WASHOUGAL — Meals on Wheels, Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge and four Camas-Washougal Boy Scout troops are among this year’s Camas-Washougal Community Chest grant recipients.
Organizers from the 71-year-old charitable giving organization announced this week that the Community Chest will grant $75,000 to 21 nonprofits in the Camas-Washougal area, continuing the group’s seven-decade-long tradition of helping children and families throughout east Clark County.
Community Chest President David Pinkernell has said in the past that, although his organization is volunteer-run, which keeps overhead costs to a minimum, the needs of the Camas and Washougal communities often are greater than what the group can afford to give.
“We are volunteer-run and we keep our expenses very low. The challenge is always raising enough money to meet the community’s needs,” Pinkernell told ClarkCountyToday.com in November of 2016, during the Community’s grant-application process. “Last year, we had about $105,000 worth of legitimate requests, but we didn’t have enough for all of them.”
Pinkernell says about 90 percent of the money coming into the Community Chest charitable giving organization comes from local employees whose employers have set up payroll deductions for local charities like the Community Chest. The nonprofit counts Georgia Pacific and its Camas mill employees, as well as Hewlett-Packard and its employees among its biggest supporters.
In 2016, the nonprofit granted $72,500 to 18 different nonprofits, including the Inter-Faith Treasure House, which received about 20 percent of the money, and the Children’s Home Society of Washington, which received roughly 15 percent of the funds. The remainder of the money — about $47,000 — was split amongst 16 other nonprofits.
The Community Chest had $2,500 more to give this year and granted a total of $75,000 to 21 nonprofits, including Inter-Faith Treasure House, Children’s Home Society of Washington’s East County Family Resource Center, the Janus Youth Program and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership.
With more funds available, the Community Chest was able to provide Campership Awards to four local Camas-Washougal Boy Scout troops to help low-income families send their sons to scout camp next summer.
“The needs in the local community continue to be great and we hope families and businesses can help the Community Chest support local non-profit organizations that are providing much needed community services,” Pinkernell says.
To reach its 2017 fundraising goal of $75,000, the Camas-Washougal Community Chest needs additional donations from individuals and businesses in Camas and Washougal. The Community Chest is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, which means donations are tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org.