PHOTO: Student-leaders from the Vision Step Team at Sheridan Elementary

T he Vision Step Team after-school program at Sheridan Elementary almost never came to be. When only three girls signed up at the beginning of the year, Coach Chelsea McElory said some people urged her to try another school.  "You really need about ten girls to make it run full throttle," Chelsea explained, "but these girls really wanted to make it happen." The girls, fifth-graders Iyona, Inaya, and Ava took it on themselves to start recruiting more team members. 

 "I asked my friends if they wanted to join," said Iyona, "and they just started to come."  Soon three girls had become thirteen and Coach Chelsea saw an opportunity to build on the leadership skills that were beginning to blossom in Iyona and the other girls.  

PHOTO: Kelly Blucher's son advocating for better child care benefits

Getting promoted cost local mother Kelly Blucher more than $1,200 a month. The raise that came with her promotion made her ineligible for the state child care benefits that helped her support her family.

"I didn't just fall off the benefits cliff, I jumped off," Blucher said. "I lost food benefits, WIC, and the child care subsidy, all for making two dollars more an hour." Kelly and her partner will soon pay the full cost of child care -$1,800 a month for their two youngest children. Previously, their monthly payment was $570.

Kelly's story isn't rare. "Child care costs are unsustainable for many families," said Susan Barbeau, Executive Director of First 5 Fundamentals, a Tacoma-based nonprofit at the lead of the 140-organization coalition, Project Child Success. "Families hit the benefits cliff, where they make too much money to qualify for state assistance, but not enough to support their families."

PHOTO: via Tacoma News Tribune

As more people seek to align their investments with their personal values, strategies like Socially Responsible Investing(SRI) and Impact Investing are becoming more popular.  In a recent Tacoma News Tribune column, GTCF Investment Committee Chair Gary Brooks, outlines some best practices to consider when putting together a SRI strategy.  

"With an SRI/ESG strategy, investors express personal values. With a personal commitment to this approach linking their values and their financial goals, investors are less likely to chase performance wherever it shifts in markets, exhibiting behavioral tendencies that often harm returns." 

PHOTO: Kiran Ahuja, Census 2020 Partner & CEO of Philanthropy Northwest

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.

In Pierce County, areas like East Tacoma, neighborhoods near JBLM, and rural regions are under counted. Each uncounted household costs thousands of dollars in lost federal funding. Programs like transportation improvements, Medicaid, nutritional assistance, child care subsidies, housing subsidies, and more, are based on census numbers.

Upcoming Fundraisers

May 21, Empowering Youth Tacoma - College Success Foundation