Community Foundation Flood Relief & Recovery Update
In addition to raising and distributing money from the Resilience Fund, the Whatcom Community Foundation listens to community voices and shares information, helps identify systemic gaps and needs related to relief efforts, and offers potential solutions to mobilizing support efficiently and equitably. Here is a snapshot of progress:
- Resilience Fund grants: Nine grants totaling $470,000 are making it possible for local organizations to distribute emergency relief checks, personal care items, storage bins, fans, cleaning supplies, gift cards to replace clothing and other items destroyed by flood waters, as well as medicine and gas. An additional $50,000 in funding was granted today to food pantries serving Everson, Nooksack, Sumas, Foothills, Ferndale, and Lynden communities.
- Widespread support: More than 1750 people have donated, from every corner of the county and dozens of cities around Washington and 28 states (+ one province).
- Bridge to government funds: The first, $50,000 grant was made within two days of the flood, highlighting one of the many critical roles that community foundations play; in the case of a crisis: with quick, unrestricted money that helps stabilize people while government relief and rebuilding efforts are getting underway.
- Concerns: Individuals, families, faith communities, business owners, teachers, administrators, community leaders and many others are concerned with:
- Health and safety, including mental health
- Housing, childcare and transportation
- Tools, cleanup equipment and urgent repair needs
- Insurance; salvaging personal property
- Accessing support, in people’s first language, in a timely and efficient manner
- Advocacy: The Foundation is advocating for elected officials to adopt a game-changing, proven platform that could coordinate with Whatcom Strong to create one centralized website connecting people with local, state, and federal programs both now and in the future. It’s a proven, “one-stop shop” in 40+ languages to help people find and access more than a dozen relevant government programs.
The Whatcom Community Foundation not only steps up when disaster strikes. Its day-to-day work is to connect people, ideas, and resources so that everyone in Whatcom County can thrive. The Foundation has been serving Whatcom County for 25 years and has invested nearly $52 million toward community health, happiness and prosperity since 1996.