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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.
Bayside, Calif.—The Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation are accepting applications for the inaugural Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Award, with applications due by Oct. 29, 2021.
Administered by the Foundation’s Native Cultures Fund, Scholarships of $2,500 are available for California native students who are engaged in Indigenous language revitalization. Students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including undergraduate and graduate students and those enrolled in trade school. Applicants must express a commitment to Indigenous languages to be considered for support.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by her descendants to honor the work and life of Aawok Georgiana Trull. Aawok Georgiana’s family describes her as a multi-faceted being who was a single mother and welder, among many other things, but deeply committed to the language, culture and survival of the Yurok people. “Aawok Georgiana spent more than 40 years of her life dedicated to revitalization of the Yurok language, contributing to an alphabet and publishing a conversation dictionary. She mentored dozens of students and worked closely with linguists to ensure that the Yurok language was preserved,” says Virginia Hedrick, a descendant of Aawok Georgiana. In 2003, Aawok Georgiana published the "Yurok Language Conversation Book," available at the University of California Berkeley Archives, which contains over 30 sections ranging from daily routines to family and relations.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship application can be found on the Native Culture Fund website. Video submissions are encouraged; however all applications will be considered. Applicants in need of assistance can contact the NCF team at email@example.com or (707) 267-9906.
The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship Fund also welcomes support. To learn more about supporting the fund, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation funds page. Contributions to the fund support California Native people actively engaged in Indigenous language revitalization.
The Native Cultures Fund serves the area from the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation in the north, to the Paiute Nations to the east and down to Chumash territory in the south. Founded by California Indian leaders and Native led, the Native Cultures Fund has practiced community grantmaking and program development at Humboldt Area Foundation since 2002. The Native Cultures Fund has made over $2.3 million in grants to 315 community-based projects in more than 100 California Native communities. Learn more at https://www.hafoundation.org/Native-Cultures-Fund.
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:
As the line for vaccine doses shrank, a group of participants started doing Zumba. The fair provided several activities, like dancing and face painting, to bring as many families as possible in to get vaccinated. Photo By Kris Nagel
More than most, Loleta resident Yohana Castillo, 36, has experienced unexpected and tremendous loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past eight months, she has lost four people. First her cousin, Esteban Gonzalez, of Esteban’s Mexican restaurant in Arcata, died of complications from the disease. Then another cousin, followed by a distant family member in Mexico City and, finally, her neighbor.
Seeing the effects the virus had on her family and wanting to protect their 4-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, Castillo and her husband decided to get vaccinated.
“Now that I’m vaccinated, I feel safer going out, seeing my family,” she told the Journal in Spanish.
Since receiving her vaccination, Castillo has been on a quest to help as many people in her community get vaccinated by making sure they understand what the protection can do. She was able to help the rest of her family get their vaccines.
“I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” she said. “I want everyone to have the opportunity to feel safe the way I feel safe.”
Castillo likes to be involved in her daughter’s school activities and met True North Organizing Network organizing director Julia Lerma through a virtual event. They began talking about their lives and Castillo’s recent losses when Lerma told her about True North’s planned efforts to help the county’s Latinx population get vaccinated. Castillo jumped on board and quickly became a volunteer organizer for the Eureka-based nonprofit.
Humboldt’s Latinx population is still lagging behind in vaccination rates despite seeing disproportionate rates of infection. As of July 15, about 45 percent of Humboldt County’s Latinx population had received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to about 50 percent of the county’s non-Hispanic/Latinx population. Meanwhile, residents identifying as Hispanic and Latinx continue to make up 23 percent of the county’s positive COVID cases despite making up only 12 percent of the county’s population. Statewide, roughly 43 percent of the Latinx population has received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to 53 percent of the population overall, while Latinx residents account for 56 percent of COVID-19 cases despite making up 39 percent of the population, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Local efforts to reach the Latinx community with COVID-19 safety and vaccination information have been challenging, as has been the case statewide and nationally. Many Hispanic and Latinx Humboldt County residents have reported finding it challenging to find accurate information in Spanish, though public health has staffed its COVID-19 information line with Spanish speakers and has translated COVID information and social media posts hoping to reach non-English speakers.
