The end of the year brought many great gifts to and through the Orcas Island Community Foundation.  Robert and Carolyn Volk made a living legacy gift to the community by donating the building at the corner of Main and Urner Street to the Community Foundation in December. OICF will move its office to the building and lease the additional three office spaces once the windows and heating systems are upgraded. The Foundation will use a portion of Bob Henigson’s legacy gift to pay for the retrofit. This truly an amazing gift for all of Orcas, as OICF will continue to provide meeting space for a number of nonprofits and organizations that serve the island community. What a remarkable legacy!

OICF also received a number of year end donations from community members who instructed the Foundation to use the funds to support pressing community needs.  With the rising number of individuals and families struggling with housing, medical and transportation costs , the OICF Board approved a $25,000 grant to the Orcas Island Community Resource Center to fund Emergency Support. OCRC will administer the funds to support neighbors in need. Thank you to the generous Partners in Philanthropy who made this grant possible.

The OICF Board also approved a $10,000 grant from the Board Discretionary Fund to the Orcas Family Medical Center. These funds are intended to support their recent appeal to address the $175,000 deficit created by a repayment error from one of their insurance providers. Both this grant and the one that OICF gave to the Orcas Medical Foundation last year are intended to provide bridge funding until the community votes on the Public Hospital District this April. The OICF Board is concerned by the very real possibility that our local clinics could close if stable supplemental funding is not secured, leaving Orcas islanders with little access to local healthcare. Having a sustainable revenue source to bridge the gap between the true cost of services and what Medicare and Medicaid reimburse is critical to keeping rural clinics operating throughout the country and clearly on Orcas as well.

Thank you to all who contribute towards strengthening this community. The Orcas Island Community Foundation Staff and Board are grateful for the depth of generosity that continues to spring from this community. Together, we are carrying on the Orcas tradition of neighbors helping neighbors.