I am writing today from sunny Tucson where Hank and I are taking a much needed holiday, visiting family, hiking the desert, and basking in the sun.  As I relax, OICF remains very busy.

The 2021 GiveOrcas Holiday campaign is off to a great start, with one proposal already fully funded. Today is Ben Franklin Game Day.  The organization that receives the highest number of $100 (or more) donations will be given a $1000 bonus from OICF.  Check it out at www.giveorcas.org.

As the rains continue and many households are suffering from flood damage and loss of income, the Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Advisors have grown increasingly concerned about the severity of impact on some neighbors.  We are developing a pilot program in partnership with the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) to provide direct relief support to those in need.  Individuals may qualify for up to $10,000.  They will be able to apply online.  Applications will be reviewed by a member of the Flood Relief Team:  Patricia Benton, Margie Bangs, Ken Katz, Lisa Byers, and Steve Jung.  Once approved, OCRC will cut the check.  The goal is to get this program started by this weekend.

We realize that for some, $10,000 will be a drop in the bucket towards their repair bills.  We hope that these funds will provide some immediate relief and help bridge the gap until State and Federal Relief funds come into play or insurance claims can be filed.  We are committing $100,000 to the program and will reevaluate once those funds are expended, making necessary adjustments, and will consider investing more CERF monies if the program is successful.

None of this would be possible without the support of the 900+ community members who have donated to CERF over the past 18 months.  Your gifts make this good work possible.  I am ever grateful.

Have a lovely weekend, and don’t forget to GiveOrcas!