The Camas-Washougal Community Chest launched its fundraising drive October 1, 2019 with a goal of raising $100,000 for the 2020 campaign. The money raised is used to fund grants to local non-profit organizations that serve Camas and Washougal residents in need, at-risk youth programs and address natural resource conservation and education. Since 1946 the Community Chest has been all about local people helping local people.

The CWCC just wrapped up a successful 2019 campaign which saw it fund 29 grants for a total of $108,500. Programs and projects funded in 2019 included support of the local food bank run by Inter-Faith Treasure House, funding for the family support programs run by the East County Family Resource Center in Washougal, funding to help homeless families find permanent housing run by Family Promise of Clark County, funding habitat improvements in the Little Washougal River watershed conducted by the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group and funding for food and food service supplies for the local Meals on Wheels program.

Other grants provided funding for camping supplies for Teen Reach Adventure Camp for foster kids between ages 12 and 15, for Camas and Washougal Public Library’s summer reading programs and for temporarily housing at-risk youth in a secure facility.

Based on feedback from some of the 2019 grant recipients, donations to the Community Chest had the following impact in the local area:

  • 10,149 meals were prepared and served to older adults at Meals on Wheels’ dining center or delivered to seniors by volunteer drivers
  • 4,000 individual services offered families at the East County Family Resource Center in Washougal
  • Purchase of tools and native bare root plants for riparian buffer enhancement along the Little Washougal River
  • Safe housing at The Oaks for 10 at-risk youth from Camas and Washougal
  • 27 foster kids and 62 volunteers enjoyed a 2-day camping experience at Teen Reach Adventure Camp
  • Hundreds of Camas and Washougal students learned environmental stewardship from the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership’s environmental educators
  • 170 students took food home every weekend via the Inter-Faith Treasure House’s school backpack program.

Major support for the 2019 fundraising campaign came from Georgia Pacific employees and the Georgia Pacific Foundation. Other major donors in 2019 included HP employees and the HP Corporation, Camas School District employees, City of Camas employees, Port of Camas-Washougal employees, 54 ͦ 40ˈ Brewing, Exterior Wood and Your Party Center. The following foundations provided major support:  Windermere Foundation and IQ for Kids fund. Dutch Bros, Camas Store, generously donated their opening day income to Community Chest.

To reach its $100,000 goal for the 2020 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 Joelle Scheldorf, “giving to the Community Chest is an easy and efficient way to help people in need in our home town.”

Local non-profit organizations planning to apply for a grant can download the 2020 application form from CWCC’s website after October 15, 2019. Applications for 2020 grants are due by no later than December 15, 2019. Applicants will be informed during March 2020 as to whether or not their project or program is funded and at what level. Grant payments are made quarterly beginning with initial payments in March 2020.

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 and crisis and emergency services.

Projects and Programs Funded with 2019 Grants

Inter-Faith Treasure House (two grants)
One grant helped fund emergency and daily food needs, school backpack food program, emergency utility assistance and person-in-crisis outreach activities.

Second grant helped purchase an additional van to reliably deliver weekend food backpacks to school children in need.

Children’s Home Society – East County Family Resource Center
Helps fund family educator/case manager position. Helps fund parent education groups, youth support groups, emergency basic assistance, behavioral health services and health care services.

Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation
Helps buy Camtown Youth Festival’s arts and crafts supplies.

Camas School District – Principal’s Checkbook
Helps Camas school principals provide for basic student needs to give these students equal opportunities at school.

Washougal School District – Principal’s Checkbook
Helps Washougal school principals provide for basic student needs to give these students equal opportunities at school.

Janus Youth Programs
Provides funding for overnight facility stays for Camas and Washougal runaway youth at risk for abuse and neglect. Re-introduces kids to safe housing.

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.

Meals on Wheels People
Purchases food and food service supplies for Camas and Washougal Meals on Wheels program.

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

Fort Vancouver Regional Library – Washougal Branch
Supports the Washougal Library’s summer reading program for kids and teens.

Lifeline Connections
Purchases art therapy materials used in treating people with mental health and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

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
Funds supplies and materials for Kids Club programs and community building events at REACH’s Gateway Gardens and Town Square Apartment neighborhoods in Washougal. Also funds school supply and gift giveaways programs.

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 tokens.

Opera Quest Northwest
Helps to educate, enrich and instill a love of music in children by introducing them to opera through a lively production that blend classic opera excerpts with a humorous, interactive script.

Pathways Pregnancy Clinic
Purchases ultrasound supplies, pregnancy test kits and pregnancy test controls. Also purchases TB screening supplies for testing volunteers and staff.

Camas-Washougal Historical Society
Helps build The Gathering Place at Washuxwal, an open air pavilion next to the Two Rivers Heritage Museum. Specifically the cultural and arts exhibits in the pavilion will educate visitors about native heritage in the Camas and Washougal area.

Evergreen Habitat for Humanity
Helps buy materials for A Brush with Kindness residential fix-up projects in the Camas and Washougal area.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs
Helps buy age appropriate books, backpacks and other learning tools for a Reach for the Stars with Books program at Hathaway Elementary School. Program aimed at youth from birth through age 5 to grow their school readiness skills and strengthen their social interaction skills.

Journey Theater Arts Group
Helps cover a portion of the rental fee to put on a production of Godspell at the Washburn Performing Arts Center in Washougal May 17 – 26, 2019.

TreeSong Nature Awareness and Retreat Center
Helps cover event costs and buys supplies for Run Wild! Nature Adventures Family Fun Day at Fallen Leaf Lake Park in Camas. Run Wild! is a participatory event that immerses attendees in the beauty of nature through nature education, physical activity, storytelling, art, music, and

Teen Reach Adventure Camp (T.R.A.C.)
Purchases camper supplies including archery equipment, T-shirt for campers and staff, headlamps for caving and camper craft supplies. T.R.A.C. is designed specifically to meet the needs of teens in foster care between ages of 12 and 15.

Camas Sister City Organization
Helps cover transportation fees, event admission fees and hosting school and civic receptions associated with four student exchange trips – two exchanges associated with Japanese students and two exchanges associated with Polish students.

Family Promise of Clark County
Helps cover half the cost for a part-time case manager’s position to be located at a Day Center hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Camas. Case manager helps homeless families find permanent, affordable housing.

Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group
Purchases plants, potting soil and tools to replant riparian zone along Little Washougal River.

Police Activities League of Vancouver
Buys books and pays for police staff time to present five literacy events for 2nd and 3rd graders in the Camas and Washougal School Districts.

ReFuel Washougal
Buys 20 sleeping cots, food, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies to support a severe weather shelter (30 degrees or colder) at the Washougal Senior Center.

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