Helping Orcas Islanders in need by accessing services and support for their well-being.
Masking up, social distancing, sticking to your pod, Zoom weddings, virtual Thanksgiving feasts – who would have foreseen our new normal back in March when the CDC declared COVID-19 a pandemic? And yet, here we are in the midst of the holiday season, greeting our loved ones on laptop screens, and waving to neighbors from the safety and comfort of our living rooms and front stoops. These are strange days. We’re grateful to be negotiating the chaos of 2020 on our quieter island. We’re sure many of you can relate.
Orcas is unique. Our quirky island community welcomes all living things, no matter how great or small. From orcas to owls, ferns to firs, right-wing or leftist-leaning, young to old – on Orcas Island, and at the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC), you’re welcomed with open (albeit socially-distanced or virtual) arms. An attitude of gratitude and a willingness to adapt will keep our community sane and centered amidst the changing tides.
Adaptation. That’s something we at the Orcas Community Resource Center know about. We’ve been helping islanders adapt to their challenging circumstances for well over a decade now. And, while we’ve had years to learn the ropes, adopt programs, and implement services for islanders in need, 2020 has given us a run for our money. And we mean that literally! Our budget increased 102%, from $329,612 in 2019 to $667,445 in 2020.As of November, we had already doubled the total services provided in 2019 – 1,265 clients and 699 households were served with 12,860 services. Think about that for a minute. 1 out of every 4 Orcas Islanders has received our help!
As with every challenge, opportunities abound if you’re willing to step back, observe the chaos compassionately, then commit to doing what needs to be done. Earlier this year, our community came together to identify our emergent and long-term island needs via the Economic Recovery and Resiliency community forums. An overwhelming need for an ‘Island Hub where folks can go to get some help’ was voiced by many. You might be surprised to know that an island hub already exists – your very own Orcas Community Resource Center! We’ve been quietly helping your neighbors for some time now, but our vision and scope has expanded due to COVID. We’ve helped islanders secure housing, aided folks in receiving unemployment and medical benefits, filled pantries and bellies with food cards and food bank deliveries, provided personal hygiene and household supplies, kept a watchful eye on our seniors and vulnerable populations, matched clients with mental health resources and counseling, and ensured that requests were granted to keep Orcas Island safe.
We’ve been busy, but we’ve had company. We’ve witnessed friends helping friends, neighbors assisting neighbors, and strangers looking out for one another. We’ve heard countless tales of stress and strife, but we’ve also been inspired by the gifts of love, time and financial support that have been offered by islanders and our sister organizations to salve those wounds. When the need was great, Orcas stepped up by giving to the Orcas Island Community Foundation’s Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CERF has been instrumental in allowing the Resource Center to put in the extra time to do this good work. If we were given additional funding, we could do so much more! And make no mistake, there is much more to do. More neighbors to help. More programs to invest in. More services to provide. More love to spread around. We’re in this together. We can’t do it alone. Please consider donating to the Orcas Community Resource Center using our online donation form (www.orcascrc.org/donate) We’re asking for your help as we continue to adapt to changing and challenging times. We’re here for all of it. The good AND hard times. The smiles and the tears. The heartache and the heartwarming moments of 2020. We hope you’ll join us in shaping a safer, stronger, and more unified Orcas for all to thrive.
Happy Holidays Orcas, from all of us, to all of you!
Donating to the Orcas Community Resource Center helps not only your neighbors in need but the island as a whole. There are numerous ways you can contribute to help ensure the security of our community, such as annual pledges, legacy gifts, and via our Orcas Community Resource Center Designated Fund (OCRC) hosted by the Orcas Island Community Foundation. Every little bit helps! For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 360-376-3184.
Safety first! As we reenter the workforce in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Safe Start reopening plan in San Juan County, it's important that we stay diligent with our health and safety protocols. Check out this COVID-19 Worker Safety Guide video for safety tips and best practices recommended by the CDC. You'll find useful information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning protocols, and work-place safety. If you are self-employed and/or in need of a PPE kit for your job, please contact the Orcas Community Resource Center at 376-3184 or email@example.com.
