Submitted by the Orcas Island Community Foundation.
As we enter into a new month of restrictions due to COVID-19, it is a good time to review what services are available on Orcas and how we as a community can help support each other through this crisis. With schools closing down and indoor dining in restaurants suspended, many folks who have not needed help before may find themselves in need now. New community members may not know how to connect and contribute. The following nonprofit programs provide direct support and are available to all in need.
Rental or Mortgage Payment Assistance: OPAL Community Land Trust (www.opalclt.org). This support includes help renegotiating, accessing federal and state supports and subsidies as needed. There is no income restriction to qualify.
Help with utilities, transportation, medical and mental health access and emergency subsidies: The Orcas Island Resource Center (www.orcascrc.org). Their Coates Closet provides cold-weather gear, household essentials and other supplies. They can also assist in applications for Veteran, Federal and State support.
Buddy Check In service and meals for seniors and other vulnerable neighbors: The Orcas Island Senior Center (www.orcasseniors.org) has a weekly telephone contact. They also have a home delivery program and the Meals on Wheels nutrition program.
Nutritious and fresh food to all: The Food Bank hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 12-6 pm. They offer a wide variety of local foods and pantry staples. Registration is simple, no paperwork or proof of address, and registering with us will not affect your immigration status. Home deliveries can be arranged through Orcas Community Resource Center and school deliveries through Children’s House and Kaleidoscope. All are welcome! Contact us at 360.376.4445
Mental health resource guide: www.Thero.Org can assist in connecting people to therapists.
If you are interested in supporting these programs, please donate directly to them or through the Community Emergency Response Fund at the Orcas Island Community Foundation (www.oicf.us).
Other ways to support the community include using Amazon Smile when ordering online. Many local nonprofits are registered and eligible to receive up to .5% of the order cost. With indoor dining closing down, consider ordering take out food or purchasing gift certificates. Many local retailers are accepting phone in orders and there are gift certificates available through www.orcasstrong.com.
Our community is strong and will remain so as long as we all do what we can to help each other through this. Reach out if you can, to ask for help or to offer it, as it is through that connection that we all feel we belong.