PHOTO: Fawcett Elementary students painting with sumi ink during Breakfast Sketch Club

On a recent Tuesday morning, Sasha, a third-grader at Tacoma's Fawcett Elementary, created a sumi ink painting while catching up with a few of her best friends before school started. Sasha is one of about 70 students at six local elementary schools who participate in Breakfast Sketch Club, an Expanded Learning Opportunity provided by Tacoma Art Museum (TAM).

Sasha likes starting her day, "with art. "It's just fun because you get to come up with your own ideas and create something you like."

PHOTO: Families Unlimited Network Food Bank in University Place

While volunteering at a food bank in his hometown of University Place, seventeen year-old Caleb Kamalu noticed food bank staff struggling explain something to a customer. What made the interaction challenging was that the woman didn't speak English. She spoke Russian. The staff member didn't speak Russian. Caleb watched as the woman, "started trying to move her cart away and it was clear she was really upset. It was just one of those fight or flight situations and that's just not what anyone wants."

Caleb had seen communication issues like this happen all the time. He'd even been in the middle of them himself, "It really is a big barrier to being able to help people out or explain what's available to them, and I just thought...this is something that can be fixed."

PHOTO: PATH, Lab workers examine vials that have vaccine vial monitor technology incorporated into their labels.

Jan Jacobs spent more than 3 decades raising money for nonprofits, including the Seattle Symphony and the Make-a-Wish Alaska and Washington. She saw how nonprofit fundraisers frequently hesitated to reach out to their donors, worried about being told "no".

Now, Jan supports donors in their philanthropy as Vice President, Philanthropic Client Manager, with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. The most recent U.S. Trust High Net Worth Philanthropy study showed donors' number one question was, "Where should I give? Help me identify charities to give to so that it has impact." But, Jan has seen the fear of "no" keep donors from reaching out to nonprofits to learn more.

PHOTO: Bill & Dell Robertson, GTCF Donor Advised Fundholders

At Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, we've seen how much more we can accomplish when we work together. Since 1981, community members have shared their commitment to a thriving Pierce County by partnering with GTCF to bring their vision to life and build a legacy for future generations. In our 2018 yearbook, Pierce County Partners, a few of our partners shared their lessons and insights from working to strengthen Pierce County.

"My whole life I've grown up in communities where people made a difference by being personally engaged. Whether it was time, talent, or treasure. It takes all three."

Upcoming Fundraisers

February 27, Because Parks Matter Luncheon - Greater Metro Parks Foundation

March 16, Conservation Dinner & Auction - Nisqually Land Trust

March 19, Champions for Youth Breakfast - Communities in Schools of Lakewood

March 20, 14th Annual Friendraiser - Communities in Schools of Puyallup