Featured Grant: Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County

Zindy’s Repair Story—A Family and Community Collaboration

When Zindy bought the old print shop in Quilcene about sixteen years ago, she knew she had found a gem, and she also knew it needed some polishing. Over the years she put a lot of work and love into the solid old structure—adding a bathroom, a kitchen, and insulation. Even as her hard work transformed the space, she never had the resources to fully finish the building and make it the home she imagined. Meanwhile, living with the exposed insulation was taking its toll on her health. Her children decided they would like to help her finish the house for Christmas, but ran into a number of road-blocks. Then her daughter-in-law suggested contacting Habitat.

Habitat assessed the home and, in partnership with Zindy, began work on the major safety issues. The electrical system was completely rewired by a local electrician, bringing it up to code and updating all of the electrical panels, wires, outlets and switches. Next came the bathroom, made safe by removing an unattached bathtub and building a support wall and installing an accessible shower.

Then Zindy’s sons stepped in to complete the sheet-rocking and painting on their own. And suddenly, the potential Zindy had always seen in the building was realized. “It’s wonderful,” she says. “Absolutely great. It’s the first normal home I’ve lived in in 30 years,” she adds—remembering, with some fondness, the years she spent in makeshift arrangements such as a motor home and an army tent. As for the new shower, “absolute heaven” is the way she describes it.

Zindy will pay for part of the costs of the project with a zero-interest loan from Habitat, with the remainder made possible by a grant from Repair Program Sponsor First Federal Community Foundation and the hard work of the volunteers at the Quilcene Habitat Store. Zindy’s family contributed many hours of sweat-equity to make the project happen and a discounted rate at Mount Walker Inn allowed Zindy to temporarily vacate while Pops Electric and Coon Plumbing completed work.

Featured Grant: The Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE)

Two Hooligans co-founders prepare for apple pressing season.


Featured Grant: The Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) was awarded $50,000 to expand delivery of the First Steps Business
Training Program in Clallam and Jefferson Counties.

The Program offers cost-free training and support to low-income individuals from underserved communities to move out of poverty and become leaders in building resilient, sustainable and equitably shared community wealth through entrepreneurship.

CIE looks for every opportunity to help get new businesses launched. One such example is Two Hooligans Cider. “Two Hooligans” refers to co-founders Mackenzie Grinnell and Jaiden Dokken, childhood friends who grew up on, and have returned home to, the Olympic Peninsula. Providing cider to Finnriver Cider for the new 7 Cedars Hotel, and with prize money from CIE’s business competition and CIE’s ongoing support, Mackenzie and Jaiden are creating their own facility to bring Two Hooligans Cider to other locations by winter 2020.

“Entrepreneurship is leadership in action that benefits entire communities.”
— Mike Skinner, Executive Director, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Featured Grant: Whatcom County’s Max Higbee Center

Members of the Max Higbee Center celebrate construction of their new facility.


Featured Grant: Whatcom County’s Max Higbee Center is named for the late Dr. C. Max Higbee, who led the special education program at Western Washington University and spearheaded passage of a law requiring free and appropriate public education for all children with disabilities that became a model for federal legislation.

The Center supports and empowers teens and adults with developmental disabilities to build community, friendships, life skills and health through recreation. First Federal Community Foundation awarded $50,000 to the Center to remodel and expand their new facility, allowing the Center to nearly triple its program space and eliminate its growing waitlist.

Featured Grant: The Composites Recycling Technology Center (CRTC)

Rep. Derek Kilmer, left, congratulates Pennies for Quarters founder and president, Matthew Rainwater, middle, and CRTC CEO, Dave Walter on their grant award.


Featured Grant: The Composites Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) in Port Angeles received a $50,000 grant to build a demonstration tiny home in collaboration with the nonprofit, Pennies for Quarters.

One out of every four homeless individuals is a veteran. Pennies for Quarters is committed to transforming the lives of homeless vets by
developing a community of 24 tiny houses that provides transitional shelter, common resources, and access to community and social services.

The nonprofit CRTC will build the homes using modified coastal Western Hemlock harvested from the North Olympic Peninsula and supplied in large part by the Makah Tribe, and carbon fiber scrap that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The homes will be durable, energy efficient, and have the warmth and beauty of wood while being resistant to bugs, mold, and rot.

“Increasing the availability of affordable housing is very important to First Fed. This grant, which also benefits homeless vets and provides manufacturing jobs, makes it a good fit for Foundation support.”
— David T. Flodstrom, Foundation Board Member

First Federal Community Foundation Releases 2019 Annual Report

The year 2019 marked a milestone for First Federal Community Foundation, representing five years of contributing to difference-making nonprofit organizations in the four counties where First Federal, the Foundation’s sole donor, operates full-service branches.

We at First Federal Community Foundation are grateful to First Federal for demonstrating both the foresight and generosity to establish our Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life and investing in the future of our communities. We are honored to carry on First Fed’s legacy of addressing the needs of our community with contributions of $3,767,500 in our first five years.

In 2019 alone, the Foundation contributed $800,000 to organizations focused on affordable housing, community support, community development and economic development. By county, $235,000 was directed to projects in Clallam County; $195,000 to Jefferson County; $60,000 to Kitsap County; $165,000 to Whatcom County; and $145,000 to projects affecting two or more of our target counties. For details on all the grants we have made since our inception, click here.

We hope that the 2019 Annual Report will give you a sense of appreciation for the many organizations that are supporting our communities, serving as a safety net for those most in need, and building a strong and vibrant future for us all.