CENTRALIA – 33 organizations in Lewis and South Thurston Counties will soon receive over three-quarters of a million dollars in grants to help sustain their programs in the coming year and beyond. The State Department of Commerce has created a Youth Development Non-profit relief fund which will share an estimated $764,000 of federal CARES Act monies with non-profit organizations that support youth and family programs, and associated education programs in school districts. Schools Out Washington Director Andrea Fullerton says everything from emergency childcare to academics and virtual opportunities for youth will get assistance. Fullerton adds, “The COVID-19 outbreak, extended school closures and social distancing have deepened inequities and hardships for young people across Washington.” In response, youth development programs quickly adapted their services to provide support for youth and families. Fullerton says, “For many families, these organizations have been a sustaining lifeline.” She works with philanthropic organizations, family and home trusts, and hopes that as they see the benefits that non-profit groups provide, they will decide to provide continued funding. Among the local organizations that stand to benefit are the Boys and Girls Club of Thurston County which will get $50.000. Lewis County Boys and Girls Club, $26,000, Valued Kids and Gather Church childcare will receive $11,000 each. In the region, Southwest Washington Community Youth Services and CORE Health will each get $50,000, and Northwest Youth Corp, $40,000. Across the state, $9.4 million has been awarded to 421 youth development organizations.

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