Helping Local Charities Thrive

Camas-Washougal Community Chest & C-W Rotary Foundation

Announce 2022 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 nonprofit 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 2022, the CWCC and CWRF awarded 35 grants totaling $140,290 to nonprofit organizations helping people in Camas and Washougal. Their stories of service are briefly described below.

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 2-3% covered typical service and supply costs. Please donate to the CWCC and give yourself the satisfaction of knowing you are helping local people and families in need. All donations are tax deductible as the CWCC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit 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.

2021-2022 CWCC Board
Joelle Scheldorf, Past President
Deanna Rusch, President-Elect
Marianne Reiter, Treasurer
Cari Corbett, Secretary
Dave Pinkernell
Richard Reiter
Mary Templeton
Stuart Bennett
David Scott
Mindy Schmidt
Susan Bennett
Cassi Marshall

2021-2022 CWRF Board
Kathy Bussman, President
Max Hall, Treasurer
Ron Carlson, Secretary
Larry Blaufus, Scholarship Committee Chair
George Capacci
JC Kootnekoff
Richard Renton
Nan Henriksen
Steve Rafoth
David Szyplinski

Helping to Meet Essential Needs

Children’s Home Society of Washington (East County Family Resource Center)
The grant will fund general operations at the ECFRC. The Center allows residents to access parent education groups, youth support groups, emergency basic assistance, behavioral health services and healthcare services directly by Children’s Home Society of Washington or supported by CHSW as the Center’s lead agency. Rather than just providing families with access to services, the Center focuses on building skills in families leaving them better prepared to function independently.

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 grant will also support the Panther Den, a program to provide on-the-job training to students with disabilities, and provides food, clothes, shoes and personal hygiene products to low-income students. Lastly the grant will help fund a mobile laptop cart for use by students and families who cannot afford, or do not have access to, personal computers to access technology and internet services.

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 70 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 will be used to start a Senior Preparedness, Emergency Action & Resilience (SPEAR) program for people 60 and older in Camas and Washougal who currently lack household emergency preparedness items, and who are therefore at higher risk for injury, illness, isolation and even death if a disaster hits. The program aims to develop and disseminate up to seventy senior-friendly supply kits for isolated older adults who are particularly vulnerable when catastrophes strike. Funds would be used to buy the contents for kits needed to prepare for disasters such as wildfires, ice storms, floods and excessive heat. Kits would be made available to veterans, and those who live in low-income households, seniors who live alone and those experiencing disabilities and social and/or geographic isolation.

ReFuel Washougal
The grant funds will buy Bivy Bags, which are one-person waterproof tents and high quality sleeping bags rated for five degrees which are constructred with outside layers that are weather resistent. Funds will also buy 2 ½ hour HOP tickets for use on C-TRAN and TRI-MET regional bus service. Lastly funds will pay for motel rooms during severe weather events if the Washougal senior center cannot be used because of COVID restrictions.

Family Promise of Clark County
Grant funds will be used to initiate operation of New Beginnings, a seven-week financial literacy program that includes information, coaching and support regarding budgeting, spending, borrowing, credit, banking, saving and taxes. Once a referral has been made, the FPCC New Beginnings Coordinator will contact the families that are eligible and interested in the program and schedule their classes. Families can opt for in-person, remote or a combination of both delivery methods depending one each family’s needs and schedule. New Beginnings provides families with the tools to take control of their finances, set financial goals and achieve them, get out of debt, improve their income, control their expenses, get free of high-interest lenders and establish a solid financial foundation.

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 needs.

Innovative Services NW
The grant funds will pay for a portion of the fees to deliver pediatric therapy services to Camas and Washougal children from birth to age 20 not otherwise covered by Medicaid reimbursement payments. Therapy services include occupational, speech, physical and specialty services for people with developmental disabilities. Innovative Services NW is a Washington State designated Neurodevelopmental Center that provides outreach, evaluation, coordinated treatment planning and specialized therapy to children with special health care needs and are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental or behavioral conditions. As an NDC, ISNW has the enhanced ability to help families navigate the health care system and coordinate each child’s care by offering specialized services that allow children to catch up in their development.

Impact C-W (St. Matthews Lutheran Church)
The grant funds will be used to purchase food and grocery gift cards for low income families in the Camas and Washougal School Districts. Each food box will provide $30 of food per box and $50 worth of grocery gift cards per family. The grocery gift cards will be purchased from Camas and Washougal grocery stores, who have partnered with St. Matthews Lutheran Church in the past, and as a way to support local businesses who’ve helped in the past.

Unite! Washougal Community Coalition
A portion of the grant will be used to fund a Sources of Strength suicide prevention program at Washougal High School. Sources of Strength is a best-practice evidenced-based suicide prevention and resiliency building youth-led and adult-supported peer-to-peer program that encourages youth to seek help and mental support when needed, and removes barriers and stigma around healthy help-seeking behavior. SoS also encourages youth to grow resources in their own lives such as healthy activities, positive friends, generosity and family support. The other portion of the grant will fund an Our Positive Community Norms Campaign – “Love Your Life! Washougal”. The Love Your Life campaign seeks to inform youth that they don’t have to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to fit in. Rather it seeks to recognize the positives in our community and seeks to grow those positive behaviors by reinforcing and rewarding them in our youth and community.

Enriching Lives

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 1,500 kids will participate in the summer reading program.

