COVID-19 Gorge Community Response Fund Awards More Than $62,000 to Assist Local Nonprofit Organizations

HOOD RIVER, OR – The COVID-19 Gorge Community Response Fund, established by the United Way of the Columbia Gorge and the Healthy Gorge Initiative, has awarded more than

$62,000 in grants within the past month to 13 local nonprofits to address the immediate needs faced by these organizations and their clients. The Fund will continue to review applications on a weekly basis and award funds while they are available.

Grants have been given to the Hood River Adult Center, FISH Food Bank, Backpacks 4 Kids, Windy River Gleaners, Youth Empowerment Shelter, White Salmon Education Foundation, Meals on Wheels – The Dalles, Hope Clinic, Columbia Gorge Food bank, Washington Gorge Action Program, Mid Columbia Senior Center, Double Mountain Foundation and Haven. These funds will help with various needs throughout the community including supporting the increasing demands for food for all ages, providing baby supplies such as diapers and wipes, assisting with mask-making efforts, providing staff for mental/behavior health support and supporting response to increase in domestic violence issues.

How can we help our fellow Gorge community members in the wake of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 Gorge Community Response Fund has been funded through the generosity of PacificSource, the Columbia Gorge Health Council, the Oregon Community Foundation and many compassionate individuals throughout our community. Financial donations to this fund are still urgently needed to help agencies provide food, shelter and other necessities to children, the elderly and others who are in need in our community.

To donate securely online, go to https://www.unitedwaycolumbiagorge.org/give. If you prefer to send a check or money order, please make it payable to the United Way of the Columbia

Gorge and mail it to our office headquarters: PO Box 2, Hood River, OR 97031. These donations will combine with the efforts of volunteers to make a difference in our local community during these uncertain times.

How can your nonprofit organization apply for funding assistance?

If your organization provides essential services in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat or Skamania counties and it needs assistance due to conditions caused directly by the COVID-19 pandemic, your organization is eligible for grants from this Community Response Fund.

We’ve developed a simple grant application process to expedite funding to nonprofits providing essential services and experiencing the greatest impact. The applications are collected for review at 5:00 PM each Friday. For funding guidelines: https://www.gorgeimpact.com /

These funds are limited so we are asking you to limit your request to the amount you can effectively spend in the coming weeks and months. Please keep in mind this may not be your only opportunity to request funding from us and we will keep you advised of funds availability beyond three months.

The application process is now open and funds will be distributed within three weeks. For more information or questions about the applications, contact:

Paul Lindberg, Collective Impact Health Specialist

Plindberg65@gmail.com

For more information or questions about donating to the fund, contact Karen Neitzel, Board President of the United Way of the Columbia Gorge Unitedway@gorge.net

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ABOUT UNITED WAY OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE

United Way of the Columbia Gorge (UWCG) is a non-profit, local agency that supports non- profit human service programs in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. Rather than supporting just one person or one charity, we unite individuals and combine resources to spread the funds across the entire Columbia Gorge — providing a community safety net while also catalyzing community change. The United Way of the Columbia Gorge has invested over $2.5 million in to the local Columbia Gorge community since its inception in 2006. For more information about UWCG, please visit UnitedWayColumbiaGorge.org.

ABOUT HEALTHY GORGE INITIATIVE

The Healthy Gorge Initiative (HGI) is a six-year-old collaboration of nonprofits, community- based organizations, healthcare providers, public health agencies, government agencies, local businesses, the region’s Coordinated Care Organization, early childhood partners, and K-12 education as well as state and regional funders, among others. Supported by Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, the HGI vision is to make individuals and the overall community healthier. For us, ‘health’ includes food security, affordable housing, transportation, jobs, as well as physical health, mental health, dental health, built environment, and a sense of community.

This collaborative approach has been very successful: together, we’ve designed and launched 50+ new multi-partner initiatives, created 30+ FTE local jobs, trained 100 Community Health Workers, and secured more than $12 million in funds to support these efforts…so far! For more info https://www.gorgeimpact.com/