Special thanks go to the Orcas Island Community Foundation, Orcas Center, Orcas Video, and Berto Gandara for financial, creative and administrative support.
¡Seguridad primero! A medida que volvemos a ingresar a la fuerza laboral en la Fase 2 y Fase 3 del plan de reapertura Safe Start en el Condado de San Juan, es importante que nos mantengamos diligentes con nuestros protocolos de salud y seguridad. Consulte este video de la Guía de seguridad para trabajadores COVID-19 para obtener consejos de seguridad y las mejores prácticas recomendadas por el Centro de Control de Enfermedades (CDC en inglés.) Encontrará información útil sobre Equipo de Protección Personal (PPE in inglés), protocolos de limpieza y seguridad en el lugar de trabajo. Si trabajas por cuenta propia y/o necesitas un Equipo de Protección Personal para tu trabajo, por favor comunícate con el Centro de Recursos de la Isla de Orcas (OCRC) al 376-3184 o firstname.lastname@example.org.
Un agradecimiento especial a Orcas Island Community Foundation, Orcas Center, Orcas Video y Berto Gandara por su apoyo financiero, creativo y administrativo.
Our staff have worked long and hard this year, keeping our clients and our community safe, sheltered, and sane. We are closing the Resource Center for a winter break to give our staff some well-deserved time off to recharge, recuperate, and usher in the New Year with revitalized spirits. The Orcas Community Resource Center will close for our winter holiday break on Wednesday, December 23rd at 3:00 pm, and will reopen on Monday, January 4th at 09:00 am.
We will check our voicemail daily and will respond to any urgent needs as soon as we can. Voicemail will not be checked on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. If you have a non-urgent matter that can wait until January 4th, please contact us then, after we have returned to the office, at email@example.com or 360-376-3184.
ORCAS ISLAND EMERGENCY CONTACTS
Fire/Medical/Police: Call 911
Non-urgent Medical Need: Contact your medical provider
Mental Health Crisis/Suicide Prevention
• ALWAYS CALL 911 IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY
• Call the Designated Crisis Responder (DCR) hotline: 1-800-584-3578
• Crisis Online Chat, available 24/7/365: www.imhurting.org
• Visit Volunteers of America: www.voaww.org/behavorialhealth
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
• Call SAFE San Juans (formerly DVSAS) 24/7 Help Line: 360-376-1234
Orcas Island Food Bank
• Food distribution located at 176 Madrona St, next to the Orcas Island Community Church behind the blue shipping container
• Normal hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12-6 PM. The Food Bank will be closed on Christmas Day (12/25) but will be open on New Year’s Day (1/1).
Ferry Ticket Requests:
• For urgent requests that can’t wait until January 4th, email the NWRC directly (NWRCRides@dshs.wa.gov) IF YOU ARE ON MEDICAID
• For TVP requests, email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
For a list of resources for mental health support, visit:
Happy Holidays, Orcas Island! We wish you a safe, peaceful and healthy transition into the new year.
Are you a San Juan County resident who has fallen behind on rent as of March 1, 2020? If so, you may be eligible for assistance, care of the Opportunity Council. Renters may receive a maximum of 3 months total rent assistance. One month must be in arrears, while the other 2 can be current or future rent payments.
Apply online: www.oppco.org/sanjuanrentalassistance
Can’t apply online? Call 360-734-5121 ext 308. Translation services are available upon request.
Adapt your business! Up to $5000 in grant funding is available for San Juan County small for-profit businesses via the San Juan County CARES grant. This grant may cover rent and utilities, PPE and exposure controls, COVID-19 testing, and pivoting to online sales. The deadline to apply is midnight, September 20, 2020.
For details and an application, visit: www.sanjuansedc.org/sjccares/
Questions? Call (360) 378-2906, or email: email@example.com
This grant from San Juan County is funded from the Federal CARES Act. It is administered by the Economic Development Council but it is SEPARATE from the Working Washington Grant.
