A MESSAGE FROM LEADERSHIP
A Message from GGHF’s Leadership Team
As the struggles of the pandemic begin to fade, we feel it is time recognize all that you helped make happen over a very challenging period for all of us.
Thanks to your support, we were able to sustain our teachers and key staff operating the Foundation’s programs and services and were ready to reopen the doors to our Gig Harbor Senior Center in the summer of 2021 after a deeply unsettled 16 months. Through this time, your gifts made so much possible:
experiences to diversly serve our 60+ community, transformative programming for early learning, protecting lands and waters with which our region is blessed, helping area businesses make it through, working to meet the nutritional needs of food insufficient families, and so much more. In a world burdened with challenges, the Foundation found creative opportunities to continue meeting the needs of our community thanks to the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and generosity of all involved.
Over the course of the months that upended businesses, schools, and life in general as we knew it, our community came together, making a total of $620,400 donations from more than 300 donors, sponsors and families. With the addition of vital resources and support from sponsors, partners, and state and federal government programs, your gifts went further. Those who gave of their time helped us adeptly bridge a 70-week long pandemic inflicted pause that closed the physical doors to our community’s only senior center, during which time more than 10,000 meals, groceries, fresh produce, and more were delivered by some 250 volunteers, who traveled over 6,000 miles, donating some 1,800 hours to help assure our community’s seniors were well cared for. During this time our GGHF team worked reduced hours to teach, care for the land at the future Community Campus, and continue preparation for the return of programming thanks to your support.
Among the keystone efforts of 2021 was the establishment of a permanent endowed fund to help ensure financial resources are available locally as opportunities arise to permanently protect lands and waters that provide open space, habitat, public lands access, trails, and watershed protection – buttressing the region’s natural capital as an economic and community asset that provides important cultural ties, habitat, respite, biodiversity, air and water recharge, and much more. Thanks to its visionary founders and the commitment of several area families, the GHKP Conservation Fund attained its first milestone and will make its first investment in late 2022. The fund has an established goal of $1 million within the next five years.
Re-opening our doors, programs and events in 2021, our first experiences after the long disruption were tearful, joyful, and deeply meaningful.
We received the loving support of over 600 volunteers between 2021 and 22, with many of you supporting the annual Basket Brigade, the SIP’M meal program, and the work of EnviroCorps to help keep our community road and trail systems safe, clear, and open to the public. This was an essential service in a year when many families had limited access to indoor activities, our staff hours were constrained, and the solace of nature was needed more than ever.
We are grateful for our teachers and program staff who bring their hearts, minds and creativity every day to serving our community in numerous ways. You have navigated wave after wave of pandemic impact with adaptive grace and have found a way forward, together. Thank you for the work to balance meaningful educational, senior and environmental programming with public health and safety, reduce barriers to entry, and navigate the logistical challenges of operations during COVID-19.
We also thank our dedicated board members for their pivotal support as key members of our leadership team. Throughout the years of pandemic disruption, they have been unwavering in their capacities and care. Their dedication is matched by the skill, integrity and commitment of our staff.
We have accomplished big work together, in community with you, as part of the fabric of a 16-year journey. We are enthusiastic for what is happening and what is planned for the future. Donors, volunteers, program leaders, program participants, neighbors, and team members— thank you for all that you make possible!
With appreciation, from the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation Staff and Board Team