NW Natural has selected five local organizations to receive multi-year grants totaling half a million dollars in support for children and families at risk. These five groups are chosen as NW Natural’s Programs of Focus and will receive the company’s highest level of philanthropic support.
Recipients will receive $35,000 per year for three years from NW Natural shareholders’ Corporate Philanthropy Fund, as well as in-kind resources and volunteer support from NW Natural employees.
The recipients of NW Natural’s Programs of Focus for 2020-2022 include the following:
1. A Village for One empowers each member of the community, or village, to unite to heal the impact of commercial sexual exploitation on our youth and community. It provides a safe and healthy environment for our impacted youth to heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. As part of its efforts to heal youth and our community, it also provides training, outreach, and advocacy.
2. Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s “Clean Energy. Bright Futures” program is focused on supporting educator leadership, illuminating energy career pipelines, eliminating opportunity gaps and inequitable access to these careers, and bringing energy education to life in classrooms.
3. Community Warehouse is the only furniture bank serving the greater Portland area. Its mission is to provide essential household furnishings to neighbors in need, creating stronger homes and brighter futures for all. Organized in the mid-1990s to support refugees from the former Soviet Union, it has grown dramatically over 18 years.
4. Janus Youth Programs serves more than 6,000 at-risk children, youth and families each year, providing a second chance to kids who have few resources and no place to turn for help. Since 1972, Janus has grown to become one of the largest nonprofits in the Northwest, operating more than 40 different programs that span Oregon and Washington.
5. Portland Homeless Family Solutions empowers homeless families with children to get back into housing and to stay there long-term. It envisions a community where no family experiences homelessness and where every family receives the support and compassion necessary to thrive.
NW Natural’s Programs of Focus are selected through a review process that’s led by a diverse representation of the company’s employees – from IT and human resources to operations.
“We are grateful for NW Natural’s support, but more than anything we were humbled by the experience,” said Brandi Tuck, executive director at Portland Homeless Family Solutions. “In all of my years, this was the first time I’ve seen grant decisions made by the employees who run the day-to-day operations.”
“Partnerships are key to strengthening our communities, which is why it’s so important to NW Natural that our employees help determine where we can have the most impact,” said Mary Moerlins, corporate citizenship manager for NW Natural.
Each year, NW Natural gives nearly $1 million to local nonprofits as part of its Corporate Philanthropy Fund, made possible by shareholders. The company’s Programs of Focus are part of this effort. Additional grants are awarded to organizations that support the arts, environment, and especially children and families at risk. In 2018, NW Natural dedicated nearly half of its grants to the alleviation and prevention of homelessness in the region.
More information about NW Natural’s Corporate Philanthropy Fund is available online.