Continuing to meet the needs of our community

Camas-Washougal Community Chest and Camas-Washougal Rotary Foundation Announce 2021 Grant Awards

Giving to the Community Chest is an easy and efficient way to help people in need in our hometown. We are a long standing all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to helping our community. We ensure your donation stays local and maximize its impact. In 2021, we entered into a partnership with the C-W Rotary Foundation to fund even more grants. In 2021, the CWCC and CWRF awarded 28 grants totaling $127,671 to non-profit organizations helping people in Camas and Washougal. Their stories of service are briefly described in the following pages.
The Community Chest relies on donations from individuals and businesses. In recent years, over 97% of donations have gone directly back into our community. The remaining 3% covered typical service and supply costs. Please donate to the CWCC and give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you are helping local families in need. All donations are tax deductible as the CWCC is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. If you would like to be involved, or have any questions or comments about the CWCC, visit our website at www.CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org or contact us at info@CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org.

2021 Grant Program Summary

Total number of grants awarded 28
Total value of grants awarded $127,671
Estimated number of individual services funded by grants more than 19,500


East County Family Resource Center

The grant will fund general operations at the ECFRC. Through expanded partnerships with other service agencies, the Center will provide employment services, enhanced computer access for families with limited or no Internet access and financial consultation for those who seek such support. Rather than just providing families with access to services, the Center focuses on building skills in families leaving them better prepared to function independently. By employing coaches, the Children’s Home Services of Washington hopes to better support parents and other caregivers, assess child development, reduce toxic stresses within families and foster community partnerships.

Janus Youth Program

Janus Youth Program operates SW Washington’s only crisis shelter for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 9 to 17. The Oaks shelter has become the primary safety net for youth with severe mental health and/or addiction issues, youth who have been victims of sex trafficking and youth requiring protective custody due to open Child Protective Services’ investigations. The grant is used to provide crisis and emergency services, youth activities, education and health and welfare programs for at-risk youth from Camas and Washougal. The grant also supports case management services which are vital to achieve family reunification, service entry and referral, needs assessment and coordinated exit planning.

Washougal School District – Principal’s Checkbook

The grant provides all kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school principals in the WSD with funds to help any student in financial need to have access to activities, services or materials necessary for a quality education. The funds may be used for such diverse things as clothes, shoes, activity fees, head lice treatment or emergency medical treatment as deemed necessary by the school’s principal. The grant will also fund a presentation of “Hearts of Glass Viewing and Discussion Panel” – a project to improve equity of the students we serve with disabilities

Inter-Faith Treasure House

The grant funds will be used to pay monthly utility bills, including natural gas, water, sewer, electricity and garbage. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, IFTH has had to modify its food bank programs. Each week IFTH sends food home to 178 families through its student backpack program. IFTH continues to hand out food boxes to all low-income families. Lastly, on the front porch IFTH hands out bread, pastry, meat and dairy to anyone who is hungry.

Meals On Wheels People

Grant funds are used to purchase food and food service supplies for the Meals on Wheels People’s Washougal Senior Center program and aids seniors and people with special needs. The mission of Meals on Wheels People is to enrich the lives of seniors and assist them in maintaining independence by making nutritious food, social contact and other resources easily available. Yearly, up to 300 people in Camas and Washougal will benefit from the Meals on Wheels People program.

ReFuel Washougal

The grant will fund additional tools in the kitchen to better facilitate filling containers and controlling portions which will help our volunteers provide a wide variety of meals while maintaining dignity to our clients. Specifically the funds would purchase a microwave; ice machine; food processor; serving spoons, scoop set, funnels and spatulas; clamshells, soup bowls, lids and prepackaged eating utensils and stock an emergency food pantry.

Family Promise of Clark County

Grant funds will be used to expand the FPCares program that includes academic support services to families with children who are experiencing homelessness. Eligible K-12 students must be homeless and also meet one of the following; student of color, experiencing poverty, student with disability or student highly mobile and/or migratory in the foster care system. Referrals can either come internally from Family Promise or the Camas School District. Once referred, FP’s FPCares Academic Coordinator will meet with all affected parties to set up and monitor an individualized Education Plan. The Academic Coordinator, parents and student will meet monthly to evaluate the student’s performance and progress.

Pink Lemonade Project

The Pink Lemonade Project’s Pink Practicalities offers financial aid and assistance to women who are facing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. The program offers financial assistance for essential items not covered by health insurance, but that may be needed for important quality of life issues like groceries, transportation assistance, lymphedema sleeves, lost wages due to treatment and/or surgeries, rent/mortgage payments etc. Pink Practicalities has proven to be a valued community resource, both for patients going through treatment and especially for our healthcare partners who call on Pink Lemonade when a patient truly has an unmet need(s).

