$443K In PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Goes To Support Homeless Youth, Technology Access, And Other Critical Needs Under COVID-19 Conditions

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

Released 11/19/20 6:00pm
Media Inquiries Contact:
Megan Sukys, 253.345.4173
VP Communications, GTCF


The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund announced its latest round of funding with $443,310 going to 22 local organizations addressing essential needs under persistent COVID-19 conditions. This brings the total funding through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED to $6 million.


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


The following organizations received fund support:



Janece Levien, Senior Program Officer, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Committee member, “In talking with districts across the county, we are hearing about the ways schools are trying to support students experiencing homelessness – and doing so without the consistency of a typical school schedule, mental health connections, technology access, and other resources that are available in an in-person school setting. These gaps and needs compound the harsh realities young people are navigating. This is one example of the many urgent needs we continue to see around housing, food, childcare, and mental health support due to COVID-19 conditions.”


Brenda, President, ACT – A Common Thread, “Individuals are lonely, depressed, isolated and a bit lost. It’s concerning especially for those that are living by themselves and or have no family. By providing the doorstep food deliveries to those with disabilities, seniors or homebound we are helping an underserved community get food. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks say this process has saved their lives and gave them a sense of purpose.

“ACT wants to help and can help but we need more funding for additional USDA food boxes. We need to identify and work collectively to gather food and get ahead of the needs of additional communities. We need drivers willing to do a route and drop boxes.”

Ron Coen, Board President, Gig Harbor Peninsula Fish, “We have seen a significant increase in client visits since March. We are also seeing “nontraditional” Food Bank clients as the pandemic is affecting households that prior to the outbreak did not require assistance. This is an indication of how serious and widespread the effects of this pandemic are to other sectors of our community.

“Fortunately, because of our amazing volunteers, community contributions, and the generosity of organizations like yours we are able to accommodate this increase in demand.  We are able to help people stay in their homes and keep the lights on while we put food on the table.”


PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding for vulnerable populations under COVID-19 conditions is made possible through generous contributions from 364 individual donors and 55 philanthropic funding partners. So far, contributions to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED total a combined $7.4 million.


Stolte Family Foundation is one PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funder. Kim Wright, Executive Director, Stolte Family Foundation, “The pandemic hit some communities much harder than others. Knowing that counties across the state have unique assets, challenges, and infrastructure related to philanthropic support, we wanted to partner with and leverage the leadership of community foundations and the nonprofit field.

“With multiple pandemics, those related to COVID-19, racial violence, and climate impacts, we work to support BIPOC- communities and BIPOC-led efforts in education, climate & clean energy, and advocacy & civic engagement. We have real gratitude and respect for those on the frontlines who played a much more important and critical role with the community’s greatest assets – the people, community, and families.”




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.