Wild Rivers Community Foundation awarded $25,000 in Holiday Partnership grants this week to 21 nonprofit organizations, agencies and churches that provide thousands of children and adults in Curry and Del Norte counties with much-needed food, clothing, gifts and other services.
“These grants will support the work of many amazing organizations in our community that serve those who really need help, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WRCF Director Gina Zottola. “We are so blessed by these community efforts, and this partnership will touch more than 5,000 lives.”
A virtual celebration of the holiday grants via Zoom is scheduled for 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Everyone is welcome to attend the celebration to hear the wonderful stories from each of the organizations. For information and a link to the Zoom celebration, call 707-465-1238.
This is the 13th year that WRCF has awarded holiday grants ranging from $250 to $2,500. The grants — funded by donations from family trusts, foundations, businesses and individuals — support programs that provide children with winter coats or Christmas presents, and holiday food for hungry families. The grants are also used for warm clothes for struggling veterans and the homeless, and support services for abused or neglected children.
The Brookings Elks Lodge #1934 will use their grant to provide needy individuals and families with Christmas food baskets that provide a full meal and include a turkey. The Elks also received funding or in-kind donations from the Brookings Presbyterian Church, Salvation Army, U-Haul and community food drives. They anticipate serving about 1,500 people.
“With COVID-19, we expect an increase in the number of requests as some families are still struggling with limited employment and other challenges,” said Elks Lodge volunteer Johanne Broberg. “We will have a drive-up basket distribution on Dec.19-20 here at the lodge and follow all the (COVID-19) protocols.”
Similarly, the Boys and Girls Club of the Yurok Tribe in Klamath will use their grant to host a drive-up event during which families can pick up a wrapped gift for children and food supplies to help with holiday dinners. They hope to provide gifts for 100 children and meals for about 100 families.
“We would usually host a holiday family gathering and dinner for our club members, but due to COVID-19, we will not be able to do so this year,” said club Director Harold Jones.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Del Norte will apply its grant to a Holiday Gift Giving/Making Memories program to support about 86 children placed in homes due to abuse or neglect, said Executive Director Christine Slette. Children will receive a warm blanket, stocking hat, a book and gift certificate donated by local businesses.
“The holiday season can be an especially difficult time of year for foster children because they have been separated from their families — they may feel anxiety, depression or anger,” Slette said. “This year, due to COVID-19, we’re anticipating an increase in those mental issues and more.”
A majority of the grants awarded this year came from donations to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, established in March by WRCF and Humboldt Area Foundation. Both organizations will continue to distribute these funds to those impacted by the pandemic. To make a donation or be considered for a grant, visit https://www.hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or call 707-465-1238.
2020 HOLIDAY PARTNERSHIP RECIPIENTS:
• Brookings Elks Lodge #1934: Christmas food baskets
• Bicoastal Media, Brookings/Crescent City: Coast for Kids
• Brookings Harbor Community Helpers, Inc.: Snack pack program
• Brookings Harbor High School: Youth Transition Program
• Brookings Presbyterian Church: Thanksgiving celebration
• California Tribal Tanf Partnership, Crescent City: Winter holiday program
• CASA of Del Norte, Crescent City: Holiday gift giving
• The Common Good, Inc, Port Orford: Holiday baskets
• Christian Help of Gold Beach: holiday food and gift baskets
• First Baptist Church of Crescent City: Giving Tree program
• Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, Crescent City: Winter Break meal program
• Hmong Cultural Center of Del Norte, Crescent City: Christmas Wishes program
• Marine Corps League Det. #578, Brookings: Toys for Tots program
• Del Norte Mission Possible, Crescent City: support for homeless
• Redwood Family Worship Center, Crescent City: Home Missions program
• The Arc of Curry County, Brookings, holiday gift drive
• Chetco Activity Center, Brookings, holiday Meals on Wheels project
• Curry County Veterans’ Service Office, Curry County, winter weather kits
• Del Norte Child Care Council, Crescent City, Christmas Project Give Away
• Curry Child Abuse Intervention Center (Wally’s House), Gold Beach, gift cards for victims’ families
• Boys and Girls Club of the Yurok Tribe, Klamath, Christmas food baskets