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church

St. Anne’s offers individuals and families a place to park and sleep in their vehicles nightly in the church’s parking lot. Over the last several years, St. Anne’s has remodeled the church to add an ADA equipped bathroom and shower. This grant will fund the installation of a washer and dryer for the use by the guests of the safe park program. Using volunteers, the church is open for two hours in the early evening to their guests to use the church kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. The church also pays for and regularly cleans a port-a-potty for overnight use by the guests of the safe park program.


Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

The LCEP education program includes three 60-minute classroom lessons that utilize an array of materials such as plant and animal specimens and watershed models. The lessons introduce students to the components of healthy watersheds, plant and animal populations and the interconnectedness of all living things. The outdoor component takes place at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge and involves planting native trees or removing invasive plants along Gibbons Creek. Planting trees helps reduce water temperature, thereby enhancing native fish survival. The grant funds a portion of educators’ salaries, transportation expenses and materials and supplies for the outdoor component.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

The Friend’s “Explore the Gorge” program exposes 290 sixth graders from the Washougal School District to the wonders of the Columbia Gorge, its significance as a national treasure and the unique story of its preservation through the Columbia River National Scenic Area Act. This two-day outdoor education program strives to build the student’s sense of place and to develop a land stewardship ethic. The outdoor educational experience includes lessons in geology, ecology and habitat restoration, as well as an interpretive hike and scavenger hunt. The program also covers some history of the Columbia Gorge including the Lewis and Clark expedition and the ice age floods. The grant specifically funds a portion of the educators’ stipend, bus transportation expenses and teaching supplies and materials.


Friends and Foundation of Camas Library

The grant funds a portion of the Camas Library’s Summer Reading Program for pre-kindergarteners through teens. The SRP advances education and youth activities as it fosters “fun” reading over the summer – from the time school ends until it begins in the Fall. Youth who read during the summer will practice their reading and comprehension skills and are likely to start school in the Fall more prepared. The Library offers fun events, prizes and activities throughout the summer to keep kids engaged in the SRP. Some 2,500 kids will participate in the summer reading program.

Dance Evolution, Inc.

The grant helps Dance Evolution to offer free dance classes and scholarships to students in need. Wiggles, Music and Movement classes are offered free twice a week to toddlers ages 0 to 5 and their caregivers. These classes are an intro to basic dance moves and musical sounds. The other free weekly class is The Vibration Dance Project for girls ages 9 to 15. Dance is the perfect practice for girls who may be struggling with issues of self-image and emotional expression. Currently in the planning stage is to add a support/dance group for LGBTQ youth in the community. Often LGBTQ youth experience depression and anxiety and dance and art are great healers and can help bond, inspire and give strength to those who are most vulnerable.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs – Camas-Washougal

Books inspire young readers and lay an important foundation for their success in education. Getting books into the hands of Washougal preschool children has been the work of the GFWC C-W since 2017. The grant will be used to purchase books for all children in both Washougal and Camas School District Pre-K programs. Extended Learning Coordinators from both districts will be ordering and distributing the books throughout the year.

Police Activities League of Vancouver

The purpose of the grant is to promote positive relationships between law enforcement and youth through recreational and educational programs. The grant will bring literacy events to the Camas and Washougal schools at the 2nd or 3rd grade level. With the help of the Camas and Washougal police departments, five hour-long literacy events will be scheduled. The events start with a 15 minute general assembly with an officer talking about safety and the importance of reading. Then half the student will go outside to see a patrol vehicle and the other half will hear a short story and pick out a brand new book to take home. After about 15 minutes the two groups will switch. It is estimated that 500 students and their families will be impacted by the program.

Reach Community Development

Gateway Gardens a 32 unit of low-income housing has an average of 100 residents. Town Square Apartments has 40 units of low-income housing and some 70 residents. Funds will be used to advance essential services for food and other housing stability needs. Funds may be used for bulk purchasing of groceries, baby essentials, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and similar basic household items, Funds may also be used for rent/utility assistance. Lastly funds may be used for school supplies, holiday food baskets and other socially distant engagement activities for youth.

Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation

The existing Camas-Washougal skate park is showing its age and is in need of repair and updating to challenge the area’s skateboarders. Skateboarding has become recognized as a sport worldwide, including becoming a part of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Having a modern and challenging skate park will assist in keeping skateboarders off of city streets and private property.
The majority of funding will be provided by the Camas and Washougal Recreation Departments. CWCC’s grant will assist in paying for construction costs.