There are a variety of reasons vaccine hesitancy may be more pervasive in the Hispanic and Latinx population than other demographics.
“Compared to white adults, larger shares of unvaccinated Hispanic adults say they are concerned about missing work due to vaccine side effects, that they might have to pay out of pocket for the vaccine (despite it being free), not being able to get the vaccine from a trusted place, or having difficulty traveling to a vaccination site,” states a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Among Hispanic adults, the shares expressing many of these concerns are even greater among those with lower incomes, the uninsured, and those who are potentially undocumented.”
Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman has repeatedly said offering local employees time off to get vaccinated and even sick leave if they experience side effects would reduce barriers locally, though it’s unclear how many businesses are doing it.
True North, meanwhile, has worked to get translated health and safety information to Humboldt’s Latinx community, while also working with the vaccine hesitant and creating more comfortable environments for Latinx community members to get vaccinated in. And so the idea of the family friendly vaccine fair was born and the nonprofit started planning a festive event that would feel distinctly different than the mass vaccination clinics being organized by public health.
Before the fair, Castillo and True North spent time canvassing in Latinx communities at churches, mercados and neighborhoods, posting Spanish-language flyers about the vaccine fair with phone numbers — including her own — for those hesitant about the COVID vaccine to call for more information. Castillo told those who called about her story why she decided to get the vaccine and her experience getting her shot.
“They’re afraid of getting a reaction,” Castillo said. “We have a group of three people working to talk to people and I haven’t heard a different concern but that they’re all afraid to get a bad reaction to the vaccine. So, we always tell them to talk to their doctor — sometimes they begin to tell me what (medical conditions) they have, and I can’t answer that, but we give them the information we can.”
The day of the vaccine clinic last month was unusually warm and drizzly. In front of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at College of the Redwoods gymnasium, Castillo and True North’s team of volunteer organizers set up a sound system for music and tables, one for snacks filled with pan dulce, water and juice, another with kids’ activities, like coloring books and markers, and a third for people to get raffle tickets and free tacos.
The rain didn’t dampen Castillo’s helpful demeanor. She was wearing a mask but smiled with her eyes as she greeted those walking up to the gym, asking them first in Spanish if they were there for their vaccination, then directing them to where they needed to go. If they didn’t speak Spanish, she used the bit of English she knows to direct them. But she was there primarily as a first point of contact for those who only speak Spanish, letting them know there were people there to speak to them in their language. At one point, she held a bundle of balloons that she passed out to kids.
She said she felt happy and emotional at the fair, pointing out that while the fair drew in some folks to get vaccinated, others showed up to get their shots totally unaware of the accompanying activities and free tacos.
Adding to the festive, inviting atmosphere was Jorge Matias, who works for St. Joseph Health and whom True North invited to put on a Zumba lesson. With an energetic charm, Matias got people dancing.
According to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, a total of 109 people were vaccinated during the June 13 fair, 27 of them walk-ins. In comparison, the week of July 12 saw Public Health’s mobile team vaccinate a total of 97 people at the Humboldt Crabs game and clinics in Rio Dell, Fortuna and Samoa, according to a July 13 COVID update to the board of supervisors.
Public health officials have also said that even registering for a vaccine appointment can pose another barrier for those wanting to get their vaccinations.
During an April meeting with LatinoNet, Hoffman said Public Health’s goal is to ensure vaccine equity for the Latinx community and to guarantee that any Latinx resident seeking a COVID-19 vaccine feels comfortable and confident before, during and after their appointment, which is what True North was able to accomplish with its vaccine fair.
“People really enjoyed the event,” Castillo said. “They felt comfortable and like they were with family, and at ease because there were people there who spoke Spanish.”
True North held another vaccine clinic in Arcata similar to the one at the College of the Redwoods, with raffles, free food and Zumba, but won’t stop there. True North will hold more vaccine fairs in Fortuna and Eureka, continuing with the nonprofit’s mission of making sure everyone has an opportunity to get vaccinated in a setting that makes them comfortable, no matter the distance. Castillo, for one, is excited.
