Over the past few weeks, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED distributed $250K to 15 local organizations addressing persistent community needs under COVID-19 conditions.

Beth Anne Johnson, Co-Chair, North Pierce Community Coalition,
"Families are struggling; families who were on the edge financially, struggling with homelessness or close to becoming homeless are harder to connect with, because their kids are not sitting in a classroom.  Kids are struggling because they are missing out on so much: not just in person classes, or after school sports, but they miss out on time with friends, they don't have the same supportive adults in their lives each day (school staff and volunteers coaches, scout leaders, etc.) that they did back in February.  It's stressful for the kids, for the parents, for the teachers, for everyone.
Alicia Petitt, MBA, Office Manager, The Steve A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Valley Cities, "With COVID-19 and an economic crisis, Veterans and military families are being strained more than ever. Our most vulnerable clients are homebound due to physical health or being unable to leave home due to anxiety, depression, PTSD, or chronic stress. We are seeing increased marital strain, parental stress, and rising severity of pre-existing symptoms due to isolation and lack of "normal" outlets. Without technology at home, some clients have been forced to opt out of care.

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, "The pandemic feels like a universal experience, but we have to recognize that not all of us will experience it equally. By supporting local community response efforts, we can help make sure that, in this moment of crisis, we're not leaving the most vulnerable behind."

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED is an aligned philanthropic response to COVID-19 in Pierce County. 356 individual donors and 55 regional funders have contributed over $7.4 million to the fund, with $5.35 million already being distributed back to local organizations addressing urgent and emerging needs related to COVID-19. 


Homeless Providers See Urgent Need for Safe Parking. They're Asking Churches for Help (October 3, 2020 - Tacoma News Tribune)

PHOTO: With a focus on education equity, Peace Community Center understands the success of students and families is directly connected to equitable and adequate technology access.

"Everyone in the house will now have to negotiate for bandwidth. No one conceptualized the negotiation of bandwidth in the American household, but that's what it boils down to - who can connect to the outside world now? Is it the breadwinner or the children? That is a horrible decision to have to make, and a conversation to have. It's different from pure economics. Moms and dads all over the world will say, 'if it comes down to the last can in the house, you get it, but if it comes down to my ability to provide cans in that house - now we've got a whole new problem'." - Peace Community Center, Development Director, Lianna Shepherd
Located in the Hilltop neighborhood, Peace Community Center supports and encourages historically underrepresented college youth to cultivate their academic and leadership talents, so they gain full access to educational opportunities and reach their full potential. To fill the technology gap in their community, Peace Community Center provides laptops, mobile hotspots, and tablets, but they are not the only organization witnessing deficits in essential technology and internet access under the conditions of COVID-19.
To date, the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund has received over $1 million in funding requests from service providers across the county seeking additional connectivity and technology access support to ensure individuals and families can connect to the services that support them in living and thriving.

PHOTO: Jessica Smiley, ELO host for KBTC, prepares to greet students from in front of the virtual version of the trading post from Molly of Denali (photo via KBTC) 

Building on the foundation laid by Mister Rogers, local PBS affiliate KBTC is one partner in a pilot to develop online expanded learning opportunitiesA cohort of Tacoma Whole Child organizations have been working together to translate the in-person after school Expanded Learning Opportunities they have provided at local elementary schools for the past three years into an online program that will continue to help students stay connected beyond the school day.  

"Wsee this as the next step in the legacy of Fred Rogers and how he was able to create an innovative way to show his care and value for young people," said DeAnne Hamilton, Executive Director & General Manager, KBTC.  

On September 25, 2020, a record-breaking number of professionals representing all aspects of the philanthropic and nonprofit community came together virtually for the 8th Annual South Sound Philanthropy Summit. 

Summit hosts South Sound Planned Giving Council and the Association of Fundraising Professionals-South Sound Chapter (AFPSS) have graciously shared exclusive access to two of the Summit presentations with GTCF Newsletter readers.

The Summit featured a keynote presentation on Cultivating Gift Planning Talent to Promote Diversity & Inclusion presented by Crystal Thompkins & Dien Yuen as well as a panel discussion on Disrupting Systems of Inequity with several local nonprofit leaders.

To watch the videos, use the link below with this password: SSPSummit2020

ALL IN WA has announced a funding opportunity aimed at supporting organizations that provide emergency flexible financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Grants to community-based organizations will range in size from $25,000 to $100,000. Coalitions, intermediaries and state-wide organizations are eligible for grants up to $150,000. 

ALL IN WA will prioritize funding for organizations that have trusting relationships with and a track record of serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

Upcoming Virtual Fundraisers