Co-op Blog

Board Announces 2020 4% Friday Recipients

At the Skagit Valley Food Co-op, one of our most exciting ways to support community is through 4% Friday! You shop, and together we give 4% of Co-op sales on one Friday a month to a non-profit, charitable community organization. And just think — each of these organizations is, itself, supporting the community! What a great circle of giving.

Immigrant Resources & Immediate Support (IRIS) – January 24

IRIS supports the unmet basic needs of immigrant families living in Skagit and Whatcom counties. It seeks to connect its recipients to resources in the community and to provide immediate assistance for needs that cannot otherwise be met by community partners. IRIS supports 2-5 families at a time and addresses needs such as rental subsidies/deposits, bedding, food, clothing, and access to medical care. 4% Friday funds will be used to provide families with urgently needed rental subsidies, food money, and essential items as part of IRIS’ winter housing program: warm jackets, sweaters, and weatherproof footwear. The contribution will help prevent homelessness as these families continue to work to stabilize during difficult times.

Page Ahead – February 28

Page Ahead provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk youth. It’s the leading provider of children’s books and literacy services in Washington State; it partners with elementary schools, early learning centers, and other agencies across Washington to create home libraries for children and families and to provide professional development to early learning educators on current literacy research and strategies. Since its founding in 1990, it has given away over three million books. 4% Friday funds support Page Ahead’s Book Up Summer in Skagit County, a program
in which K-2 students at majority low-income schools receive 12 free brand new books of their choice at the end of the school year for three years in a row for summer reading to minimize “summer learning slide.”

Skagit Farmers Market Coalition – March 27

Skagit Farmers Market Coalition continues to celebrate and grow the unique Skagit culture around food and community by strengthening our area’s resilient farmers markets. 4% Friday funds would be used for the Fresh Bucks program, providing vouchers to hungry families at local food banks for fresh fruit and vegetables redeemable at all farmers markets in the county.

North Cascades Institute Mountain School – April 24

The North Cascades Institute’s mission is to inspire and empower environmental stewardship for all through transformative educational experiences in nature. The Mountain School is its 29-year-old residential education program in the heart of North Cascades National Park that brings fifth graders, many for the first time, on a 70-mile drive along the Skagit River, to spend three days and two nights on the shores of Diablo Lake. 4% Friday donations will contribute to the equity imperative of Mountain School by subsidizing tuition for Skagit County elementary schools with high percentages of low-income students.

Family Promise – May 22

The mission of Family Promise is to come together as a community to support homeless families as they work to provide their children with a loving home. 4% Friday funds will be used to support the general operations of the shelter and continue to improve the quality of the sustainable loving programs that Family Promise teaches its guests. Funds will also help Family Promise meet the unique needs of each family and increase engagement.

Sedro-Woolley Farm to School – June 26

The mission of Sedro-Woolley Farm to School (F2S) is to grow healthier, informed, and empowered eaters by integrating hands-on, food-based learning at all grade levels. Funds will be used to support gardens throughout the school district by providing basic materials like soil for garden beds and establishing an area at the school district maintenance office where bulk materials could be stored and shared amongst schools. When individual school garden projects are ready, they could then access an agreed-upon share of the materials. The school district has agreed to provide a dedicated space for bulk materials, and the garden team is excited to purchase soil, mulch, and other needed supplies to get and stay growing!

Skagit Animals in Need – July 24

Skagit Animals in Need (SAIN) is an all-volunteer non-profit working with animal control and law enforcement to prevent and resolve animal cruelty in Skagit County. It provides emergency resources (to include but not limited to financial resources) to persons needing assistance in caring for their animals at the request of animal control. 4% Friday funds will benefit the Domestic Abuse Case Assistance program. A link exists between human violence and animal abuse, and in many cases of domestic violence, abusers often seek to manipulate or intimidate their victims by harming or threatening the family animals. SAIN aims to alleviate cases of domestic violence that are often perpetuated because the victims have no options for moving with their beloved animals, because shelters or other family cannot house them. It is hoped that some victims who will not leave a bad situation because the animals are left will be willing to make a break if the SAIN team responds to take the animals.

Mount Vernon Library Foundation – August 28

The Mount Vernon Library Foundation fosters community support for the Library, its Board, and its Staff. The Foundation serves to solicit, receive, manage, and disburse corporate and individual gifts and grants for the enhancement of library facilities, materials, services, and programs. 4% Friday will help the Library to update and fill out the Spanish language and bilingual book collections in the children’s section, so parents and children can enjoy the Library’s bilingual storytimes. These sessions encourage parents and children to read together by modeling reading in both languages. Funds will also build a generous supply of bilingual and Spanish language books for every member of the family to check out and take home.

Brigid Collins – September 25

Brigid Collins Family Support Center is a community-based organization dedicated to ending child abuse by building strong families and protecting children. 4% Friday funds will be used to offer nourishment in its Children’s Advocacy Center. Specifically, funds will buy healthy drinks and snacks for families during forensic interviews, medical exams, and therapy support. This would allow us to provide added safety and convenience during a traumatic times.

MV Police Homeless Outreach Program – October 23

The Mount Vernon Police Department has employed an Outreach Coordinator to work with homeless people in our community to provide services (health, treatment, housing, etc.). She will help allocate 4% Friday funds for housing deposits, temporary housing, travel (typically bus) to treatment programs, and emergency expenses. These funds will also provide some blankets, backpacks, room rentals, co-pays for medications, clothing, travel tickets to reunite with family, clothes for jobs, birth certificates, and some food to people without homes in the area.

Underground Writing – November 20

Underground Writing is a literature-based creative writing program serving migrant, incarcerated, recovery, and other at-risk communities in northern Washington, through literacy and personal transformation. Underground Writing believes writing has the power to assist in the restoration of communities and individual lives. 4% Friday funds will help establish the Co-op Chapbook Fund to publish one to two chapbooks every year. Chapbooks are small booklets of stories written by at-risk authors about the power of creative writing as a way to renew human hope and imagination.

Friendship House – December 18

The mission of Friendship House is to feed, shelter, clothe, heal, and empower those in need. The Friendship House provides two emergency shelters, one transitional house, one permanent low income shared living house, a daily hot meal service, and an innovative employment training program. The Friendship House believes that by treating all people with respect and kindness, it can help them transform their lives into ones of self-sufficiency and abundance. Funds from 4% Friday will be used to support the general operating expenses of Friendship House as it continues to provide emergency and transitional housing, food for the hungry, as well as hot showers and laundry facilities for those in need.

By: Co-op Staff

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