Here’s how to help coronavirus relief efforts in the Tri-Cities
Tri-City businesses and nonprofits are rallying the community to support hospitals, health care workers, vulnerable populations and families struggling to secure the resources they need to combat the spread of coronavirus, which causes the deadly COVID-19.
Here are some ways to help.
Open for Business
It’s no secret businesses are suffering as Washington residents stay at home to lower the risk of being infected with the coronavirus and that most have been ordered to close by Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Healthy order through May 4.
Area businesses are adapting to the changing circumstances. Both the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visit Tri-Cities have curated lists of how restaurants and other businesses are serving customers through a delivery or pick-up model.
The chamber list is online at tricityregionalchamber.com/tri-cities-open-for-business.html
The Visit Tri-Cities list is online at visittri-cities.com/tri-cities-open-for-business.
Visit Tri-Cities even recruited retired Gen. James Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Richland native, to spread the message that businesses need support now to survive the crisis.
“We’re going to get through this coronavirus. We’re going to get through it by listening to our public health officials. Let’s make sure we’re all supporting our businesses. We’re still open for business, even if it’s carryout from your favorite restaurant. So let’s all pull together but stay apart, while we pull together and keep our businesses alive,” Mattis said in the video.
Tri-Citians who are able to do so can support their favorite business by buying gift certificates – online – for use when the crisis passes.
United Way nonprofit fund
United Way United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties awarded the first grants from its COVID-19 Community Response Fund to Meals on Wheels and to the Salvation Army.
Senior Life Resources Northwest, which operates Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, received $3,000 to serve vulnerable, low-income seniors.
The Salvation Army received $3,500 to provide food to low-income families after demand for support more than doubled in March.
United Way launched the COVID-19 fund to support local organizations working to combat the epidemic. It received $6,000 in donations in the first week. Requests total $82,000.
Donate at give.uwbfco.org/givenow or call 509-783-4102.
The American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy people are needed to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
The Red Cross reassures the public that it has implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of donors and staff, including:
- Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.
- Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
Make an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-733-2767.
Helping Hands for Seniors TC
The Richland Seniors Association and the Interagency Planning Group, an association of Tri-City retirement centers, launched Helping Hands for Seniors TC, a COVID-19 outreach effort to identify seniors in the community who may be in need of food and home supplies.
It is particularly concerned about seniors who may not use computers or have family nearby or who don’t have the financial ability to stock up on needed supplies.
Send suggestions, including lists of the supplies needed, to Katie Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-627-2522.
The effort is gathering food, books, magazines, newspapers, toiletries, hygiene items, pet supplies, toilet paper, adult diapers and other needed items.
Follow the effort on Facebook at Helping Hands for Seniors TC: facebook.com/HelpingHandsForSeniorsTC.
Donations of food, household supplies may be dropped off at Windsong Southridge, 4000 W. 24th Ave., Kennewick, or at PCP Consulting, 732 N. Center Parkway, also in Kennewick, and Anthology Events Center, 706 Williams Blvd., Richland.
Meals for cancer patients
The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation is accepting donations to send cancer patients a meal from local restaurants and chefs who participated in the nonprofit’s Dine Out event in fall 2019.
During the week of April 13, a turkey dinner will be provided by CG Public House of Kennewick.
The foundation will announce which restaurant or chef it is working with on its Facebook page.
Donations to the DINE IN – Cancer Crushing COVID-19 Care campaign can be made at bit.ly/TCCancerCenter-meals.
United Way launches Volunteer Tri-Cities
United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties launched Volunteer Tri-Cities to connect people with the causes they care about.
The online platform is free, mobile-friendly and offers opportunities to help in the time of social distancing. Organizations who need help can seek “virtual” volunteers to help with administrative tasks such as website design, donation coordination and marketing as well as direct opportunities that can be conducted while maintaining distancing, such as delivering food.
Local nonprofits can register and add opportunities for people to volunteer or to donate products.
Go to volunteertricities.org.
The Tri-City Development Council led a drive between March 23-28 that collected more than 26,000 face masks and other pieces of protective equipment to distribute to area hospitals.
The equipment is being sent to Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Trios Southridge Hospital, Lourdes and Prosser Memorial Hospital as well as other places as needed.
TRIDEC directed future donations to Franklin County Emergency Management, 1011 E. Ainsworth Ave., Pasco.
Needed equipment includes masks (surgical and N95), face shields and goggles, thermometers (home use and touchless/infrared), finger oximeters, hand sanitizer and isolation gowns.
Step Up With Us initiative
Broadmoor Storage Solutions of Pasco has partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties to support its “Step Up With Us” initiative.
The program provides families in Benton and Franklin counties with emergency child care for essential personnel, virtual programming for families at home and delivery of food and other items to families in need.
Broadmoor Storage Solutions, a locally owned business, has increased its sponsorship to $15,000 and is offering it as a match to any individual donations made in the month of April.
For information on how to donate, go to greatclubs.org/donate.
Emergency fund for nonprofits
The Three Rivers Community Foundation (3RCF) Board of Directors has created an emergency fund to support nonprofit organizations in Benton and Franklin counties whose programs and services have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund had been seeded with $50,000 from an anonymous donor.
Through this emergency fund, it is the goal of the 3RCF Board of Directors to support urgent and immediate needs of nonprofits who are providing critical services that are necessary in the community, both now and after the crisis has passed.
Qualified 501(c)3 organizations that have experienced an increase in demand for their services or who are experiencing program delivery challenges due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 may apply. Grants will be made based on the amount of money raised and will be available on a rolling basis so long as funds are available.
Contributions to the fund can be made through the donate button at 3rcf.org or by mail at Three Rivers Community Foundation, 1333 Columbia Park Trail, Suite 310, Richland, WA 99352. Make checks payable to 3RCF – Emergency Fund.
Community Strong campaign
A GoFundMe campaign organized by Campbell and Company of Pasco had raised nearly $14,000 as of April 9 for a campaign to provide free meals to those in need.
The Community Strong – Tri-Cities program challenges area businesses and individuals to contribute. Cambell and Company buys gift cards from local restaurants and then gives them to Communities in School Benton-Franklin to distribute to the families in most need. Go to gofundme.com/f/community-strong-tricities.