COVID-19 Response Funds

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Community Foundation of South Puget Sound and United Way of Mason County announce closure of Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund

March 18, 2021, Shelton, Wash. —The final grant recipients for the Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund have been selected, and the last round of funding is being disbursed.

This fund was established by the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound and United Way of Mason County one year ago on March 15, 2020. Early in the pandemic, it was clear that local nonprofits would play a crucial role in caring for our communities, all while facing overwhelming challenges of their own. Our organizations quickly realized that we needed to launch a coordinated joint response to shore up these nonprofits and support their vital work.

Together, over the past twelve months, we gathered data, identified emerging needs and gaps in existing services, and rapidly mobilized to deploy resources. In total, the Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund awarded $154,000 to organizations serving Mason County. These grants supported local nonprofits working to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic and to help disproportionately affected individuals and families. Eligible programs included community food banks and gardens, senior meal programs, shelter and housing, utilities, medical care, mental and behavioral health, distance learning supports, and other crucial services.

The Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund was a collaborative effort led by a committee comprised of Ted Jackson, Executive Director, United Way of Mason County; Jim Morrell, CEO, Peninsula Credit Union and Chair, Community Foundation of South Puget Sound; Mindie Reule, President and CEO, Community Foundation of South Puget Sound; Lisa Woodard, VP Shelton Branch Manager, Columbia Bank and Board Chair, United Way; and Karin Leaf, Business

Outreach Manager, EDC of Mason County, who provided valuable community knowledge and perspective on local economic impacts.

“Philanthropy has the power to bring people together, and that is especially needed in a time of crisis,” says committee member Jim Morrell. “The United Way of Mason County and Community Foundation of South Puget Sound truly modeled that collaboration. Working together helped Mason County navigate the difficulties of 2020 and working together will continue to be a big part of our recovery in the months to come.”

Community Foundation of South Puget Sound and United Way of Mason County are grateful for all the partners who contributed to the Response Fund, including: Green Diamond, Skookum Rotary Club, Shelton Rotary Club, North Mason Rotary Club, Kristmas Town Kiwanis, North Mason Kiwanis, Martha Reed Foundation, Premera Blue Cross, Medina Foundation, Perigee Fund, Hillcrest Steel & Bayshore Store, Port Blakely, Seattle Foundation, and many individual donors.

"This has been an incredibly challenging time for so many, including our local nonprofits,” says Lisa Woodard who served on the Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund committee. “They have had to adapt and carry out their important work in our communities—all without enough resources to meet the demand. It has been an honor to stand with them, and I know our organizations will both continue to do so as we work to help our community recover from the pandemic.”

Although the Mason County COVID-19 Response Fund is now closed, the effects of the pandemic persist and much remains uncertain. Our organizations remain dedicated to staying flexible and responsive, regardless of what lies ahead. We plan to continue working together on urgent and rapid response. At the same time, we know that the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be long-lasting. We are committed to the ongoing collaborative work of strengthening our communities and supporting creative approaches and partnerships that ideally benefit our communities for many years to come.