Fig Tree nears benefit goal, receives two grants
As of May 27, The Fig Tree's Benefit fund raiser on Facebook raised $5,113 of a total of $26,821 toward its goal of $28,000.
Fund raising continues with a pre-summer appeal that was mailed to previous Benefit donors and past-due sponsors the first week of June, to continue effort to reach the goal and to refocus on sponsor funding.
"We sent out by email an appeal in April. The pre-summer appeal goes to 700, about half of our donors who have not yet given in 2020," said Mary Stamp, editor.
"Because of our doing the Resource Directory COVID-19 online supplement, we were awarded a $5,000 grant from Innovia in late May to support the directory and other projects."
Fig Tree ads have been somewhat down, but most advertisers have continued their support. In addition, appeals are still out to advertisers and community partners for the Resource Directory. Ads must be confirmed by the third week of June, as well as community partners wishing recognition on the cover, but community partners may donate any time and be recognized in The Fig Tree.
The Fig Tree also received a $2,500 grant from the Northwest Intermountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, matched by an individual gift, for the Branching Out campaign that funds The Fig Tree's development director position.
For information, call 535-1813, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thefigtree.org.
Faith Action Network holds Spring Summits
During May and June, the Faith Action Network (FAN) is holding Regional Spring Summits around Washington State.
Advocates gather to talk about how the FAN legislative agenda fared in the past session and strategize for the rest of the year on issues they care about most.
"It is a time to raise ideas for the 2021 legislative session," said Paul Benz, co-director. "Together, we look for ways to be more effective at creating lasting change."
"At summits, we hear from people how they have been doing in this pandemic, what issues are arising in their communities and how their advocacy continues," said Elise DeGooyer, co-director.
"There are many issues we care about that this crisis has exacerbated, economic and racial inequities primary among them," she said. "There's so much work to do together to protect what we love—the people and communities in our lives. We see summits as a time to share what we know from the state and federal level and to hear from attendees."
The 2020 Spring Summits are being held online this year.
In the Spokane area, the summit, which was Sunday, May 31, focused discussion resources to overcome racism , FAN's record working for racial equity, it's recent statement on the protests after George Floyd's murder, calling attention to the statement of Whitworth's president Beck Taylor and partnering with the NAACP.
In Central Washington, the Spring Summit is at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 14.
Participants can RSVP for a link to Zoom meetings at fanwa.org/regional-spring-summits/
For information, call 206-625-9790 or email email@example.com.
Habitat Store reopens, receives donations
The Habitat for Humanity Store in Spokane and its donation drop off re-opened May 26.
Proceeds from the home improvement supply store and donation center support Habitat for Humanity's affordable home building. It sells building materials, appliances, new and gently used furniture and home accessories at a fraction of the retail price.
"The store is crucial to fund safe, decent and affordable homeownership for low-income families in the area. Outside of its purpose to keep homeownership affordable, the Habitat Store provides volunteer and donation opportunities—keeping waste out of our local landfills. It's good for the environment and good for the community," said Habitat-Spokane CEO, Michelle Girardot.
During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, the Habitat-Spokane Store at 1805 E. Trent shut its doors to help flatten the curve.
"Safety of customers, volunteers, families and employees is our priority," she said.
While the store was closed, staff took measures to ensure safety by cleaning, disinfecting and implementing social distancing protocols, such as one-way aisles, increasing distance between items, adding a handwashing station, building glass barriers at the checkout counter, as well as improving the shopping experience.
Through the recent months, construction supervisors at Habitat sites continued to build and now are putting in place procedures for welcoming back volunteers to the construction sites with social distancing to keep people safe.
"Now is the time for people to get involved again," Michelle said. "Let's go from helplessness to hope, from fear to courage, and from sitting and waiting to taking bold action."
Habitat-Spokane seeks donors to support local families so they have homes, communities and hope. People can donate financially and shop at the store.
"The COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic hardship showed us that safe, affordable housing is more critical than ever," Michelle said. "Putting God's love into action, we have since 1987 provided permanent, affordable housing for 330 low-income families."
For information, call 534-2552 or visit www.habitat-spokane.org.
Hospice of Spokane names medical director
Brian Seppi, M.D., is the new medical director of Hospice of Spokane. He will guide medical care for patients working with a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, nurses' aides, bereavement counselors, volunteers and support staff in providing holistic, end-of-life care.
He brings more than 25 years of experience in healthcare administration, team leadership and patient care from work as an internal medicine physician and medical director, most recently as chief medical officer for Providence Medical Group.
With a passion for end-of-life care, he served three years on the Hospice of Spokane Board of Trustees. Hospice of Spokane serves Ferry, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens counties.
For information, call 456-0438 or visit hospiceofspokane.org.
PJALS plans youth art show and more
The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane's Young Activist Leaders Program (YALP) participants had planned Arts in Action for the spring.
With the COVID-19, the vision for a large in-person exhibition of video, performance, visual art and writing was displaced by plans to have a Virtual Gallery. It will open with a reception that is part of First Friday on June 5.
The event includes a show that grew out of a series of Wednesday workshops in May to inspire youth to create and express their ideas in new ways.
