First Fed provides grants to nonprofits

First Federal Community Foundation has issued $400,000 in spring grants to 17 nonprofit organizations in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties.

“Having received 44 applications totaling more than $1.6 million in funding requests, and with great need in our communities, the awards process was challenging,” said Norman J. Tonina, president of the foundation’s board.

“As our communities are still recovering from the toll of COVID, the foundation focused its giving on supporting youth, veterans, families and the uninsured in the face of devastating health and financial impacts of the pandemic,” Tonina said.

“We also supported innovative projects that are intended to stimulate economic recovery and sustainability, and efforts to expand access to housing and quality childcare,” said Jan Simon, the foundation’s executive director.

Recipients of First Federal Community Foundation’s Spring 2022 grant awards in Clallam County include:

• North Olympic Healthcare Network: $25,000 Community Development grant to support the renovation of the new Eastside Health Clinic, which provides community members, regardless of ability to pay, with full-spectrum primary care, behavioral health services and nurse care management, expanded COVID testing/vaccination and telehealth capacity, and eye care services.

• North Olympic Foster Parent Association: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide backpacks, school supplies, gifts for the Magical Gift Program and items for the annual Holiday Dinner, to support Clallam County’s foster children and foster families.

• College Success Foundation: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide emergency funding to low-income students in Port Angeles and Bremerton, helping to stabilize their families and supporting them to stay on track in school.

Jefferson County

• Northwest Maritime Center: $80,000 Economic Development grant to help fund the pilot year of expanded fleet operations, supporting workforce development opportunities for Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap county youth, and stimulating economic development and enhancing visitor experiences in Port Townsend’s business districts.

• Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding: $30,000 Economic Development grant funding a dedicated Financial Aid Officer to help incoming classes access federal student aid, veterans’ benefits, third-party scholarships and other sources of tuition assistance, creating access to workforce skills for students from Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties.

• Jefferson Teen Center: $5,000 Community Support grant to launch a new summer program in Port Hadlock and maintain programming for middle- and high-schoolers during the 2022-23 school year.

Clallam and Jefferson

• Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship: $50,000 Economic Development grant to support up to 60 underserved Clallam and Jefferson county entrepreneurs in starting small businesses to generate revenue and create jobs.

• Olympic Angels: $5,000 Community Support grant to recruit and match 16 or more community volunteers with Clallam and Jefferson county foster kids and their foster families, providing long-term mentorships, relationships and support.

Other counties

• Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers: $25,000 Community Development grant to fund capital improvements, allowing the center to continue its programs at its current rates in a safe and secure facility.

• Housing Resources Bainbridge: $50,000 Affordable Housing grant to support 31 households with approximately 65 individuals to become owners of new, permanently affordable homes located on Bainbridge Island, near shopping, schools and parks.

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County: $25,000 Community Development grant to purchase the childcare facility and surrounding property on Yew Street in Bellingham, ensuring the expansion of affordable, quality childcare services.

• Communities In Schools of Whatcom-Skagit: $7,500 Community Support grant to provide clothing, school supplies, personal care items, learning resources, counseling support and more to 4,000-plus students of five middle and high schools in the Bellingham and Ferndale school districts.

• Growing Veterans: $7,500 Community Support grant to refurbish the damaged hoop house and procure accessible tools and equipment, increasing the sustainability and impact of the Dirt Therapy Program and donations to Whatcom County food banks.

• Olympic College Foundation: $35,000 Economic Development grant to expand the Promise Program to an additional Kitsap County high school, so 30 additional low-income students can complete their first year of college tuition-free.

• Road2Home: $25,000 Affordable Housing grant to provide six months of funding for the Allyship Program, assisting those living on the streets in Bellingham with navigating social services, developing sustainable life skills, and providing support for healthcare, transportation and emergencies.

• The Coffee Oasis: $15,000 Community Support grant to respond to the Surgeon General’s December 2021 Advisory stating that “the effect of COVID on the mental health of America’s adolescents has been devastating,” by providing staff to reach out to and support 300 youth in crisis in Kitsap County.

• Vamos Outdoors Project: $5,000 Community Support grant to provide summer programs, in partnership with the Lynden and Bellingham school districts, for 80 Latine, migrant and multilingual youth.

Overall grants

Since it began making grants in 2015, the foundation’s giving totals $5,701,500 to programs that benefit low- to moderate-income, disadvantaged and/or marginalized persons or families in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties.

Amounts provided are:

• $1,326,300 to organizations addressing homelessness and the availability of and access to affordable housing;

• $2,355,000 to community development projects;

• $855,200 to organizations providing a wide array of necessary support to communities;

• $945,000 to efforts that stimulate and support economic development;

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

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.

“Since 2015, First Federal Community Foundation has awarded more than $5.7 million to nonprofit, tribal and government agencies in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties. The foundation’s partnership with these dedicated organizations to bring resources to those in need has never been more crucial,” said Karen McCormick, foundation board member.

First Fed, the foundation’s sole donor, is a local community bank in Washington state serving customers and communities since 1923, with 16 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.