$227K in PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Goes To Housing, Food and, Technology Supports Under Persistent COVID-19 Conditions

PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED is an aligned philanthropic response to COVID-19 in Pierce County

Released 12/10/20 5:00pm
Media Inquiries Contact:
Megan Sukys, 253.345.4173
VP Communications, GTCF


The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund announced its latest round of funding with $227,500 going to 8 local organizations addressing essential needs under persistent COVID-19 conditions. This brings the total funding through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED to $6.2 million.


Further requests for funding are now being accepted. Details are available at GTCF’s website.


The following organizations received fund support:


Georgia Lomax, Executive Director, Pierce County Library System, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Committee member, “Many organizations and individuals are stepping up to help those in need as best they can. Also, more minds are thinking about how we can improve things, what could be done, what creative ways are there to improve things – not just now because of the pandemic, but for the long-term betterment of our communities and peoples’  lives.

“In addition to individuals and businesses struggling, our network of nonprofits that are critical service providers are also overwhelmed as they try to support the needs of their clients and communities, and as they struggle with huge increases in demands for services at the same time their funding and support is dropping. The pandemic is also impacting volunteerism, which is often a critical component of having the capacity to serve for nonprofits. Many volunteers are those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and are unable to help even though they would like to, and many organizations aren’t able to safely welcome the help of the volunteers they would normally have.”


Lua Pritchard, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, “With the lack of jobs, no unemployment checks, and the increase in homelessness, people are starving for resources, especially with the holidays only moments away. More and more families are infected with the virus, because more and more of our Asian Pacific Islander community continue to attend big events. It has been especially difficult with our community.

“A lot of people in our community don’t believe the science behind the virus, and therefore continue to be non-compliant to the safety of others and their own immediate and extended families. We continue to provide masks, sanitation supplies, and COVID-19 testing as often as possible.”

Amy R. Hoyte, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together South Sound, “Rebuilding Together South Sound is a bit of a lifeline to the homeowners we serve. Our clients are seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children. With so many at home for so many months, with much less contact with the outside world, we are often that voice on the other end of the phone. With the delays in getting out to projects, we are checking in more often with homeowners and we are simply someone for our homeowners to talk to and get some reassurance that we will get to work on their projects as soon as possible and that they are not forgotten.

“It is reassuring to know that we are still determined to serve their needs, that we are there to talk to, that we are a resource or connection point to any additional services that we learn about that may help, and that we care. Early in the pandemic, when it became clear we were not going to be able to get to work on projects in the near future, we put together “care packages” with masks, a first aid kit and a grocery store gift card from the store nearest to the homeowner. From the comments we heard back from our homeowners, it was just that single act of care that made a difference when times were pretty dark for them.”

Pauline Proulx, Executive Director, ALS Association – Evergreen Chapter, “The isolation that the general public is experiencing due to the pandemic is amplified for the ALS community. Families, who are trying to limit exposure to the virus, are leery to bring in outside caregivers, so a patient’s spouse, children and other loved ones are taking on the extra burden of providing full-time care. People with ALS lose their ability to walk, communicate and eventually take care of themselves at all. They become completely reliant on their caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed – as we all are – during the pandemic.”


PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding for vulnerable populations under COVID-19 conditions is made possible through generous contributions from 373 individual donors and 55 philanthropic funding partners. So far, contributions to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED total a combined $7.4 million.

Medina Foundation is one PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funder. Jessica Case, Program Officer, Medina Foundation, “Medina Foundation saw the huge need surging as COVID began to hit our focus region. We knew the needs would be vast and varied, and that those on the ground would know best where funding would have the greatest impact. That’s why we partnered with PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED – to get funds out quickly, without barriers, to where they were most needed. We have also learned so much from being a part of PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED, hearing the stories of the frontline workers addressing the community’s needs, and learning alongside other local funders.”




PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding partners are committed to delivering rapid funding to organizations in a way that supports their continued services to vulnerable populations with the fewest barriers possible.

The members of the funding committee include: Co-Chair Dona Ponepinto – United Way of Pierce County, Co-Chair Brad Cheney – Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Lauren Fulton – Elevate Health & One Pierce, Cassandra Mitchell – KeyBank, Georgia Lomax – Pierce County Library System, Holly Bamford Hunt – Bamford Family Foundation, Janece Levien – Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Jeff Woodworth – Woodworth Family Foundation, Lois Bernstein – MultiCare, Richard Woo – retired CEO The Russell Family Foundation, Seth Kirby – Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Todd Silver – Todd & Teresa Silver Funds, Tyler Zemanek – Windows of Hope Foundation

Organizations and entities with services based in Pierce County can now submit requests. Information about the funding opportunity can be found at the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Emergency Response Fund web page.




The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund was launched as the public health response to COVID-19 in Pierce County escalated on Friday, March 13, 2020. The purpose of the fund is to support organizations in Pierce County providing services that meet urgent health and basic human needs due to COVID-19.

United Way of Pierce County and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation partnered to create the aligned philanthropic response. GTCF seeded the fund with $1,750,000.

Individual donors can make a difference for their communities during COVID-19 by contributing in any way they can. The aligned philanthropies encourage individual donors to give directly to the causes and organizations that matter to them.

To support funding for organizations directly serving vulnerable populations during COVID-19, donors are encouraged to donate to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED fund.









Ballmer Group

Bates Family Foundation

Beardsley Family Foundation


Ben B. Cheney Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Campbell Family Foundation

Campbell/Loan Family Charitable Fund

CHI Franciscan

Columbia Bank

Corry & Donna J. McFarland Foundation

Elevate Health & OnePierce Community Resiliency Fund

Elliott Family Foundation

Foundation for Tacoma Students


JP Morgan Chase

Laird Norton Family Foundation

Laird Norton Wealth Management

Laird Norton Trust Company

LT Murray Family Foundation


Korum for Kids Foundation

Laird Norton Foundation

Medina Foundation

MJ Murdock Trust


Names Family Foundation

Oscar T and Olivann Hokold Foundation

Pacific Source

Perigee Fund

Premera Blue Cross

Propel Insurance

Puget Sound Energy Foundation

Rotary 8

Roy & Patricia Disney Foundation

Ruth Foundation

Satterberg Foundation

South Sound 100 Women

Stewardship Foundation

Stolte Family Foundation

The Baker Foundation

The Bamford Foundation

The Russell Family Foundation

Todd & Teresa Silver

Tom and Meg Names Family Foundation

Umpqua Bank

United Way of Pierce County

Wells Fargo

Whisper Foundation

Woodworth Family Foundation


All contributors to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED are recognized at United Way of Pierce County’s website. Click here to see the full list.