Whidbey Raises Over $121,000 for Essential Needs Program

Together with the community, Goosefoot Community Fund and Whidbey Community Foundation (WCF) partnered to raise over $121,000 for the Essential Needs Program, providing direct assistance to local households struggling from the impacts of the continued pandemic.

Donations to the Essential Needs Program will help fill gaps for Whidbey Island households that aren’t met through existing funding streams. Examples include: child care, utilities, housing set-up expenses, aid to maintain employment, one-time extraordinary expenses and more. Goosefoot and WCF are working with The Opportunity Council Island County Service Center to administer funds.

Starting in April 2021 the fundraiser was seeded with $50,000 ($25,000 each from Goosefoot and WCF) with a collective community goal of $100,000. The Goose Community Grocer designated the Essential Needs Program as their Roundup for Charity recipient from April through June and alone raised over $16,000. Because of these generous donations, the fundraiser exceeded its goal by over $21,000 by July 15, 2021.

Pictured: Harrison Casteel, The Goose Grocer; Jessie Gunn, Whidbey Community Foundation; Melissa Frasch-Brown, Opportunity Council; Sandy Whiting, Goosefoot Community Fund

Goosefoot and WCF are extremely grateful for the community support. In the past few months, Opportunity Council has deployed these funds to neighbors in need of via support with utility bills, storage facilities, medical, transportation and temporary housing costs, and to purchase necessary mobility, household and childcare items.

We are honored to be the recipient of this funding in order to assist our community in ways we have never been able to. To date, we have been able to purchase fridges for disabled and elders, assist with homelessness prevention for veterans, purchase home items for those moving out of homelessness, support new mom’s with car seats, assist with medical bills, car repairs, urgent daycare needs and much more. This means so much to our staff, who often feel frustration not having funds for the extra things that people need assistance with. The program has given us the freedom to help MORE, which is our passion! In this critical time, during the pandemic, we cannot express just how important these funds are.” stated Melissa Frasch-Brown, Director of the Island County Service Center.

Learn more about the Essential Needs Program, who is eligible and how to access assistance through Opportunity Council at goosefoot.org/essential-needs/ or whidbeyfoundation.org/essential-needs-program/.

About the Opportunity Council 

The Opportunity Council is a private, nonprofit human services organization that acts as a catalyst for positive change in the community and the lives of the people it serves. Its role is to create awareness of the needs of low-income people, engage the community in responding to those needs, and promote institutional sensitivity. The Opportunity Council provides direct services, including information, education, and access to resources to assist low-income and disadvantaged persons in developing and maintaining self-reliance.

Working closely with Island County Human Services and nonprofits on the island, Opportunity Council of Island County administers programs including: information & referral for basic needs, family services & homeless intervention, energy assistance, and weatherization & home repair. Learn more about the Opportunity Council at oppco.org.