Our latest batch of incubating eggs started hatching just in time to greet this new month. What a hopeful sign. Here’s to new life and transformation.

I am attaching a pie chart to show where the Community Emergency Response funds have been distributed so far. Thanks to the amazing generosity of this community, we have been able to address basic needs and provide critical support immediately, helping so many neighbors, many who are recently unemployed or unsheltered, stay safe and fed. So far, 349 donors have contributed $589,000 and over $500,000 in grants have been distributed.

Hopefully, we will soon see local, State, and Federal funding start flowing as well. OICF is working with the Orcas Library to establish a support team to help businesses navigate the application process for government relief programs (https://www.islandssounder.com/life/orcas-small-business-help/). OPAL has similar navigation support for housing and the Orcas Community Resource Center has a process for social service programs. All help walk individuals through the complex maze of applications and services. Our goal is to help the community access the help needed to manage their lives throughout this crisis. We will continue to provide philanthropic support, as needs will change and issues will arise, but gaining access to governmental supports will be very helpful for many.

I am grateful that this week has brought a little more work/life balance. It is a little challenging when the commute to the office can be made by simply rolling out of bed. But I got back on my bike, spent time in the garden, and turned my computer off at 5 (almost) every night.

I hope you are staying well.