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  • Kris Finch

2021 United Way of Whitman County Annual Report

Updated: Mar 17

2021 was a dynamo year for the United Way of Whitman County. In spite of holding all of our Board meetings on Zoom and fundraising during a pandemic, we made major progress towards our goals.


Thanks to the leadership of a fantastic executive committee and the diligent efforts of our Board, we have much to celebrate:


The COVID-19 Fund, established by UWWC in 2020 to help non-profit agencies to respond to the varying & changing needs of trying to reach their constituents during the pandemic, raised an additional $24,865 (2020-21 total of $50,915). We had five separate application phases and have awarded these monies to 10 non-profits throughout Whitman County. Thanks to the efforts of our executive director, Eric Fejeran UWWC was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from United Way Worldwide for covid & disaster preparedness.


In response to the devastating fires in Malden and Pine City, the Whitman County Wildfire Fund was formed in 2020. Under the leadership of chair Karissa Schlosser, donors brought in $138,122 in 2021 ($496,907 since inception) from over 900 donors from throughout the U.S. and Canada. We will continue our work with the Pine Creek Community Restoration group. Christine Oakley volunteers in the rebuilding efforts as she sits on the Unmet Needs Table to help with individual’s needs that have not been met through other resources. Christine wrote, and the UWWC was granted an invaluable $100,000 grant from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to help rebuild the community park in Malden!


Our Campaign Committee, led by chair Sandra Woodrow tackled the difficult process of fundraising during this seemingly never-ending pandemic. The Giving Tuesday Campaign championed by our executive director and supported by community matching sponsorships of Dave Christy State Farm and Values & Visions brought the highest success ever with November donations totaling $11,895. We can proudly say we are 50% ($106,809) of the way towards our increased goal of $210,000. A special thanks to Sandra Woodrow and her committee: Ed Sala, Mark Dinges, Stephanie Pierce & Ben Stone.


Although little is mentioned of the Emergency Food & Shelter Program, this FEMA chaired program receives varying but annual funding from the US government. A local board is made up of representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide, and seeks to include a homeless or formerly homeless individual. If you reside on the Palouse and fit in one of the above membership categories, we welcome your involvement. Contact me, Kris Finch, 2021 Whitman County EFSP Chair at 509.432.1238. The United Way acts as a secretary to coordinate this group and helps to provide direct oversight to the EFSP board and help nonprofits apply for and receive grants annually. The monies are targeted for homelessness, aging, families with children and Veterans. In 2021, EFSP funds of $16,059 were awarded to the Council on Aging & Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse.


The UWWC Impact Committee chaired by Christine Oakley, meets weekly to help research grants, create strategic plans for our long term goals, and provides the Board with important measurable data to help us convey our impact in the community to invaluable donors such as Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Other committee members include Ben Stone and Ann Parks, with significant contributions by Eric Fejeran.


Led by chair Kathy Slinker, our Allocations Committee continued to streamline the Community Fund application process for our community partners. We are proud to report that through our community fund contributions $110,000 was distributed to 17 partner agencies, five of which are new partners with UWWC.


All of this success was made possible through the background efforts of our fantastic Finance Committee, led by treasurer and first year board member Anita Reilly. Other committee members Shirley Cornelius and Pete Chittenden made significant contributions to ensure that UWWC is financially healthy and fiscally accountable to our generous donors.


With the leadership of Board member Kathy Stilwell we offered our first ever “Cooking with Jamie Callison” fundraiser. Held over Zoom, this cooking class was a really fun event which we hope to repeat in the future. A special thanks to Ed Sala & Eric Fejeran who helped us make this a successful event!


Please help us move the thermometer up as we move forward into 2022 and work to make our community more stable and embrace our goals of community health, education & financial stability. And with the pound of my gavel, I now hand over the reins to the very capable, Christine Oakley, 2022 president of the UWWC.


Kris Finch, 2021 president, United Way of Whitman County

& the 2021 United Way Board of Directors:


Christine Oakley, vice president

Kathy Slinker, secretary

Anita Reilly, treasurer

Ed Sala, immediate past president

Pete Chittenden

Shirley Cornelius

Mark Dinges

Ann Parks

Stephanie Pierce

Karissa Schlosser

Kathy Stilwell

Ben Stone

Sandra Woodrow


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