“I think [the future vaccine fairs] will go very well and we’ll be successful because we really want all people to get vaccinated and feel safer at work and at school, with their family and the simple fact of going outside,” Castillo said.
Iridian Casarez (she/her) is a staff writer at the Journal. Reach her at 442-1400, extension 317, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @IridianCasarez.
The Community Voices Coalition is a project funded by Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation to support local journalism. This story was produced by the North Coast Journal newsroom with full editorial independence and control.
The Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation have announced a new strategic vision to guide the organization through the next ten years and beyond.
Download the new Strategic Vision 2021-2031 (PDF)
Download the Strategic Vision FAQ (PDF)
The new vision imagines the four-county region of Curry, Del Norte, Trinity, and Humboldt counties as a "Thriving, Just, and Equitable Region" supported by four goals, which include:
· Racial Equity
· Thriving Youth and Families
· Healthy Ecosystems and Environment
· A Just Economy and Economic Development
Together, these four goals will inform the programmatic and strategic work of the organization. As the Foundation embarks on this strategic direction, both HAF and WRCF have been reorganized to enable this vision. The Foundation now comprises four main teams, each with a specific mission and portfolio of work. The teams include:
· Strategy, Program & Community Solutions Team
· Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation Team
· Executive, Culture & Public Policy Team
· Finance & Administration Team
The new organizational structure will empower staff to utilize their many skills in direct service across Trinity, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties in California and Curry County in Oregon.
Founded in 1972, the Humboldt Area Foundation is nearing its 50th anniversary. During that time, the Foundation has been recognized at the state and national level for innovative work to support our region. From incubating grassroots organizations to leadership development and training programs to local loan and impact investment portfolios, the Humboldt Area Foundation and its regional affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, has long-supported capacity building, social and financial infrastructure, and philanthropic advice essential to the wellbeing and progress of our region.
The Wild Rivers Community Foundation was established in 2004 as a regional affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation, serving all of Del Norte and Curry counties.
Humboldt Area Foundation Mobilizes $2 million in Local Loans to Assist Nonprofit Organizations and Businesses
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 28, 2020) – In response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Humboldt Area Foundation is deploying $2 million in loans to stabilize local nonprofits, businesses, sole proprietors and other organizations.
The loan program expands the commitment of HAF and its affiliate, Wild Rivers Community Foundation, to respond to the current crisis through all available resources. Since March 20, nearly a half-million dollars has been granted to the region through the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund for immediate response and long term recovery in Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Curry counties.
Through this additional resource, the loans provide flexibility, low interest, and debt bridges to our local organizations in this volatile time. HAF has already funded over $680,000 in loans. It is partnering with key regional institutions and other community lenders to ensure our community has necessary capital to operate and recover.
CEO Bryna Lipper said: “In these uncertain times, the Foundation is utilizing all its assets to assist the residents of our communities to weather difficult times, whether it be grants, loans or the expertise of our staff. While the Foundation continues make grants almost daily, using our endowment to make loans locally increases the impact we can make.”
HAF is a participant in the COVID-19 Bridge Loan Program administered by Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (“RREDC”). The Business Resilience Emergency Loan Program fund is providing emergency low interest loans to Humboldt County businesses and nonprofits up to $25,000.
HAF has also teamed up with Arcata Economic Development to fund over $180,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans to local nonprofits, and is creating a Nonprofit Loan Fund that AEDC will administer. The loans from the Nonprofit Loan Fund will be for a maximum of $25,000 per organization, bear interest at 0% through the end of 2020, and be payable for five years at 1%.
Local businessman John McBeth, who serves on the HAF board and chairs its investment Committee, noted, “Since 2013, Humboldt Area Foundation has made a total of $5.3 million in loans to local nonprofit agencies and governments. By working with established lenders like RREDC and AEDC, HAF can utilize their expertise while getting money out to organizations who badly need it. It is a prudent use of HAF’s capital.”
More information about the COVID-19 Bridge Loans Program is available at http://rredc.com/. For information regarding the Nonprofit Loan Fund, contact Patrick Cleary, Director of Community Prosperity and Investments at HAF at email@example.com or by calling (707) 267-9902.
To read the full list of organizations who received grants so far, and ways to donate, click here.
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