Pathways Clinic

A portion of the grant will be used to purchase supplies associated with performing obstetric ultrasounds such as probe disinfectant, disinfectant test strips, disinfecting wipes lubricant gel and gloves. Some of the grant will be used to purchase pregnancy tests and pregnancy test controls. The remaining portion of the grant will be used to purchase COVID-19 personal protection equipment and other safety supplies to meet CDC guidelines and standards.

Camas Farmers Market

The grant is used by Camas Farmers Market to implement a token program called “Produce Pals.” Produce Pals offers a weekly activity to educate and inspire children to grow, prepare and eat healthy foods. The weekly activity also educates children about where and how their food is produced. After each child has completed the week’s activity they receive a $2 token redeemable at any CFM booth for fresh fruits or vegetables. Some of the funds may also be used to meet safety guidelines and provide the safest shopping experience for customers and vendors, including increased sanitation and a portable restroom.

TreeSong Nature Awareness and Retreat Center

The funds will be used to pay a portion of the costs to create a native plant circle garden which will serve to educate vistors as well as offer a peaceful sanctuary to the community. The circle shape for the garden embodies the Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Life that is part of the indigenous cultures from all around the world since time immemorial. The funds will go towards preparing the land, creating the infrastructure and planting a beautiful diverse garden of native plant species. There will be signage to introduce the garden and laminated field guides to educate visitors about each plant.

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society

WCGHS is a socially conscious animal shelter. Socially conscious animal shelters are about working with community partners to create more compassionate care for pets and people, in order to improve quality of life for all. Pets bring unconditional love, companionship and improved health and well-being to people. It is proven the time spent with an animal reduces anxiety and depression, which reduces hopelessness and despair, Grants funds will be used to offer the following programs designed to keep pets and people together during times of hardship, crisis or emergency. By providing a pet food pantry, temporary pet boarding, impound/owner surrender fee relief and emergency veterinary care.

Opera Quest Northwest

Grant funds will be used to create online content for area school music programs. Using Opera Quest Northwest’s performers, a series of 5 to 10 minute videos will be created to explore subjects such as “Opera Voices and the Roles They Play”, Where do Opera Stories Come From?” and “How does Opera reflect Culture?” Funds will also be used to assemble supporting materials for teachers, including background information and discussion questions, Lastly, opportunities will be made available for music classes to live stream via Zoom with Opera Quest Northwest’s performers.

Journey Theater Arts Group

A portion of the funds would be used to provide five scholarships for students in need to take Journey performing arts classes. The classes, in-person if possible or on-line if need be, include something for everyone, ages 8 to 18: Foundations of Drama, Foundations of Dance, American Accents, Beginning Make-up, Dancing through the Decades and Comedy Sketch-writing. Journey staff would work with local schools and nonprofits to identify eligible students. The remainder of the grant funds would be used to pay a portion of the salaries of Journey teachers to present the classes. These teachers are a wonderful mix of Journey alumni, community members, artists and local theater professionals.

Boy and Cub Scouts

The purpose of the grant is to provide scholarships to boys from low-income households so they can pay the scout’s membership fee and/or so they can attend summer camp. It is estimated that four Boy Scout troops and one Cub Scout troop from the Camas and Washougal area can participate in the grant program.

Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

The purpose of Camp Wa-Ri-Ki is to engage 9 to 15 year olds in outdoor education and recreational experiences. The grant funds will be used to offer outdoor school activities that are physically challenging, involve problem-solving and encourage human interactions in a fun and exciting camp community. Programs offered are developed to meet American Camp Association accreditation standards. We will measure outcomes using the ACA Youth Outcomes Battery. Other programs are developed to meet STEAM (science, technology, engineering, math plus arts) curriculum standards for public schools. Some examples include flora and fauna identification, forest health and ecosystems and small-scale biological surveys.

Camas-Washougal Historical Society

A portion of the grant will be used to fund staffing of the Two Rivers Heritage Museum and the recently completed native America Plank house. The remainder of the grant will be used to pay for on-going operation and maintenance costs for the museum and plank house.

Lunchmoney Indoor Skatepark

The goal of Lunchmoney indoor skatepark is to provide a safe and positive indoor skateboard and scooter environment for all ages and skill levels. A portion of the grant will be used to fund scholarships for children under the age of 18 who are foster kids, on public assistance or simply have families who cannot afford skate time. This program offers these children the opportunity to participate in a safe environment. Funds would also provide free skate passes that can be provided to local schools, case workers and police departments to give to students they feel could benefit from Lunchmoney skatepark.

Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation – Washougal Branch

Grant funds will be used to help cover the cost of the Summer Reading programs and incentive prizes awarded by Washougal Community Library. The incentive prizes for 2021 include books, Barnes and Noble gift cards, gift certificates to area businesses that cater to school-age children and teens and certificates of achievement for various levels of hours spent reading