Vashon COVID Relief Fund FAQ

Q: I’ve already given to the Food Bank, IFCH, Senior Center and others. Why should I give to this fund as well?
A:
You did the right thing. All of Vashon’s social service organizations have done tremendous work and they are fundamental to the emergency response. But what they’ve done has taken everything they’ve got. In the short term this relief fund will help recharge our social support groups to help them meet the most urgent community needs. In the long term, it will take a massive investment effort to turn this terrible moment in history into an opportunity.

Q: How will you spend my money?
A:
The VashonBePrepared Board has set four priorities for the relief fund:

  • Health, including our COVID-19 testing program.
  • Food for the many without work struggling to feed their families.
  • Shelter for those living homeless.
  • Economic recovery for our local businesses and nonprofit institutions.

Q: Who decides where the need is greatest?
A:
The VashonBePrepared Board has asked the Emergency Operations Center to continue doing its job of allocating resources where they are most needed during the emergency response based on the four priority spending areas. The EOC leadership has constant contact with the island’s social support groups about the work they are doing, the needs that must be met and what it will cost to meet those needs.

Q: How will we know how our money was spent?
A:
VashonBePrepared will publish what it spends and what it achieves for our community in each of the four priority areas: Health, food, shelter, economic recovery.

Q: Who’s organizing this Relief Fund?
A:
VashonBePrepared has organized and will maintain the fund. For almost 20 years we have been organizing and encouraging islanders to be ready for disaster. Our federally registered nonprofit works as a community coalition of many island organizations and individuals. We also support Vashon Island Fire & Rescue by operating the island’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Q: How will the Relief Fund work? Will you make grants?
A:
We are taking a different approach to support and recovery. Instead of bulk grants, we are buying itemized services. We are asking island groups to set a price for what they do and invoice us for the work. This helps your donation go further in three ways:

  • The itemized approach improves chances we might receive FEMA disaster reimbursement that would make our community relief fund go farther. If we succeed, your donated dollar might be worth much more and support much more work in the four priority areas..
  • We can report to the community on how the money was used by quantifying the service received — number of meals delivered to homes, number of people helped with rent subsidy, employees put back to work, and so on.
  • We can create synergies between island institutions. For example, maybe we pay a meals provider on a per meal basis and suggest they buy some meals from restaurants who could then put their people back to work — a three layer multiplier effect.

Q: Who is VashonBePrepared? What is an Emergency Operations Center?
A:
VashonBePrepared is a federally recognized nonprofit community coalition of island organizations and inpiduals. Our motto is Neighbors Helping Neighbors and for almost 20 years we have been encouraging Vashon preparedness and resilience. The Emergency Operations Center Team (EOC Team) is part of VashonBePrepared and it organizes the island’s response to emergencies such as earthquakes or bad weather. The EOC operates according to the federal standard Incident Command System under the direction of Vashon Island Fire & Rescue. Our EOC was activated on March 12th for the COVID-19 emergency response.

Q: Who serves on the Board of VashonBePrepared?
A:
The Board has included a broad spectrum of representatives from the Vashon community since its beginning. Directors include representatives from Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, Vashon Island School District, Food Bank, Voice of Vashon, Chamber of Commerce, EOC Team, CERT, NERO, Ham Radio, Medical Reserve Corps, and up to 5 at-large citizens. You can get more information on the Board, including the names of current Board, by going to our website:
https://vashonbeprepared.org/VashonBePrepared/Board

Q: How much do you need? What's the goal?
A:
We have set a goal of $425,000. That’s enough for us to provide help for the most severe and immediate pandemic effects on Vashon while also building a resource to help in long term community recovery. We have already raised about half of the goal thanks to a few very generous anonymous donors that got us started. Since we announced our public campaign more than 230 more donors joined in to provide support..

Q: What happens after the stay at home order is lifted?
A:
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous economic and social damage to the fabric of our community. The virus itself will be around for a long time, and perhaps even cause new waves of infection over time as happened 100 years ago during the 1918 flu pandemic. It will be many months before things return to anything resembling normal. We expect to be working on recovery for the rest of the year and probably longer.

Q: How/where can I give?
A:
Go to VashonBePrepared.org/Donate to give on line. Feel free to save us 3% of your donation by making a direct deposit in our account at Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union or US Bank. Or, you can mail a check to:
VashonBePrepared
P.O. Box 2840
Vashon, WA 98070

Neighbors Helping Neighbors. That's What We Do On Vashon.

VashonBePrepared is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit. All donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Contributions can also be mailed to VashonBePrepared via check, address it to: (This saves us some 3% that credit card processors otherwise take.) VashonBePrepared
P.O. Box 2840
Vashon, WA 98070