Olga Store grant nearly matched and offer soon to be made!

Submitted by Friends of The Olga Store Building.

We believe in public spaces amidst this privatizing world. We believe in vibrant local culture, in the magic of sending snail mail; in the generosity and power of community; in soulful old buildings that tell stories; in driving less distance to get groceries; and in drinking tea with a friend while looking out to sea.

Friends of the Olga Store Building is thrilled to announce our latest total for fundraising: $617,005 in pledges and donations. There are 10 days left to raise the remaining $33,000 to match our $200,000 grant. Pledges are rolling in from near and far. They are due Nov. 30 and will be collected in early December. We will make an offer upon receiving enough pledges and donations to meet the full asking price of $650,000.

Until then, each dollar pledged or donated is doubled by a generous matching donor. Visit theolgastore.org to pledge or donate!

We, Friends of The Olga Store Building, have been organizing the effort to restore this historic building to house our Post Office, a small Co-op grocery and an apartment. We’re working to buy The Olga Store as a community and manage it as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will serve the east end of Orcas and beyond.

This week Friends of The Olga Store Building attended Pre-App meeting with San Juan County and emerged optimistic, with a plan to obtain necessary permits for our intended use! We are grateful to Cory Harrington of Permit Resources, and Dave Billings for donating their time and expertise to this cause.

Other than this, Friends of the Olga Store Building has worked diligently with the community near and far to accomplish the following:

1. Applied for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and await approval; 2. Compiled Business Plan, Feasibility Report and Floor Plans (read in full on our website); 3. Obtained Environmental Report; 4. Obtained Building Inspection Report; 5. Obtained Septic System Inspection Report; 6. Obtained USPS “Final Decision” letter stating they have selected The Olga Store for new Olga Post Office location; 7. Filmed a short documentary film (watch on our website- theolgastore.org); 8. Hosted a community meeting with USPS and over 200 community members; 9. Ran a successful letter-writing campaign to USPS; 10. Hosted a community meeting with Orcas Food Co-op with over 100 in attendance; 11. Collaborated with Orcas Food Co-op, whose board voted to pursue grocery space in The Olga Store; 12. Formed a traffic advisory committee; 13. Attended a pre-app meeting with San Juan County; 14. Had The Land Bank come assess the store as a potential Historic Building; 15. Facilitated negotiation to extend the current Post Office lease month-to-month until The Olga Store is ready to lease long-term.

Join our efforts to build community and preserve this piece of living history! Email us at friends@theolgastore.org if you have questions.