Vashon Community Care (VCC) reached its fundraising goal last week after nearly 300 people donated to its latest campaign.
VCC launched its fundraising effort in September, with the goal of raising $350,000 by the end of the year to pay off debt and refinance its mortgage. At the end of last week, the agency had raised more than $356,000, according to Lynn Davison, the president of VCC’s board.
“That’s great news, and it means we will succeed,” she said. “The community has been fabulous in responding. We are so thankful.”
When VCC officials began the process, they hoped the refinance would save the cash-strapped organization $20,000 each month or $9 million over the course of the loan. Now, Davison said, with interest rates lower than they had anticipated, VCC officials plan to lower their mortgage payments by $24,000 each month and by $11 million over the course of the loan.
VCC board and staff had hoped to complete the refinance by the end of the year and start reaping its benefits, she noted, but now that will likely not happen until spring.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the guarantor of the loan, but it will not be able to review the application until January, Davison said. Approval is fully expected, but closing on the loan likely will not occur until March. This delay will create further financial pressure for VCC.
“We will tighten our belts in the first few months of the year more than we wanted,” she said.
Donations above $350,000 will help with this pressure, Davison said, and will be welcomed.
Once the refinance is complete, Davison said they plan to build a reserve and look at what other services might benefit the Island and fulfill its mission of improving the lives of people aging on Vashon. VCC could provide those services alone or in partnership with other agencies, she said.
“We are not interested in building an empire, but in responding to community need, Davison said.