As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the nation, the personal sacrifices made by individuals to serve the common good and help ensure the safety, security and health of others has been inspiring and heartbreaking. We join the chorus of voices honoring the heroic work of physicians, nurses and all front-line medical personnel risking their own lives to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to support their efforts.
While the battle against COVID-19 wages on in our hospitals and health care facilities, the ripple effects of this pandemic are crashing into vulnerable populations across our communities as businesses shutter, classrooms close and community hubs remain empty. We want to take a moment to celebrate and share our immense gratitude for the individuals working with the numerous nonprofits to help address the immediate, nonmedical needs emerging in rural communities across our country as a result of social distancing protocols.
Volunteers and staff at groups such as the Spokane Ministerial Alliance, Second Harvest Inland Northwest, Coastal Harvest, The Idaho Food Bank, Hopa Mountain, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Oregon Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and our local public school breakfast and lunch programs, to name just a few, are helping ensure vulnerable individuals, children and families remain fed and nourished.
Collaborations like My NeighbOR, a partnership between Every Child and the Department of Human Services to provide urgent resources to foster children and families, are helping activate neighborhoods to serve the unique needs of local communities. Similarly, community foundations like the Community Foundation of Central Washington, the Innovia Foundation, Blue Mountain Community Foundation and the Whatcom Community Foundation are helping bring a diverse collection of partners and donors together to deliver critical support to organizations serving the unique, immediate needs of rural communities across our region and throughout the country.
Organizations like the Refugee Women’s Alliance, Latino Community Association, Adelante Mujeres, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, St. Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, InterVarsity and Catholic Charities are helping vulnerable populations secure and maintain safe, stable housing and other key daily needs.
We are also aware that countless more individuals and nonprofit groups are racing to prepare for the community needs that will arise in the coming weeks and months as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to spread. From mental-health services to job-training programs to financial counseling and long-term housing assistance, the needs of the Pacific Northwest and the country will be vast and diverse. We are fortunate to live in a country that embraces a spirit of service with so many willing to step up and serve the common good.
This is just a small sampling of the thousands of individuals putting their own health at risk to show up for and support our most vulnerable populations. We are grateful that we are able to partner with these selfless individuals and organizations along with countless others to help serve the common good, and we applaud their tireless efforts to serve the individuals and families in need in their community.
ABOUT THE SERIES: Pioneer Utility Resources, publisher of Ruralite magazine, spotlights Heroes Among Us, sharing the unique stories of volunteers and difference-makers in communities across the Northwest and West. The series receives support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust—a private, nonprofit foundation serving nonprofits across the Pacific Northwest.