Every week through the summer, YALP will meet virtually from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays, to build activist skills through workshops, projects and speakers. For information, visit pjals.org/yalp.
The Peace & Justice Action Committee plans to meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursdays, June 4, July 2, Aug. 6 and Sept. 3 through videoconferencing.
Showing up for Racial Justice will meet for a book study at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays, June 11 and 25, July 9 and 23, Aug. 13 and 27, on videoconference.
PJALS is also holding Webinar Wednesdays to accomplish some goals of its cancelled spring Peace and Justice Action Conference. Sessions will help participants deepen analysis, share skills, sharpen skills, improve strategies and strengthen relationships, said co-director Liz Moore.
They have included sessions on bystander training on anti-Asian racism and white supremacist efforts to influence youth online.
For information, call 838-7870 or visit pjals.org.
Unity in the Community will be Aug. 15
Unity in the Community is planning to hold the 26th annual multi-cultural celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15, at Riverfront Park.
Co-organizers April Anderson and Mareesa Henderson say it's a time to celebrate the joy of similarities and differences that make people stronger and build community.
The event includes a Career, Education and Health Fair, a Cultural Village, a Senior Resource area, live entertainment, free K-8 school supplies, free bike helmets and other activities.
Unity in the Community began in 1994 as an event of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church to break down racial and cultural barriers. In 2004, AHANA (African American, Hispanic and Native American Association) continued it. In 2007, it was to Riverfront Park, where vendors included nonprofit organizations and others sharing information on their programs and services.
Believing that racial or cultural bigotry is about ignorance, April and Mareesa work to educate people about the diverse cultures in Spokane.
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cathedral holds congregational development program
The Cathedral of St. John is hosting the College for Congregational Development a comprehensive training program for clergy and laity in congregational and organizational development Aug. 2 to 8 in Spokane.
The college is a two-year program that includes readings, homework, presentation, teamwork, an exam and back-home projects.
The college seeks to improve the way leaders function in congregations.
For information, call 624-3191.
Retreat center plans events over summer
The Immaculate Heart Retreat Center (IHRC) is planning a Fathers' Day cinnamon roll and bacon drive-through pick up from 9 to 11 a.m., Sunday, June 21, at the IHRC, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd.
On Saturday, June 23, IHRC will hold a Silent Day of Prayer, "Save Us Lord: the Eucharist in Post Pandemic Times," offered virtually from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by Sr. Mary Eucharista, SMMC.
The center is also planning to host Summer Barbecues with Bishop Emeritus William Skylstad with a talk, dessert and coffee from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., on two Tuesdays. On July 21, his topic will be "The Eucharist: The Summit and Source of our Spirituality." On Aug. 18, the topic is "The Church Alive."
In addition, there will be a Weekend Manuscript Illumination Retreat on "Word and Image: Illuminating the Our Father" July 17 to 19 led by Hannah Charlton, an artist who interned at the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth and graduated from Whitworth University in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in art, graphic design and history.
The IHRC is offering a five-day Icon Workshop from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 on the theme, "Light from Chaos: John, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord" with Fr. Damian Higgins, artist and iconographer.
For information, call 448-1224 or visit ihrc.net.
Spokane's World Refugee Day cancelled
Refugee Connections Spokane, which partnered with 12 organizations to organize the annual United Nations World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20, has cancelled the local event because of safety and health concerns.
To assist with food, utilities, rent, hygiene and cleaning supplies, and facemasks, Refugee Connections Spokane hired a part-time refugee/immigrant service coordinator.
"We are distributing food boxes, activity kits and school supplies to our Refugee Kids program," said Marijke Fakasiieiki, executive director. "Our website lists materials and links for different languages, and our Facebook page and group have daily updates related to COVID-19 impacts on refugee and immigrant communities."
Spokane Community Colleges, which has provided English as a Second Language instruction to refugees for more than 40 years, has moved ESL instruction online., providing equipment and helping students develop digital skills, she said.
She reported updates on partner organizations working with refugees.
To ensure the safety of clients and staff, Lutheran Community Services Northwest is temporarily doing its refugee services to remote or telehealth alternatives. Staff is available during business hours for counseling, victim advocacy and child welfare services via telehealth.
Spokane Regional ESOL Consortium is maintaining social distancing while embracing network and digital literacy to connect refugees and immigrants to community services.
Spokane International Translation is providing written translation and oral interpreting services during the pandemic, working with partners to provide virtual services by scheduling telephone and video remote interpreting. They are working with local school districts, medical facilities and community partners to translate parent letters, COVID-19 information, consent forms and other announcements. For information, call 327-8064 or email email@example.com.
Spokane County United Way coordinated with Innovia Foundation and Empire Health Foundation to raise $2.2 million for a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. It has secured donations of 65,000 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for hospital staff and first responders. United Way also received $676,352 in federal funding for local nonprofits, faith-based and governmental organizations who provide food, shelter and supportive services.
Marijke also reported that representatives of the Marshall Islander community of 3,000 people than 84 have tested positive.
For information, call 209-2384.