Submitted by Peoples Bank
Peoples Bank has made a $10,000 grant to the Opportunity Council, a Community Action agency whose mission is to help people improve their lives through education, support, and direct assistance while advocating for just and equitable communities. Based in Bellingham, the Opportunity Council provides services in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Snohomish, and San Juan counties.
The funds provided by Peoples Bank will support the Opportunity Council’s Early Learning and Family Services (ELAFS) programs. ELAFS’ direct services include full spectrum early learning opportunities for children age 0-5. These services are comprised of early intervention for infants/toddlers, Early Head Start, Head Start, and Washington State’s preschool services for children ages 3-5. ELAFS also assists with food insecurity, safe housing, homelessness, dental/medical access, and employment services for families.
“COVID-19 has impacted our ability to deliver services due to site closures, reduced state funding, and the need for virtual 1:1 educational services. Many of our families have been driven to the brink due to under-employment or unemployment. As a result, we have experienced soaring expenses with diminished resources,” said Maureen Hodge, Senior Manager at the Opportunity Council. “We are very grateful for the grant from Peoples Bank, which will help us meet the increased demand for our services from households facing unstable housing and food insecurity because of the pandemic and help young children stay on track for school readiness.”
“Donating to the Opportunity Council allows us to directly invest in programs that help disrupt the cycle of poverty and create more equitable employment opportunities,” said LaVonne Olsen, Senior Vice President, Human Resources Director at Peoples Bank. “As a community bank, we feel it is important to support organizations whose purpose is to support disadvantaged individuals and families and address racial disparities in our communities.”
Each year, Peoples Bank donates hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial support to local and regional nonprofit organizations providing valuable services in the arts, child and family services, education, health and social services, and civics. The Bank also allows employees to use work hours to volunteer in the community and encourages community members to help others through fun and creative giving campaigns. For more information about Peoples Bank’s community giving, please visit the Peoples Bank website.