Is your preschooler transitioning to kindergarten this fall? If so, we have a bag of goodies with their name on it! Kinder bound tots will receive an OCRC canvas bag filled to the brim with books, activities, craft and school supplies, child-sized face masks, toys, and dental hygiene products. In addition to these goodies, each child will receive a $50 gift certificate to Darvill’s Bookstore!
Families enrolled in Kaleidoscope, Montessori and Children’s House will receive a bag through their school. If your child was not enrolled in one of these schools this spring, contact OCRC directly to obtain a bag for your child. Contact the Resource Center for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org | 360-376-3184. The Kindergarten Transition Program is sponsored by ECEAP, OCRC and a generous local donor.
Our office will be closed from Friday, September 4th through Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day. Our staff have been hard at work this year and will enjoy some much-needed time off to recharge. Thank you for your understanding.
Whew! It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? The months have both flown and crept by. Each day has brought new challenges and opportunities. In these dog days of summer, with fall fast approaching, we at the Orcas Community Resource Center reflect on this past year and the challenges Orcas Island has faced. Our mission of helping Orcas Islanders in need by accessing services and support for their well-being is our primary directive. Even in the midst of COVID, our virtual doors are always open. We are here to serve those in need, however we can. I can assure you the need has been great. Our client numbers have increased, our scope has expanded, and our organization has stretched to meet that need. Indeed, it continues to grow every day. Our phone lines are busy, and our inboxes are full. Folks are in crisis, and with your help, we’re assisting islanders in a myriad of ways.
During these past eight months, our community has accomplished so much! We’ve aided our neighbors, deepened our connections, challenged our ideologies, acknowledged our fears, and embraced change. We’ve endured seven months of fraught news cycles, disrupted supply chains, mass uncertainty, and facing the unknown. We’ve lost jobs. We’ve lost the life we once knew. But we haven’t lost Orcas. This island we call home – it’s a magical place. Sacred land that tethers us to our past, our present, and our future. Here on Orcas, we are in this TOGETHER.
We are Orcas Strong. Resilient. Resourceful. Renewed with a sense of purpose and belonging. The Orcas Community Resource Center thanks you – all of you – for creating a kinder and safer home for every islander, regardless of income, race, age, gender, orientation or affiliation. The Orcas community has warmed our hearts, and inspired us to dig deeper, to think smarter, to do more. To each and every one of our Orcas Islanders, we say “THANK YOU!” Your gifts of loving words, swift actions, generous donations, and allied leadership have kept this community safe.
Special commendations go to these exceptional organizations and individuals who have donated time, wares, and supplies to the OCRC and community-at-large:
Orcas Island Community Foundation for their exceptional leadership and community organizing. The Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been invaluable to numerous essential organizations, including the Resource Center. We wouldn’t have been able to help so many without their community-generated grant funding.
Orcas Food Bank and Orcas Senior Center as critical service providers and partners in crisis response.
Orcas Island Lions Club for providing energy assistance.
OPAL, San Juan County, and the Opportunity Council for providing housing and rental assistance.
OPALCO and Eastsound Water for providing utility assistance.
Orcas Center, Orcas Island Community Church, the Airport Center, the American Legion, and Camp Orkila for providing shelter sites during the shelter-in-place order.
Island Market, Washington Federal and a generous local donor for providing gift cards to Island Market, Orcas Food Co-op and the Orcas Village Store respectively. These gift cards have fed numerous hungry families, vulnerable seniors, and clients in need.
OrcaSong and Orcas Island Distillery for providing hand sanitizer to essential businesses.
Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant for donating proceeds from their delicious fried chicken dinners.
Orcas Island High School Class of 2020 for selecting OCRC as a 2020 Youth Philanthropy recipient.
Very special thanks to the Coates Family for their operational support and continued sponsorship of the COATES’ Cabinet Essential Needs Hygiene and Cleaning Supplies Program.
