The Camas-Washougal Community Chest has launched its annual fundraising drive to fund grants for local nonprofits that serve Camas-Washougal residents in need, supplement at-risk youth programs and address natural resource conservation and education.
Beginning in 2021, the Community Chest also will fund grants for nonprofit programs that strive to enhance diversity, equity and inclusivity in Camas-Washougal.
Founded in 1946, the Community Chest has always been dedicated to helping local charities thrive, and representatives say Camas-Washougal needs are greater than ever due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to individual and corporate donations, the Community Chest was able to provide 20 grants worth a total of $113,850 in 2020.
Those grants helped fund a local food bank run by the Inter-Faith Treasure House and family support programs through the East County Resource Center in Washougal, provided funding to help homeless families find permanent housing through Family Promise of Clark County, funded habitat improvements in the Gibbons Creek watershed conducted by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and provided food and supplies for the local Meals on Wheels program.
Other 2020 Community Chest grants provided funding for veterans, local families in need of rent, utility and food assistance, and at-risk youth.
Major support for the 2020 fundraising campaign came from George-Pacific employees and the G-P Foundation. Other major donors in 2020 included HP employees, the HP corporation, Waste Connections, Your Party Center and Camas School District, city of Camas and Port of Camas-Washougal employees. Foundations that provided major support in 2020 included the Windermere Foundation, the Jean Vollum Fund, the Fontenette Family Charitable Fund, the Tidland Christian Development Fund and the Hinds Charitable Fund.
To reach its goal for 2021, the Community Chest needs donations from individuals and businesses in Camas and Washougal. Individuals and businesses also can donate by participating in Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program and Amazon’s Smile program. For more information on how to donate or participate in the Fred Meyer or Amazon programs, visit CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org.
“Giving to the Community Chest is an easy and efficient way to help people in need in our hometown,” said Joelle Scheldorf, co-president of the Community Chest.
Local organizations planning to apply for a 2021 grant through the Community Chest can download an application form from the Community Chest website starting Oct. 15. Grant applications are due by Dec. 15, and the organization will inform grant applicants of their approval status in March 2021.
To be eligible for a grant, applicants must provide services in Camas and/or Washougal, be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and provide service in one or more of the following areas: education, youth activities, aid to people with special needs, natural resource conservation, health and welfare programs, crisis and emergency services, and/or programs to enhance diversity, equity and inclusivity in Camas-Washougal.