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2020: What a year it has been | Guest column

Originally published in the San Juan Island Community Foundation newsletter

2020 has been a year for the history books. Through the challenges of COVID-19, you remained with us to listen to the needs of our community. You responded with compassion and generosity. Together, we worked to meet the most unusual and pressing challenges we’ve seen in a very long time.

As we enter 2021, our energy is renewed. A vaccine gives us hope, and your continued support will carry our community through the coming days. At SJICF, our “virtual” doors remain open to you, to our beloved nonprofits, and to all of the islanders affected by COVID-19 — all while continuing our regular activities for providing scholarships, grants for everyday needs, building sustainable nonprofits, and being present to answer your questions.

Here are some highlights from the last few months:

• To date, thanks to your generosity, we’ve granted more than $203,000 to local nonprofits from the Emergency Response Fund. The most recent grant will fund a Community Childcare Assessment, led by the very capable Jennifer Armstrong at the SJI Family Resource Center.

• An amazing $265,000 has been contributed to the SJICF Emergency Response Fund, exceeding our goal of $250,000 in 2020!

• An additional $179,000 has been granted to local nonprofits from our donor-advised fund holders since early March.

• Out of our regular Zoom meetings convening local nonprofits and community services, we have created focus groups to address childcare needs. If you’re interested in participating, please contact Carrie at 360-378-1001.

Thank you for your generosity as we continue to help our community navigate COVID-19!