Rural communities such as Orcas are uniquely reliant on nonprofits and local philanthropic support to meet needs and provide ongoing services. While the island has all the needs of larger communities (such as access to housing, food security, early childhood education, and animal welfare, just to name a few), we frequently lack the scale or population size to attract state and federal dollars or grant funding from private foundations.  In other communities, the County might run the animal shelter, Head Start might be available for preschool, or there might be a housing authority, while on Orcas we count on APS, Kaleidoscope, Montessori, Children’s House, and OPAL to ensure needed services are in place. If any one of them closes their doors, it often leaves those who rely on their services with no back up.

Having a strong Community Foundation is essential to keeping this system working. Not only does OICF provide needed grant support for ongoing operations, we are frequently called on to help in emergent situations and are always looking at ways to build needed capacity. It is critical that our nonprofits and programs operate at the highest levels, as they are truly the champions in keeping this community thriving.

Key to making all of this function well is you. Your interest and involvement in the community is the seed that brings all this to fruition. As a volunteer, a donor, an audience member, or an actor on center stage, your participation is key to keeping Orcas a healthy community for all. Thank you!

Thank you as well for the good thoughts and kind words concerning Hank this week. His shoulder surgery went well and he is happily home recouping. The doc even suggested volleyball may be in his future. Wow!

Happy Spring!