Since the Foundation’s inception, Washington Women’s Foundation has evolved into a leading grant maker in the Pacific Northwest. As such, we are asked to join other community funders to collaborate on local philanthropic initiatives, often in response to a pressing community need or natural disaster. In 2010, the Board of Directors created the Special Response Grant to allow the Foundation leadership to quickly respond to community needs.
Special Response Grants made by Washington Women's Foundation:
In July 2014, the Carlton Complex wildfire consumed 250,000+ acres over nearly 400 square miles, and destroyed over 300 homes and structures. This was the largest wildfire in Washington State's history. Washington Women's Foundation made a $5,000 Special Response Grant to Room One, a nonprofit health and social service center located in Twisp in the rural Methow Valley of north central Washington. Room One addressed the immediate crisis on the ground, and continues to provide long-term support for those impacted by the wildfire.
- Update, November 2014: "By providing this update, we hope to convey to you and the Foundation how valuable your award has been in providing meaningful support to our community through the long journey of recovery. If you have any questions, please do feel free to reach out anytime!
·Wraparound and Emergency Support: In the aftermath of the fire, Room One provided immediate relief to local families through the distribution of gas, food and shelter vouchers. Room One staff also served as ongoing advocates for survivors: we built bridges to county, state, and federal resources, helped clients clarify and problem solve the issues they were facing, and ensured no survivor faced the challenges of recovery alone.
·Long Term Recovery Planning: Room One is a founding participant in the formation of multiple Long Term Recovery Organizations across the region. Together, we have created a county-wide map of needs, resources, and desired outcomes for individual communities; targeted outcomes include individual recovery, future fire mitigation, infrastructure development, and economic resilience.
·Disaster Case Management: Room One is hosting a Disaster Case Manager (DCM) for fire and flood survivors in partnership with Okanogan County Community Action Coalition and the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. The DCM works confidentially with individuals and families affected by the fires and in need of one-time or ongoing support. The DCM is available at Room One from 9-4 five days a week.
·Unmet Needs Fund and Committee Development: Room One has lead the creation of an Unmet Needs Fund and Committee. This fund is tasked with creating an equitable avenue for the dispersal of the various funds collected following the fires, including the fire relief fund held at Room One. The dispersal of the Unmet Needs Fund will be based on an equity model -- ensuring it reaches those who most need it. Individuals and families will apply confidentially to the Unmet Needs Fund through the Disaster Case Managers. Room One is helping to create the equity model as well as the application process.
On March 22, 2014 a landslide devastated the small community of Oso, Washington located north of Seattle in Snohomish County. Washington Women’s Foundation made a $5,000 Special Response Grant to the United Way of Snohomish County’s Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief to assist those affected by the mudslide with both immediate and long-term needs.
Washington Women’s Foundation made a $5,000 Special Response Grant to join with the Road Map Aligned Funders group organized by the Community Center for Education Results. This newly launched pooled fund process supports time-sensitive initiatives related to the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort aimed at improving education to drive dramatic improvement in student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle.
In August 2012, 25,000 acres of land were consumed by wildfire near Cle Elum, Washington, requiring efforts of 1,000 firefighters and displacing thousands of people and livestock. Washington Women’s Foundation made a grant of $5,000 to the American Red Cross of Kittitas County to further its efforts in providing emergency support to those affected.