Your Community Update
Saying YES to Kids
"Homeless youth often feel invisible, but we are roses from the concrete," stated Julia, a Bainbridge Island High School senior who is currently facing homelessness and who spoke at a panel organized by BCF on Thursday, March 17.

Sarah Frost, Social Worker for the Bainbridge Island School District, has been helping Julia navigate finding food and a place to live. She explained that youth find themselves without homes often for reasons beyond their control. Homelessness commonly occurs as a result of physical or emotional abuse by caregivers and/or multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). She has found many of these students in our community want to stay in school, and will go to extreme measures to continue attending. Sarah commented that the enthusiasm about staying in school is a reflection of the nurturing environment of our public schools, and the resources we have available due to our nonprofit and local government agencies.

BCF's LeadHERship event celebrates women philanthropists and this year focused on the challenging topic of youth homelessness in our community. Trudi Inslee, First Spouse of the State of Washington, and Kirsten Jewell, Housing and Homelessness Division Manager at Kitsap County Department of Human Services, also discussed various initiatives happening at a state and local level to provide support to young people without homes. Kirsten shared that there are currently 2,300 adults and youth who are homeless in Kitsap County, of whom 229 are between the ages of 18-24 years old and 274 under the age of 18.
Speakers mentioned a number of nonprofits and local government initiatives that support youth experiencing conflict, emotional strain, or homelessness. Among these were Bainbridge Youth Services, Helpline House, The Coffee Oasis, Bainbridge Schools Foundation, and Kitsap Strong.

BCF’s Youth Experience Support (YES) Fund was also highlighted as a way to provide financial support to young people who may need assistance to meet basic needs, achieve academic success, or pursue extracurricular activities. If you are interested in learning more, visit our website here.

One of the challenges these youth face are obstacles related to policy, in addition to their financial constraints. As Julia openly shared, she and her partner Logan have to compete with other rental applicants—and due to Logan being a few months away from his 18th birthday, they cannot officially sign on a lease. Their current temporary housing expires at the end of the month, leaving their situation uncertain.
Supporting Relief Efforts for Ukrainian Families
On March 8, Bainbridge Community Foundation sent a message to its Fund Advisors to alert them of a limited opportunity to use their funds to purchase and help distribute essential materials for Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion by giving to a locally-run foundation called the Foundation for Equity and Justice. Within 3 days, 33 donors had partnered to provide $122,500 towards the effort, which is the greatest number of fund advisors coming together to support any initiative. Dale and Carol Perry, who have been leading a relief effort in Poland and Ukraine through through their foundation, live on Bainbridge Island. To read more, click here.
BCF Receives Donation to YES Fund
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and the Kraken partnered last year to create the Light The Lamp initiative. The purpose of this initiative was to strengthen the Kraken fans' awareness about energy efficiency and sustainability, while also supporting local nonprofits working to improve the physical and mental health of young people. BCF recently received its check for the game the Kraken played on November 24th, which went directly towards the YES Fund. Thank you to PSE and the Kraken!
Free Online Programs: Financial Literacy
Former BCF Board Member Paul Merriman, founder of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, has dedicated his retirement to providing free trainings to all ages about how to secure a more stable financial future. On behalf of BCF, Paul organizes free virtual events with nationally renowned financial experts in order to help educate our community on how to better plan for our futures. The first event, hosted by Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center, will take place April 1. The rest of the events below will be hosted by BCF:

Details on the programs are highlighted on our website here.
Nonprofit Resources
  • BCF's Community Grants Cycle: Attention all nonprofits! BCF is accepting applications for the 2022 Community Grants Cycle (CGC) until March 29 at 5PM. Through the CGC, we award grants to nonprofits for direct programming support (including access for underserved populations), operating support, capital (equipment or facility repairs), or specific projects. We encourage nonprofit leaders to reach out and discuss possible funding opportunities! To apply, click here or feel free to contact Debbie Kuffel at

  • Desks, wine glasses, and more: BCF has extra desks to donate if you need them for your offices! Please reach out to us at if you are interested. We have also been contacted by Bainbridge Island Zero Waste to help spread the word that YES! Magazine is donating tablecloths, wine glasses, chairs, and desks. For more info, contact Yvonne at
If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact