Four Whatcom County philanthropic organizations are raising emergency recovery funds for non-profit organizations in the community. Chuckanut Health Foundation, United Way of Whatcom County, Lhaq’temish Foundation and Whatcom Community Foundation are mobilizing resources to respond to the coronavirus.
“While the scope and scale of needs – financial and otherwise – resulting from COVID-19 are still unclear, we know that they will be significant,” CEO of United Way of Whatcom County, Peter Theisen said in an email. “That’s why the local philanthropic community has come together to allocate and raise funds so that the many organizations working tirelessly to serve and support local communities have the resources they need in these extraordinary circumstances.”
Funds will help ensure that people, especially those experiencing racism, homelessness, financial distress, isolation, mental health challenges and other barriers to health and wellness, can get nutritious food, childcare, mental health support, safe housing and many other essentials. Mauri Ingram, CEO of the Whatcom Community Foundation, added in an email.
“We are all reimagining our roles – how do we work together and put our collective resources to work in ways that effectively adapt to the current environment. We ask everyone to do whatever they can to chip in because we can all do something meaningful. And we’re optimistic because in general, the people of Whatcom County are generous, neighborly problem solvers.”
“Caring for our most vulnerable – older adults and people with chronic health conditions – and doing what we can as a community to slow the spread of this virus and not overwhelm our hospital system is of utmost importance,” executive director of the Chuckanut Health Foundation, Heather Flaherty, said in an email. “I am heartened to see Facebook groups like Bellingham Covid-19 Community Helpers and others on the Nextdoor emerge to help with individual needs and we want to do what we can to support those grass-roots efforts.”
In addition to donating, the four organizations encourage people to be kind to one another (racism, xenophobia and bias only contribute to the problem and cause added harm). The organizations also want to promote public health guidance by practicing social distancing, handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, checking in on neighbors, supporting local businesses and staying informed through credible sources like the Whatcom County Health Department.
To learn more about giving options to aid the local COVID-19 response, go to:
Whatcom Center for Philanthropy
Emergency Recovery Fund: COVID-19 at the United Way of Whatcom County
The Resilience Fund at the Whatcom Community Foundation
Covid-19 Relief and Response Fund at the Chuckanut Health Foundation