Grants support island health care

Members of Granny’s Attic awarded $120,000 to six island agencies in support of an array of needs.

In its most recent granting cycle, members of Granny’s Attic awarded funds last month to several island nonprofits for health-related causes.

Granny’s business manager Tim Johnson said members found it more difficult this year than in the past to prioritize the grant requests received, as they represented a wide range of worthy needs throughout the community.

In total, 13 island agencies requested $307,000. Granny’s awarded $120,000 to six of them for seven programs after members voted on how to distribute the funding.

The grants provided were as follows:

  • Vashon Youth & Family Services’ baby box program: $4,618
  • Neighborcare operating shortfall: $58,903
  • Vashon Island Growers Association’s produce vouchers for seniors: $2,171
  • Vashon Community Care’s Medicaid shortfall: $33,355
  • Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness’ medical marijuana program: $6,845
  • Vashon Senior Center’s Lunch Care-a-Van: $9,545
  • Vashon Senior Center’s nutrition program: $4,563.

Vashon Youth & Family Services (VYFS) received a modest award from Granny’s in this grant cycle, and Christine Wood, the program manager for VYFS’ Family Place, said it will go a long way. She noted that the baby sleeping box program is vital for parents with insecure housing or who are unable to afford a traditional crib.

The cardboard boxes, outfitted with a mattress, are easily transportable and are known to reduce instances of sudden infant death syndrome. They reduced the rate of infant mortality in Finland, where they originated.

The program at VYFS is open for all who would like a box, which is provided for free.

“We don’t have any other funding for it,” said Wood, adding that the money is also used to purchase essential supplies for parents to give infants the best start possible.

The total estimated cost of the program last year — providing for 60 baby boxes and the various supplies — was $8,280, according to manager Belinda Olvera-Jovanovich. Last year, she said, Family Place gave away 70 baby boxes to expectant island families.

For more information about the Baby Box program, visit online or call Family Place at 206-463-5502.

Vashon Community Care (VCC) received one of the largest awards from Granny’s, and Anne Atwell, director of development and community relations at VCC, said its value to the organization is tremendous — the funding helps address the gap between what Medicaid pays for care and the full cost of the care residents with Medicaid receive.

“We’re the only place on the island that houses Medicaid residents. Without Granny’s, over the many years that Granny’s has donated to us, we wouldn’t have been able to offer the care that we do,” she said.

Atwell said she is aware that more support was asked of Granny’s than the nonprofit could provide. VCC also requested funding to address deferred maintenance work in its building, but there were not enough funds to subsidize such projects. Still, she emphasized that Granny’s support was a lifeline to VCC’s continued operation.

“We are so appreciative of what Granny’s gave us.”

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