This has been a big week of grant review conversations here at OICF. We have been meeting with all of the grantees who received $10,000 or more, eight groups in all. It is a chance for us to hear how the programs we invested in are progressing and learn about any challenges or opportunities that developed.

We learned that the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) has served 20% of the Orcas population (close to 1000 individuals) in one way or another this past year. OCRC is considering focusing their next proposal on developing a financial training program to help clients develop money management skills. The Early Childhood Education folks reported that their grant helped all three preschools meet the Early Achievers requirements that the state sets for preschools. These mandates are unfunded, so having philanthropic support to provide teacher education is critical. We also heard from Seadoc, who has launched teacher trainings for educators surrounding the Salish Sea, and from SAFE San Juans, who are experiencing an increase in the need for services from both men and women.

I am deeply moved by the efforts these nonprofits make to help keep Orcas a safe and healthy community. It is clear that OICF grants help them expand both the quantity and the quality of programs available. This is truly a community effort, with the funds coming from you and your neighbors being used to help neighbors in need. OICF acts as the conduit and I am so grateful to be involved.

Sounds like we are in for a bit of cold weather. Stay warm!