to learn life skills and carpentry while building tiny houses for the homeless of Jefferson County.

Quilcene Historical Museum: $7,500 Community Support grant to fund the installation of a backup generator that will make the museum a place of safety and shelter for the community during power outages or other disasters.

The Benji Project: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide mindfulness-based stress management and emotional resiliency training to adolescent students in Jefferson County schools.

Multiple counties

Parkview Services: $50,000 Affordable Housing grant to fund the Homeownership Program, providing no-cost, pre-purchase homebuyer education, housing counseling and down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties.

Peninsula College Foundation: $25,000 Economic Development grant for the Transitional Studies Computer Access Project, which will provide 58 laptops so students in Clallam and Jefferson counties enrolled in the college’s GED and high school diploma programs will have the tools needed to complete their studies and achieve their educational and professional goals.

InvestED: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide emergency financial assistance for students of 50 secondary schools in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties.

Grants elsewhere

North Kitsap Fishline: $7,500 Community Support grant for a refrigerated produce case for Fishline’s Healthy Foods Market, a food bank that has been operating continuously for more than 50 years and serving as many as 50 Kitsap County households per day, five days a week.

Western Washington University Foundation: $40,000 Economic Development grant to support a pilot project intended to deliver free technical assistance — including planning, operations, marketing, sales, government contracting and more — to Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous and Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Whatcom County.

Wild Bird Charity: $5,000 Community Support grant to support the Wild Bird Starfish Backpack Food Program in providing nutritious, kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare weekend meals for 350 children who qualify for free or reduced meals in school districts in Whatcom County.

First Federal Community Foundation is a private charitable corporation that began making grants in 2015 thanks to a generous gift valued at nearly $12 million from the parent company of First Fed, when the bank was converted to a publicly traded company.

First Fed is a local community bank, serving customers and communities since 1923, with 13 locations in Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap and Whatcom counties.

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