Many Hands

I spent this morning on a walking tour with Dr. Jack Ehlen, a retired dentist and a new(ish) resident of Deer Harbor. Dr Ehlen is assisting in establishing an interim dental clinic to bridge the gap now that the Medical Teams International Van Clinics are no longer serving the islands. The goal is to set up a monthly mobile clinic in the County Health Department offices in the Senior Center. We hope to get it up and running soon.

We also toured the Orcas Community Resource Center, the Food Bank, April’s Grove, and the Pea Patch property. Dr Ehlen was amazed at the services the nonprofit sector provides and the percentage of community members who rely on subsidies of one kind or another in order to live on the island. The community safety net has grown significantly in the past few years, as has the needs of many who call Orcas home.

The County just released their Community Health Assessment this week, and it documents the economic diversity that exists countywide and reveals the growing needs that face so many living in the San Juans. Orcas is fortunate to have a  vibrant nonprofit sector which is generously supported by local resources. These include financial resources contributed by donors, human resources contributed by volunteers, and skilled leadership from staff and Board members to stay abreast of shifting needs and ensure critical services are ready when needed.

Thank you to all who serve, support, and sustain these great programs. If you would like to learn more about these organizations or take a walking tour, please let me know. I would be happy to meet with you.

For those interested in applying for GiveOrcas funding this spring, the application window for proposals is open now through March 5th. We highly encourage you to meet with someone at OICF prior to completing the application, so we can help you craft a winning proposal. Please contact Lynn Sharpless White with any questions-,  360-376-6423.