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As COVID-19 cases soar in Del Norte County, the overworked staff at Crescent City’s Sutter Coast Hospital is receiving much-needed meals provided by local restaurants, donations and a $30,000 COVID-19 grant from Wild Rivers Community Foundation and Humboldt Area Foundation.
“When we heard that hospital employees are working 16-hour shifts, the hospital cafeteria is closed, and they have little to no time for breaks and meals, we asked what can we do?” said Gina Zottola, vice president of Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation for WRCF and HAF. “This grant will provide our heroic health care workers with 175 meals and healthy snacks per day for four weeks.”
Zottola said the grant was spurred by last weekend’s efforts by Del Norte County Supervisor Valerie Starkey and resident Kelly Schellong, who organized with friends and local businesses to provide hospital employees with snacks and water. Over the weekend, the hospital received donated salads, sandwiches, snacks and drinks from Frank’s Heating and Refrigeration and Hiouchi Hamlet. Other businesses have since joined in the effort, Starkey said.
“We just wanted to do something to keep the staff fed,” Starkey said. “They don’t have a cafeteria and they can’t simply run down and get a banana. This is something the community can do to show we care.”
The $30,000 grant will help Starkey and others work with local restaurants, food trucks and caterers to provide prepackaged meals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Hospital employees are encouraged to take some of the food home to family members after their shift.
Starkey also encouraged residents to make posters with encouraging words that can be displayed at the hospital. “Anybody can make a poster and it is a great way to show the hospital staff how important they are and that the community supports them.”
People who want to donate and businesses that would like to provide meals can contact Starkey at 707-490-9177 or Kelly Schellong at 707-218-5060.
Since pandemic lockdowns began in March, 2020, Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation have distributed $3.3 million via 246 grants from its COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, most of which has been shared with nonprofits in Del Norte, Curry, Humboldt and Trinity counties. The grants range from $1,000 to $50,000 and support critical needs including food insecurity, technology access, health care access, racial equity and housing needs. Learn more about supporting the fund at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19.
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 3, 2020) – The first grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, totaling $195,920, are going to eighteen organizations in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties to help our communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Fund was launched on March 20, by Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Del Norte County. With additional support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, the fund started with $150,000. During the first two weeks, over 55 individual contributions and donor pledges have grown the fund to more than $285,000.
“Every one of our board members has given to the fund,” said CEO Bryna Lipper. “We live in a generous community and think $1 million is within our reach. It will help thousands of people,” Lipper said.
To encourage giving to the fund, HAF is taking no administrative fees, with 100% of every gift going to grants.
HAF’s areas of focus in awarding grants from the fund includes seniors, people with compromised immune systems, homeless, first-responders and Native communities.
In making the grants, HAF is using a streamlined review process that does not burden area nonprofits during this difficult time with a lengthy application process.
Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources said, “Our team is reaching out daily to area nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, civic leaders and Native communities from Garberville to Weaverville to Hoopa, Crescent City and Brookings, Oregon to help us target our grants to charitable organizations on the front lines of service.”
Grants from the COVID-19 Fund are just one tool HAF is utilizing to meet the current crisis. Other resources being mobilized include loans to nonprofits, grants from other funds, fundraising from partner foundations and community leadership activities to bring partners together for action.
The first grants made from the fund (as of April 2) are:
· United Indian Health Services, $18,200, to get food and meals to 1,300 elders in local Native communities during the coronavirus and during a gap in federal funding.
· The Wiyot Tribe, $1,000, for extra hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders.
· The Yurok Tribe, $20,000, to provide additional hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to tribal members, including 900 elders and 500 at-risk youth.
· 211 Humboldt, $2,000, to the Mother Women Rising Support Group for extra help for clients as a result of the coronavirus.
· Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, $5,000, for additional general operating support for homeless services resulting from the coronavirus with matching support from the Headwaters Fund.
· Arcata House Partnership, $4,000, for facility improvements to maintain health, safety and physical distancing during the coronavirus.
· Cooperation Humboldt, $5,000, for their COVID-19 Response Coalition and $2,000 for the Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Co-op.
· Del Norte Mission Possible, $10,000, for increased program and management support needed to address the coronavirus.
· Eureka Rescue Mission, $10,000, to help meet an increased demand for services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, $10,000, for its food pantry facing increased demands during the coronavirus.
· Food for People, $18,000, to respond to increased COVID-19 related demands on the organization.
· Gold Beach Senior Center, $10,000, to help with increased food distribution needs in Gold Beach and Port Orford, Oregon due to the coronavirus.
· Healy Senior Center, Redway, $15,000, to maintain and expand program operations and staffing for senior services during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Bay Firefighters Local 652, $15,300, to purchase reusable medical Personal Protection Equipment jackets for first responders needed to protect them and the public during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Family Services Center, $6,000, for virtual counseling for struggling families sheltering in place during the coronavirus.
· Southern Humboldt Housing Opportunities, $12,420, for two weeks of motel rooms for homeless people made vulnerable during the coronavirus and additional meals for other homeless individuals.
