$508K IN PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED FUNDING Goes To Rapid Response And Emerging Needs Under COVID-19 Conditions

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


Released 7/23/20 5:30pm 

Media Inquiries Contact: 

Megan Sukys, 253.345.4173 

VP Communications, GTCF    


The PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Fund announced its latest round of funding with $507,840 going to 18 local organizations addressing rapid response and emerging needs under COVID-19 conditions. This brings the total funding through PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED to $4.1 million.    

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

The following organizations received fund support:   



      Cassandra MitchellVice President and Corporate Responsibility OfficerKey Bank, and member of the PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED Funding Committee, As a Committee, we quickly realized that basic needs like housing, food, and access to healthcare are urgent needs for many communities in Pierce County. In these uncertain times, we are required to be nimble, make timely decisions, and do our best to address the needs of our community. PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED is committed to our local community and the desire to see everyone thrive. Supporting organizations during this time is critical as they have the ability to make an impact immediately. This impact comes from their history in the communities in which they serve, the trust built with community members and solid relationships, especially with those who are most vulnerable. It is important to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED that we all come together and help those in need. Not only as an organization but as individuals. Our community members still need support and if we work together, we can make a difference.” 


      T’wina NoblesPresident & CEOTacoma Urban LeagueCOVID-19 is putting the food services, retail, and accommodation industries at immediate risk. Many women and minority owned businesses are in services such as hair and nail salons and pet care businesses, which have been among the hardest hit. These businesses require close proximity to clients in many cases and the cost for safety items when they already have lost income may be the difference between staying in business and closing up shop. Funds will be used to market to women and minority owned businesses to offer PPE and assess for other needed items or services. This will be done by phone calls and mailings as well as press releases and social media/website/e-newsletters and mentioned in our Straight Talk community conversations series. Our directory of black-owned businesses will be a key starting list to call, for example. We want the community to know we hear them, and we see them, and we will do everything we can to support them.” 

      Asia TailCuratorial Team memberyəhaw̓ – Indigenous CreativesCOVID-19 is having an outsized impact on Native communities already burdened with higher rates of pre-existing health conditions and socio-economic instability. We are hearing from many Indigenous artists that they have lost their main sources of income with canceled shows and the closure of job sites. In addition to the economic impact, many Indigenous peoples are experiencing higher rates of mental, emotional, and spiritual distress with so many gatherings and in-person services not available. We will use these funds to launch our interrelated Black Lives Matter solidarity and COVID-19 relief work into the next phase in Pierce County and beyond.” 


      PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED funding for vulnerable populations under COVID-19 conditions is made possible through generous contributions from 308 individual donors and 54 philanthropic funding partners. So far, contributions to PIERCE COUNTY CONNECTED total a combined $7.3 million. 

      One funder, CHI Franciscan, supports the community as a partner of health with the enduring goal of fulfilling the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the people they serve. Ketul J. Patel, CEO, CHI Franciscan, “The strength of our community to come together and support our neighbors and families during this unprecedented time is inspiringWe are proud to partner with so many organizations that share the same vision of helping our communities through this crisis and recover from the economic and health impacts caused by COVID.” 



      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, Alisha Fehrenbacher – 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, Nick Russell – The Russell Family Foundation, 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.