Rainbow over Orcas Island Leather Goods

Megan here, saying “hi” on this first Friday of February as Hilary is still away south of the border. Earlier this week the Groundhog emerged and reported six more weeks of winter, which means (according to a rodent) that we are still over a month away from losing the chill in our bones. As we await the arrival of our spring flowers, we can start to enjoy the town’s slow emergence from our own form of winter hibernation.

I couldn’t help but notice last week, as I was driving through Eastsound, all of the local businesses on and around Main Street, owned and operated by a much younger crowd of islanders. As previous business owners have retired or moved on to other endeavors, it’s inspiring to see a new generation of business owners carrying the torch — feeding us, entertaining us, and providing goods and services to local residents and tourists alike. In this small beautiful town of ours, these businesses rely heavily on local support to thrive through the slower months. Make sure to check out the new hot spots in town and introduce yourselves to the up and coming artisans, chefs and entrepreneurs. Get in their doors now before the tourists arrive!

Some of you may be aware of a project I took on in early 2020. Under the OICF umbrella, I led the creation of a group called Hive. As our most philanthropic generation ages, we are looking to the younger folks to carry on that neighborly helping hand spirit we all know and cherish here on Orcas. Hive is focused on engaging younger locals with philanthropic opportunities at any level. Hive is about the value of contributing to our community regardless of the monetary amount. The emerging businesses in town are a reflection of the changing demographics. Just as we need fresh new entrepreneurs on Main Street, we also need new voices and fresh ideas on our local nonprofit Boards, and accessible ways for young professionals and families to feel empowered to be philanthropic in a way that fits comfortably into their diverse lives and economics. I encourage you to follow Orcas Hive on social media to see what we’re up to. I am currently working on a campaign to showcase the up and coming young business owners downtown. Stay tuned!

In other news, the application window for the Spring GiveOrcas campaign is officially open now through March 4th. We will be hosting an informational meeting on Tuesday 2/8 at noon via Zoom. If you think you may be interested in applying for a grant this spring, we encourage you to attend. Email me at megan@oicf.us for a link to attend.

Orcas Island Health Care District (OIHCD) would like to reach the community regarding their work. If you’d like to be on their email list, go here. You can unsubscribe at any time. This will allow you to stay informed of their meeting announcements, District news and updates.

If you are feeling like engaging with others in-person this weekend, Orcas Center has 20 complimentary tickets to their show, Locarno!, on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. If you are interested, email info@OrcasCenter.org and let them know how many tickets you would like to hold for yourself. Check out their website for more information about the show.

Hilary returns next week to her regularly scheduled programming. It’s been a pleasure filling in on the Friday update. Stop in and say “hi” if you’re passing through town. Despite the unruly virus, our office is still staffed by one or more of us during the week. Wishing you a restful weekend.