· Transitional Residential Treatment Facilities, $20,000, to support the shelter in place operations for 25 mentally ill individuals.
· Trinity Community Food Outreach, $10,000, for an additional food storage unit for the county’s food bank in Weaverville, along with funds for seven pantries to purchase perishables not available through government programs.
Contributions, small or large, can be made to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund online at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or by mailing checks to HAF at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more info call (707) 442-2993.
Broadband internet access remains out of reach for many. But during the last 16 months, the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have been supporting tech access throughout the region with more than $623,000 in technology grants from the foundations’ COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Getting more folks connected to the internet is critical. Why? Access to the internet means access to work, access to school, health resources, and so many other things. It’s so deeply integrated into our society that those without access are at an immediate sociological disadvantage. In fact, in 2016, the United Nations added the freedom to express oneself on the internet to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include human right,
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center shared its findings from the 2021 Mobile Technology and Home Broadband report. While the report finds that the majority of Americans are connected to high-speed internet, still 38 percent of rural households remain without reliable broadband internet. Thousands of those folks are living in Curry, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties without advanced internet connections as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic transforms school and work life for many. HAF and WRCF are committed to closing the technology gap among families in need of tech access.
Within a week of California and Oregon’s 2020 statewide shelter-in-place orders, HAF and WRCF created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, which grew to $3,397,339 thanks to generous contributions from our donors and funders.
The response money also included a special COVID technology fund, designed to support the community as work and school shifted online. Since its inception, HAF and WRCF have partnered with local school districts, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and individuals, with more than 63 technology grants distributed as of this writing.
Two things became clear as the foundations distributed the funds. First, in rural areas, people can be hard to connect to for many reasons, whether that’s due to technology access, remoteness, or personal choice. Second, communities of color suffer the most and local health officials have collected ample evidence that Native American and Latinx communities were particularly hard hit with a disproportionate number of positive COVID-19 cases. It seems communities most impacted by COVID-19 are often the same people who lack access to suitable internet technology.
Here are some recent highlight grants that HAF and WRCF have made to boost tech access and ensure our community members could make the transition to online working and learning:
● A recent $12,500 grant to the Wiyot Tribe will help residents connect to SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service. This satellite-based internet service will connect Wiyot community members who are otherwise unreachable by other Internet providers.
● The foundation supported the Hoopa Valley’s Tribal TANF with $5,000 for iPads and internet connectivity so expectant parents could continue to take Motherhood is Sacred/Fatherhood is Sacred parenting classes when quarantine restrictions meant meeting in person wasn’t an option.
● Over the last 15 months, more than 250 Chromebooks, iPads and other computers have been given to individuals and nonprofits.
As part of the foundation's 10 year strategic vision, HAF and WRCF are committed to addressing the issues around broadband internet access, and technology grants are just one way to achieve that goal. The Foundations’ strategic plan envisions “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region,” which is supported by four goal areas:
● Racial Equity
● Healthy Ecosystems
● Thriving Youth and Families
● A Just Economy and Economic Development
When youth and families thrive, we all thrive. That’s why supporting ‘thriving youth and families’ is one of HAF+WRCF’s goal areas. In the early days of the pandemic, HAF and WRCF granted more than $23,000 to the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Trinity Alps Unified School District, and the Fortuna Union School District to provide dozens of hotspots and tech supplies to families throughout the foundation’s service region.
For too long, our neighbors in the underserved remote communities in Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Curry counties have been excluded from the current technology revolution because they can’t rely on a cellular phone, let alone a broadband internet connection. These disparities are even more drastic when it comes to access for Native communities. HAF and WRCF also consider addressing issues around racial equity as a top goal, and recent grants are ensuring underserved communities can close technology gaps.
Organizations like Central De Pueblo and the Seventh Generation Fund work closely with our BIPOC community members, but like many nonprofits, these groups saw many challenges as they grappled with COVID. HAF and WRCF helped these groups meet basic technology needs with a $9,000 grant for tech and office supplies to support this online transition. Other groups that serve historically marginalized populations have received funding for telehealth technology, remote work stations, and much more (Read more about the transitions and challenges these nonprofits faced during the pandemic in our State of the Sector Report).
Of course, the technology gap won’t close with the end of the pandemic. HAF and WRCF remain committed to addressing these technology and connectivity needs through innovative partnerships with our local community members, especially when closing the technology gap can help create “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region.”
Community members are invited to apply for grants through the Trinity Trust’s Community Response Grant Program by Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Community Response Grants are designed to help projects where a small investment can make a lasting difference. Additional guidelines are available on the grant application, which can be found at www.hafoundation.org/Affiliates-Region/Trinity-Trust/Grants.
In March, the committee approved over $42,000 in grants, including $14,000 to support the Southern Trinity Volunteer Fire Department and $3,500 to support the Friends of Hayfork Park. Other recipients have included the Ascent Wilderness Experience, the Rel Muk Wintu Nation, the North Fork Grange, and many others.