Dance Evolution
The grant helps Dance Evolution offer partial and full dance scholarships to low-income families. Dance Evolution provides a safe and fun place for students of all abilities, ethnicities, genders, and identities to come and learn to dance. Dance Evolution believes that movement and physical activity can play a crucial role in helping young people struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Specifically, dance can provide a non-verbal way for dancers to express how they are feeling and become more connected to their internal world and emotions.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs – Camas-Washougal
Books inspire young readers and lay an important foundation for their success in education. 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 SW Washington
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 600 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 – Camtown
The grant will fund arts and crafts supplies to provide some of the free event activities for the kids attending the Camtown Youth Festival. Camtown Youth Festival is a free community event designed, programmed and run by Camas student youth. The event includes a variety of games, craft activities, entertainment, food, art show and competition, a kids’ flea market, fundraisers for local non-profit youth organizations and youth-related information tables focused on integrating arts and cultural elements of our local community’s identities.

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 construct a platform and deck for a recently purchased 30-foot yurt. The yurt will provide an indoor classroom space to support TreeSong’s youth and adult programs.  TreeSong’s focus in programming is providing nature education for children, families and adults in a natural setting.

Teen Reach Adventure Camp

T.R.A.C. provides camps for foster youth and at-risk youth between ages 12 and 15. Youth who are in the foster care system have restrictions regarding safety and confidentiality that make it difficult to attend camps. The T.R.A.C. model specifically addresses these needs to provide a safe, fun camping experience. In addition, T.R.A.C. seeks to make a difference with these kids by building relationships with trusted adults and provide opportunities to improve communications, teamwork and self-value on T.R.A.C.’s challenge course. One very special way to meet our campers’ needs is by providing unique experiences and ways to engage and be successful. This grant provides the opportunity to rent a climbing wall and a Kona Ice machine to serve shaved ice treats after strenuous physical activities.

Opera Quest
Grant funds will be used to create online content for area school music programs. Using Opera Quest Northwest’s performers, OQNW will complete a History of Opera video. A new video on the theme Musical Storytelling Around the World will visit such diverse countries and cultures as China, India, Iran, West Africa, Hawaii and the Philippines. Funds will also be used to research and assemble supporting materials for teachers, including background information and discussion questions.

Journey Theater Arts Group
Journey Theater Arts Group puts on Broadway-style live theater performances involving casts of as many as 70 students between the ages of eight and 18. To meet Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines, the cast and crew will either need to be vaccinated or regularly tested. A portion of the grant funds will be used to purchase test kits. The other portion of the grant funds will be used to pay stipends for show directors and choreographer.

Boy, Girl, 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 three 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. This season Camp WaKi will offer NASA Globe Goes to Camp programs including Lego Land Cover which involves building 3-D maps using Lego blocks, Natural Arts Station which features art in the garden and Trees which includes building a clinometer to measure tree height. The funds will support staff and volunteer training necessary to qualify as a NASA “Station Master.”

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.

FVRL – 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. For many parents with limited household budgets, Washougal Community Library’s Summer Reading Program offers an opportunity for the entire family to attend entertaining and educational programs at no cost, earn prizes for hours spent reading, and strengthen their reading skills. The incentive prizes for 2022 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.

Camas-Washougal Historical Society
The museum has a collection of Native American Woven baskets that were donated by Gracia Ough Jones, granddaughter of Princess White Wing. The grant would be used to preserve and display this historically significant collection of arts and crafts of those who inhabited our area many years ago.

Clark County Historical Society & Museum
The Clark County Historical Society and Museum proposes to conduct three historic walking tours in Camas and Washougal featuring Historic Downtown Camas, the Parkersville National Historic Site and the pioneer section of the Washougal Memorial Cemetery. These tours scheduled for July, August and October 2022 would be offered free to Camas and Washougal residents and are intended to educate a large number of area families about their community’s story. The grant funds would pay for research, material analysis, interpretive work, site planning, training and the development of new marketing content.  The grant funds would also cover Camas and Washougal residents’ admission fees and advertising materials.

Odyssey Discovery PTO
The grant funds would pay a portion of the cost to build an 18-hole disc golf course on the campus of Odyssey Middle School and Discovery High School. Disc golf is a fun and healthy activity that the entire student population can enjoy. Apart from the disc, the game would be free to play and encourages the middle and high school students to engage in healthy activities as well as being accessible to a diverse range of students. Outside of school hours, the course would also be available to nearby residents.

Silver Star Search and Rescue
Recently, Silver Star Search and Rescue purchased a very specialized Stokes litter used in transporting injured patients who would be unable to walk on their own. The grant funds will be used to purchase specialized handles which attach to the litter directly and allow rescuers to manage and balance the litter thereby decreasing rescuer fatigue, strain and allow for significant improvement in litter control and patient safety.

Resource Conservation and Education

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.

Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation – Camas Ivy League
The grant funds would be used to buy tools (loppers, pruners, hand saws and pry bars) for use in removing English ivy from public lands in Camas. English ivy is an invasive species that covers many acres of local public land and negatively impacts the health of native trees and the entire ecosystem. Volunteers with Camas Ivy League have removed English ivy from more than 2,000 trees each year for the past several years. Having more tools, and the right tools, allows for more efficient volunteers resulting in more acres being cleared annually.

Parks Foundation of Clark County – Lacamas Watershed Council
The grant funds will be used to provide initial and refresher water quality monitoring training to Lacamas Watershed Council volunteers and to purchase water quality monitoring equipment and supplies. In recent years toxic algae blooms have occurred in Lacamas, Round and Fallen Leaf Lakes. LWC advocates for improved water quality based on best available science. Currently LWC collects water quality data at three monitoring sites in Lacamas Lake and one monitoring site in Round Lake. Additional monitoring sites are being evaluated.