Camas-Washougal Community Chest launches 2023 Fundraising Campaign

Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest
Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest

These monies are used to fund grants to local nonprofit organizations that serve Camas and Washougal residents in need

The Camas-Washougal Community Chest (CWCC) launched its annual fundraising drive Oct. 1 with a goal of raising $120,000 for 2023 grants. In a continuing partnership with CWCC, the Camas–Washougal Rotary Foundation will provide an additional $10,000 in grant funding.

These monies are used to fund grants to local nonprofit organizations that serve Camas and Washougal residents in need, at-risk youth programs, address natural resource conservation, foster education and strive to enhance diversity, equity and inclusivity in Camas and Washougal. Since 1946, the CWCC has been all about helping local charities thrive. 

In this third year of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, local needs are greater than ever. The CWCC and CWRF just wrapped up a successful 2022 campaign which saw them fund 35 grants for a total of $140,290. Programs and projects funded in 2022 included support of the local food bank run by Inter-Faith Treasure House, funding for family support programs run by Children’s Home Society of Washington, funding a portion of Family Promise’s Cares program to help homeless and disadvantaged youth maintain their grade level, funding habitat improvements in the Gibbons Creek watershed conducted by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and funding for food and food service supplies for the local Meals on Wheels People program. Other grants provided funding for cancer treatment costs and living expenses not covered by insurance, funding for several local reading programs, funding pregnancy supplies for the local pregnancy clinic and for temporarily housing at-risk youth in a secure facility. 

Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest
Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest

Major support for the 2022 fundraising campaign came from Georgia Pacific employees and the Georgia Pacific Foundation. Other major donors in 2022 included HP employees and the HP Corporation, Camas School District employees, City of Camas employees, Port of Camas-Washougal employees, Watercare Industrial Services, Columbia Rock Products (Sauer Holdings LLC) and Waste Connections. The following foundations provided major support: Windermere Foundation, George and Ellen Fund, the Tidland Christian Development Fund, The Fontenette Family Charitable Fund and the Hinds Charitable Fund. 

To reach its $120,000 goal for the 2023 campaign, the CWCC needs donations from individuals and businesses in Camas and Washougal. More information and donation forms can be found on the CWCC’s website at: Individuals and businesses can also donate by participating in Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program and Amazon’s Smile program. Details and electronic links to the two community support programs can be found at the website listed above. 

The CWCC is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization for federal charitable tax deduction purposes. Says CWCC President Deanna Rusch, “giving to the Community Chest is an easy and efficient way to help people in need in our hometown.” 

Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest
Photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Community Chest

Local nonprofit organizations planning to apply for a grant can download the 2023 application form from CWCC’s website after Oct. 15. Applications for 2023 grants are due by no later than Dec. 15. Applicants will be informed during March 2023 as to whether their project or program is funded and at what level. 

Grant payments are made quarterly beginning with initial payments in March 2023. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must provide services in Camas and/or Washougal, be a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and provide service in one or more of the following areas: education, youth activities, aid to people with special needs, natural resource conservation, health and welfare programs, crisis and emergency services diversity, equity and inclusivity. 

2022 Grant Program Summary

Total number of grants awarded – 35 

Total value of grants awarded – $140,290 

Estimated number of individual services funded by grants – more than 19,500 

Community Programs and Projects Funded in 2022

Inter-Faith Treasure House: Helps pay utilities (electricity, water, sewer, garbage and natural gas) so IFTH can continue to operate the east county food bank. 

Children’s Home Society – East County Family Resource Center: Helps fund staff at Resource Center. Helps fund parent education groups, youth support groups, emergency basic assistance, behavioral health services and health care services. 

Washougal School District – Principal’s Checkbook: Helps Washougal school principals provide for basic student needs to give low income or homeless students equal opportunities at school. Funds a portion of Adult Transition Program which trains students with disabilities for transition into appropriate work placement. Funds supplies such as shoes, clothes, hygiene products and food for Panther Den. Funds mobile laptop cart for families without access to technology and internet services. 

Janus Youth Programs: Provides funding for outreach efforts and overnight facility stays for Camas and Washougal runaway youth at risk for abuse and neglect. Re-introduces kids to safe housing. Provide case managers to help youth access community services to help them achieve stability. 

Unite! Washougal Community Coalition: Helps fund Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention Program at Washougal High School. Also helps fund Positive Community Norms Campaign “Love Your Life” in the Washougal Community. The programs seek to improve mental health and discourage harmful drug abuse activities. 

Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership: Provides classroom lessons and outdoor applied learning programs for youth, including habitat enhancement projects adjacent to Gibbons Creek in the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Campen Creek in Mable Kerr Park. 

Meals on Wheels People: Provides funding for Senior Preparedness, Emergency Action and Resilience (SPEAR) project which aims to disseminate senior-friendly supply kits for isolated older adults who are vulnerable when catastrophe strikes. 

Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library: Supports the Camas Library’s summer reading program for kids and teens. 

Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation–Washougal Branch: Supports the Washougal Community Library’s summer reading program for kids and adults. 

Friends of the Columbia Gorge: Helps fund the Explore the Gorge classroom lessons and outdoor environmental education program for sixth graders in Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle schools in Washougal School District. 

REACH Community Development: Helps buy groceries, baby essentials, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and similar basic household needs. Buys school supplies and holiday food baskets. Serves Gateway Gardens and Towne Square communities in Washougal. 

Camas Farmers Market: Helps implement “Produce Pals,” a weekly activities program to educate children about where and how food is produced. Kids completing weekly program receive a $2 token to spend at Camas Farmers Market – grant will buy supplies for take home activity bags and tokens. 

Opera Quest Northwest: Helps pay for creating a series of 5- to 10-minute videos focused on History of Opera and Musical Storytelling Around the World. Also pays for producing supporting materials for teachers. Provides videos and supporting materials to local schools at no cost. Aimed at students grades 3 through 5. 

Silver Star Search and Rescue: Helps buy an adjustable litter handle system to augment a recently purchased Stokes litter. The handles decrease rescuer fatigue and strain and provides improved litter control and patient safety. 

Pathways Clinic: Helps buy ultrasound supplies, pregnancy test kits and COVID – 19 PPE and supplies. 

Innovative Services NW: Helps low-income children with special needs to access occupational, speech, physical and specialty services. 

Camas-Washougal Historical Society: Helps fund the preservation and exhibition of Native American Woven baskets donated by Gracia Ough Jones, the granddaughter of Princess White Wing. 

Clark County Historical Museum/Society: Funds help produce, plan, promote and conduct three walking tours including Historic Downtown Camas, The Parkersville National Historic site and the Pioneer Section of the Washougal Memorial Cemetery. These walking tours will be offered free to Camas and Washougal residents. 

General Federation of Women’s Clubs: Helps General Federation of Women’s Clubs with purchasing books for all children in Pre-K programs in the Camas and Washougal School Districts. The program is aimed at all Pre-schoolers to grow their reading skills. 

Journey Theater Arts Group: Helps fund stipends for show directors and choreographers to put on Broadway-style live theater performances involving local students between the ages of 8 to 18. 

TreeSong Nature Awareness and Retreat Center: Helps fund a platform and deck and electric service for a recently purchased Yurt to be installed at the retreat center. 

Teen Reach Adventure Camp (T.R.A.C.): Camas T.R.A.C. is specifically designed to meet the needs of foster children ages 12 to 15. The funds would be used to rent a climbing wall and provide KONA Ice treats during the summer of 2022. 

Family Promise of Clark County: Helps fund New Beginnings, a financial literacy program that includes information, coaching, and support regarding budgeting, spending, borrowing, credit, banking, saving and taxes. Eligible families include families of color, families experiencing poverty, families with members who have disabilities and families that are mobile and/or are migratory. 

Police Activities League of Vancouver: Buys books and pays for police staff time to present literacy events for 2nd and 3rd graders in the Camas and Washougal School Districts. Pal Patrol is where an officer adopts a classroom for a full school year, visiting that class at least once a month for one hour. Prospere is a small group mentoring program. 

ReFuel Washougal: Helps buy bivy bags (waterproof, one person tents), sleeping bags, bus passes and hotel rooms if Refuel Washougal can’t open severe weather shelter for homeless persons because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Impact CW – St. Matthew Lutheran Church: Helps buy food and grocery gift cards for families in need in the Camas and Washougal School Districts. Dance Evolution Helps pay for full year dance scholarships for youth in need ages 6 to 13. 

Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki: Helps fund outdoor education activities for 6th grade classes using modules from NASA GLOBE Goes to Camp such as Lego Land Cover Station, Natural Arts Station, and Trees Station. 

Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation – Camtown Youth Festival: Helps buy arts and craft supplies to provide some of the free event activities for kids attending this outdoor youth festival. Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation – Camas Ivy League: Helps buy tools for English Ivy removal on Camas public lands by Camas Ivy League volunteers. 

Parks Foundation of Clark County – Lacamas Watershed Council: Helps pay for volunteer training and buying water quality monitoring equipment and supplies. Water quality samples will be collected in the Lacamas watershed, including Lacamas and Round lakes. 

Pink Lemonade Project: Helps fund Pink Practicalities, a financial aid and assistance program. Covers costs that health insurance doesn’t, such as groceries, transportation services, lymphedema sleeves, lost wages, rent/mortgage payments, etc. 

Lunchmoney Indoor Skatepark: Helps fund scholarships for foster kids, kids on public assistance and or families that cannot afford skate time to use an indoor skatepark offering supervision and mentoring. 

Odyssey Discovery PTO: Helps fund an 18-hole disc golf course on the campus of Odyssey Middle School and Discovery High School. 

Boy Scouts of America – Camas/Washougal Troops: Helps fund Campership Awards so that families in need can send their scouts to summer camp.

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