$22,000 in holiday grants awarded to 29 nonprofits

Ivan Minsal, Rural Human Services, receives a grant from WRCF board member Meagan Curtis

What a wonderful night of heartfelt stories and the power of giving!

Wild Rivers Community Foundation awarded $22,000 in grants Wednesday to 29 nonprofit organizations, agencies and churches that provide thousands of children and adults in Curry and Del Norte counties with much-needed food, clothing, gifts, companionship and other services.

“This is a celebration of all of you and the hope you give those in our communities who really need it,” said WRCF Director Gina Zottola. More than 60 people gathered for the Holiday Partnership ceremony at Howenquet Hall in Smith River.

This is the twelfth year that WRCF has awarded holiday grants ranging from $250 to $2,000. The grants — funded by donations from family trusts, foundations, businesses and individuals — support programs that provide children with winter coats or Christmas presents, and holiday food for hungry families. The grants are also used for warm clothes for struggling veterans and the homeless, and support services for abused or neglected children.

Pa Xion and Khou Vue of the Hmong Cultural

Center of Crescent City
“We are so amazed by the generosity of the community and happy to be a part of it,” said Kelly Schellong, of Bicoastal Media, which hosts the annual Coats for Kids campaign. “Last year, we used this money to provide coats to 1,407 kids in Curry and Del Norte counties.”
Roger Gilbert, of the Brookings Presbyterian Church, said the grant will be used to cover some of the costs associated with providing a free Thanksgiving meal to needy residents via the Community Kitchen program operated by five churches in Brookings. “It’s all about eliminating hunger in our community, and on Thanksgiving we were able to provide more than 100 hot meals.”

Daphne Cortese, Del Norte Mission Possible

Daphne Cortese, of the new nonprofit Del Norte Mission Possible, will use the money to provide essential supplies to homeless people. “I’m going to let them know that this money is from the community, to let them know that they have value. They are valued. This is going to do more than buy socks, it’s going to build bridges.”
Zottola thanked WRCF’s donors who provide the grant funding. “Tonight wouldn’t be possible — we wouldn’t have this pool of resources — if not for our community partners. Last year, the grants blessed the lives of more than 7,000 people. It’s proof that, collectively, we can move the needle. We can affect change in our communities.”

This year’s donors include the Brattain Family Trust; the Dale & Jo Ann Thomas Charitable Fund; the John G. Atkins Foundation; Pacific Power; Patricia D. & William B. Smullin Foundation; St. Joseph’s Health System Humboldt; South Fork/Big Flat Endowment Fund; R. Baird & Jane Rumiano Family Fund; Gordon Elwood Foundation, The California Endowment and WRCF.

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