Up-to-date computer systems and simple items like disposable gloves and dish soap are high on the must-have lists of several Mid-Columbia nonprofit groups.
This month the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business reached out to ask what are the needs of some of the community’s nonprofit organizations.
Grace Clinic in Kennewick, which sees to the medical needs of nearly 400 uninsured residents a month, is struggling with outdated computers and software.
“We’re relying on donated and refurbished technology,” said Avonte Jackson, the clinic director.
When patients fill out paper questionnaires after arriving at the clinic, that information is transcribed into electronic files for archiving and sharing with other doctors and other clinics.
“Frequently, at this state of the game, we’re always one step behind current technology and could really use some new equipment so we can process data efficiently,” Jackson said. “I know we’re supposed to be a paperless society nowadays but that’s not always the case. We’re always needing to print out files to be shared with other agencies.”
Office supplies are a constant need and so are common medical supplies, such as disposable gloves, especially nitrate gloves for anyone allergic to latex — whether it’s the medical personnel or the patients.
Sometimes during an office visit there will be three or more people tending to a single patient — a nurse, a nurse practitioner and a doctor.
“That’s three sets of hands all needing gloves, which all need to be changed between procedures and between patients,” Jackson said. “It adds up. We go through an inordinate amount of gloves per patient.”
Adrianne Deen, director of marketing and special events, didn’t hesitate when she was asked what the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties needed most.
“Mentors,” she said. “We never have enough.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties has facilities in Pasco, Kennewick and Prosser. The group’s programs are open to youths ages 1 to 18.
They have 2,400 children enrolled in their programs annually and up to 700 kids a day pass through their doors. Deen said they’d like to open a facility in Richland, but would need more funding in addition to volunteers.
Deen said the organization especially needs volunteers to help with their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs for one hour a month in Pasco and Prosser; their daily afterschool homework program, Power Hour; the once-a-week Smart Girls program; and Career Launch, which meets once a week for 10 weeks.
Volunteers also rank high for Elaine Allison, operations manager at the Benton-Franklin Humane Society in Kennewick.
“We always need human beings,” she said. “Whether you’re willing to walk dogs, be a can snuggler, wash out food dishes, do data entry, if you call and volunteer we’ll find something for you to do.”
Donations of high energy laundry detergent, dishwasher and liquid dish soap are always welcome as are items like copy paper, canned pate-style cat food, dog food and martingale collars for dogs.
Any extra pet food donations are kept back in a community cupboard.
“Then, if someone comes in to relinquish their dog or cat because they’ve lost their job and can’t afford to feed their pet, we give them a three month supply, free.” Allison said.
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