Gratitude galore is given to our generous individual and anonymous donors who have made a world of difference to so many. You know who you are, and we salute you!
To the many mask makers who donated handmade reusable masks: stand up and take a bow. Your diligence and thoughtfulness have kept our islanders safer these past months.
To our hard-working team of staff, independent contractors, board members, and volunteers at the Resource Center, and to our fantastic Shelter Group team, who help to make Orcas a safe haven for all, I say, “We’re stronger together. Go team!”
And finally, to all of our island neighbors, OCRC says “Thank you, Orcas!” We stand with you – united by our place-based fellowship of this sacred land we call home. There is much work to be done. Indeed, we feel called to do it. With you. For you. Because of YOU.
[UPDATE: DEADLINE HAS PASSED] Due to COVID-19 school closures, your children may be eligible for food assistance, called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Emergency School Meals Program. P-EBT provides families with funds to make up for the cost of meals while school was closed. This benefit is for Washington children in grades K-12 who apply for and receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits will be on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which is used like a debit card to buy groceries. Every eligible child may receive up to a maximum of $399 of P-EBT. The application deadline is August 31, 2020, so don't delay! More information can be found on our COVID-19 Support page, under 'Local Resources.' You may also refer to the P-EBT Flyer and Folleto P-EBT en español listed in our Downloads below. Go to: www.WashingtonConnection.org for program and application information.
You have an opportunity to shape our economic future! The Orcas Island Community Foundation and the Community Emergency Response Advisory team are looking for 25 participants to engage in an 8-week virtual program that will focus on the economic vitality and future of Orcas Island. The pool of participants will be chosen to reflect the diverse populations and sectors of our community. As fellow Orcas Islanders and Resource Center clients, donors, affiliates and supporters, your experience is invaluable. We want your voice heard! Applications are due June 5th. For more information, click the link below.
Megan Ehrmantraut has joined the Resource Center and will be a new voice on the other side of the phone for our clients while our beloved Dorothy recovers from her stroke. Megan has been an Orcas resident since 2018. With over 25 years of administrative experience, she is known for providing excellent client care. Welcome to the team, Megan!
We are excited to announce that Marcy Montgomery will be administering her One Canoe Veggie Rx program through the Resource Center as a new volunteer, and will be enrolling qualifying individuals and households this week and into June.
Our beloved colleague, Dorothy Osborn, suffered a stroke on the evening of May 1. She was admitted to Providence Medical Center in Everett and is currently in their care. Dorothy’s family has set up a site for her on CaringBridge, a social network to help connect loved ones and their community during a medical event. You can even check on her recovery status daily via CaringBridge!
Dorothy would love to hear from you via CaringBridge! Staying connected with her Resource Center clients, colleagues, friends, and loved ones is instrumental to her recovery, as the hospital is not permitting visitors at this time. We look forward to the full recovery of our compassionate and loving colleague and friend, and her return to our Orcas Island community.
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We are here to help you during these trying times! As our physical office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 safety recommendations, we will now work with current and new clients via phone and email interactions, and Zoom meetings.
Vulnerable persons that need home delivery of essential household goods such as food or medicine can call San Juan County Senior Services at 360-370-0591 or the Orcas Community Resource Center at 360-376-3184 to ask for help.
COATES' Cabinet Household Essentials is now open 3:30–5:00pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month: August 4 and 18. New clients must complete New Client Intake and COATES’ Cabinet Household Essentials Registration forms, available in the Downloads section below.
The Orcas Island Community Foundation has compiled a list of updated resources and information to help you during the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to the OICF Orcas Update documents below, in English and Spanish. We’ll upload new documents as they are released by the OICF.
We are confident we can continue to serve our clients; it will just look different in the weeks to come. Please call or email if you need anything. We are here for you.
If you are an existing client, please email or phone Jana: email@example.com • 376-3184
If you are not an established client, but you are in need of assistance, please email or phone Holly: firstname.lastname@example.org • 376-3184