In March, the committee approved over $42,000 in grants, including $14,000 to support the Southern Trinity Volunteer Fire Department and $3,500 to support the Friends of Hayfork Park. Other recipients have included the Ascent Wilderness Experience, the Rel Muk Wintu Nation, the North Fork Grange, and many others. The grant is offered biannually. 2021’s deadlines are March 15 and October 15.
About the Trinity Trust
The Trinity Trust was created by the residents of Trinity County, California, to improve the quality of life in their region and keep the local capital local and working for the benefit of the community. The Trinity Trust strives to be a leader in communicating the value of keeping local resources and capital within the Trinity County region to support our community’s diverse array of organizations and issues.
About Humboldt Area Foundation
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
The program supports a broad spectrum of wellness efforts, from culture and family support to food and housing security, mental health, and more.
“These grants are especially meaningful during a pandemic, where community members more vividly experience challenges and barriers to health,” says Amy Jester, Program Director for Health & Nonprofit Resources for the Humboldt Area Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
The Humboldt Health Foundation seeks to fund projects that help reduce or eliminate structural barriers to wellness. This year, the majority of funding will be designated to programs that support the health and wellbeing of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color. “We recognize that BIPOC individuals are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that racism is a critical public health issue impacting our region,” says Jester.
"The grant program is there to support organizations and groups that are creating opportunities for people to live healthier lives. There are so many awesome ways communities are supporting wellbeing. We're interested in partnering with organizations to make that happen" says Amy Jester, Program Director of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
In March, the Humboldt Area Foundation announced its new 10-year strategic vision, which explores how a community foundation can help grow a thriving, just, healthy, and equitable region. The Foundation has also laid out four goals to support that vision, with resources and programs being developed to address these areas over a 10-year period. The goals are racial equity; healthy ecosystems; thriving youth and families; and a just economy and economic development.
Community health grants from the Humboldt Health Foundation represent a 24-year legacy of supporting our community through investment and grantmaking and underscore the Foundation’s commitment to our region’s health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the criteria and download an application, please visit the HHF website at humhealth.org.
Humboldt Health Foundation was founded in 1997 and is an affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Since its founding, Humboldt Health Foundation has distributed nearly $4.7 million in grants. Over the past year, the Foundation has given grants for program and general operating support for organizations like HC Black Music and Arts Association, English Express, COVID-19 direct relief for Spanish-speaking and undocumented individuals from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, as well as the Native Women’s Collective.
Members of the Hmong Cultural Center Distribute Food During COVID-19. Photo Courtesy Marylyn Paik-Nicely.
The Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation have released a follow up to its 2020 COVID-19 report. The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Report, March 2020-March 2021 can be downloaded here.
The report looks at a one-year snapshot of rapid-response community grant making. Between March 2020 and March 2021, the foundations granted more than 200 grants totaling more than $2.7 million. The report outlines how the foundations shifted its standard grant making cycles into high gear to respond to ever-changing community needs. The report also details more than 20 lessons learned from a year of community response. Those lessons sketch an outline of ways nonprofits and community foundations can make substantive changes to be better prepared for the next disaster.
The report is divided into an 8-page executive summary followed by four appendices to provide greater detail.
Download the Executive Summary [PDF 11.1 mb]
Appendix 1: Regional Context [PDF 422 kb]
Appendix 2: Grants By Theme Tables [PDF 377 kb]
Appendix 3: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Response [PDF 267 kb]
Appendix 4: List of All Donors & Funders [PDF 246 kb]
Download the Initial COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Report [PDF 5.4 mb]
For contributions, giving and fund information email Gina Zottola or call 707-267-9905.
For questions about grants from the fund email Craig Woods or call 707-442-2993 ext. 307.
For media inquiries email Jarad Petroske or call 707-382-4716.
July 16, 2019
I am honored to write this letter to you as I enter my twelfth and final year on the Board of Directors of Humboldt Area Foundation. This is an exciting time at HAF. As we look forward to this new chapter, we are fully engaged in the upcoming transitions. On August 1, 2019, we welcome Bryna Lipper as our new Chief Executive Officer. Her previous work in philanthropy includes co-founding the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities. Bryna has an impressive range of skills, experience and expertise to guide HAF to the next level. We enthusiastically welcome her into her new role at HAF.
As we moving forward, I am also reflecting on the many milestones HAF has achieved in the past six years under the leadership of Patrick Cleary as Executive Director and with the help of our community partners. We have compiled a list of some of those accomplishments which you can find below. HAF’s future success will be built on the strong foundation that was set during his tenure, and we are glad he will continue his work at the Foundation in a new role as Director of Community Prosperity and Investment.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I full-heartedly thank Patrick for his years of dedication, his deep commitment to the mission of the Foundation and for the many significant accomplishments as Executive Director.
Our future is looking very bright!
Kathryn Lobato, Board Chair, Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors
Here are some of our major accomplishments since 2013:
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.