Your help keeps Vashon thriving

It’s crazy-amazing how lucky we are.

Time flies.

Just over four years ago, I was hired as executive director of Voice of Vashon. I started two weeks after the world went dark in 2020, and experienced first-hand the importance of our small and mighty nonprofit, learning extensively about the work our incredible emergency alert team did — and still does, 24/7, 365 days a year.

During that time, my learning went well beyond Voice of Vashon. I had a general sense of many of the nonprofits on Vashon and served on the board of The DOVE Project before the pandemic. However, until the pandemic and my role at VoV, I had only scratched the surface of the vast variety of necessary and important nonprofits we are so lucky to have in our community.

It’s crazy-amazing how lucky we are.

There have been many articles over the years in The Beachcomber commending the valiance of our nonprofit network, and for good reason.

Need help for your pets? We got that. Broke a bone and need a crutch? We got that.

Struggling teens. Food insecurity. Quality affordable housing. Fresh food and growing it. Recycling and environmental concerns. Scholarships, music and arts education, wilderness camps, domestic violence awareness and resources, care for animals in distress, history-sharing, mental health resources, land stewardship, helping both people and the planet breathe easier, empowering women, theatrical entertainment and joyful music — you name it, Vashon has it, and has a way to help you access it.

As an unincorporated community nestled in King County and connecting to Pierce and Kitsap counties, Vashon requires a certain do-it-yourself attitude to fill in the gaps from services across the water. But our nonprofits are not just gap fillers. Many are models for other organizations across the United States and benefit peeople across the world.

Crazy-amazing. Yep, I said it again.

For 25 years, VoV’s mission has included helping honor and amplify the events, fundraisers, messages and missions of our local nonprofits through public service announcements (PSA). Bill Wood, who has for over 23 years been our wordsmith, has wrought uplifting and informative PSAs voiced by our own Jeff Hoyt, not to mention many other voices and volunteers.

And there are our shows in partnership with specific organizations (History Worth Hearing — Vashon Heritage Museum; DOVE Speaks — The DOVE Project); live interviews with many, many nonprofits on weekly shows such as the Brown Briefly, RealTalk, A Vashon Minute, The Morning Scrambles, From the Captain’s Chair, Mi Gente Latina to name a few; and placing posters in our big windows on the main drag for all passers-by to see!

Over my four-year tenure with VoV, I have been thrilled to learn more about these hardworking leaders, volunteers, board members, and supporters of our nonprofit organizations through the annual state fundraiser called GiveBIG.

GiveBIG is a spring fundraiser encompassing Washington State’s nonprofits, and it accounts for 30%of VoV’s annual revenue. I dare say that many of our nonprofits rely on this two-day giving event to help make ends meet.

At VoV, our few fundraisers, our sustaining members, our business underwriters, and our grants enable us to serve our community. Like VoV, most of our organizations are small nonprofits where $100, $1000 or $5000 can make a world of difference.

I encourage you to take a moment and tune into on May 7 and 8 to hear and learn more about our wonderful nonprofits and all they do to ensure that you, our dear community, have access to the myriad of resources, the joy, and the life changing and life sustaining services that you need and deserve.

Kate Dowling is the executive director of Voice of Vashon.

Tune into for the GiveBIG headquarters, the Hub O’ Luv, or to 1650AM for emergency alerts.