Not So Long Ago 


What a Journey

Four years ago this week, Covid descended into our lives and set us all on a new and, sometimes, frightening path. Our world suddenly shrunk and played out in tiny squares on Zoom. Local social safety net services were put to the test. The Senior Center set up buddy systems, quadrupled Meals on Wheels delivery, and ensured our elders had what they needed to stay safe. Similarly, the Food Bank and Community Resource Center pivoted and expanded to meet the tidal wave of needs that crashed at their doors. OPAL Community Land Trust set up a community wide rent and mortgage subsidy program, and Orcas Center became our Vaccination Clinic, complete with musical accompaniment.

Schools, churches, camps, businesses, and individuals pitched in to help as needed with OICF playing the role of orchestra conductor and chief fundraiser, helping to coordinate response and direct resources. Orcas did a remarkable job pulling together, identifying needs, filling gaps, and caring for each other in truly meaningful and life changing ways. (You can read an in depth analysis of the Orcas Covid Response here).

We know now that Covid continues to have a lasting impact on the community. Funding from the government grants and emergency funds are drying up and the number of neighbors needing support has not subsided. Many nonprofits are struggling to maintain the capacity needed to provide the services and support that is required.  While we may feel the emergency is over, there are still many dealing with long Covid, financial setbacks, and a sense of lingering isolation.

As we move forward, may we do so with grace and understanding, and carry our commitment to our community with every step.

Thank you for all you continue to do.