The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) has given general operating grants totaling $175,000 to six Puget Sound organizations supporting housing for youth, and encouraging local students’ leadership skills, mentorship, and college education.
“We are proud to support organizations whose missions are centered around the development of young leaders,” Kathleen Simpson, interim CEO of Gig Harbor-based TRFF, said in a news release. “Flexibility in funding to support community organizations working with the next generation will go a long way in keeping young people of our region supported and on track for success.”
A Way Home Washington — $15,000
A Way Home Washington exists to end youth homelessness in the state. The organization provides leadership, best practices, technical assistance and coordination to Pierce County, as one of four communities identified in its Anchor Communities Initiative addressing youth homelessness, launched in 2018.
The Coffee Oasis — $25,000
The Coffee Oasis supports ongoing specialized services, programming and case management for homeless and at-risk youth. Its Serra House in Tacoma provides emergency housing for 13- to 17-year-old homeless youth in Pierce County.
Degrees of Change — $45,000
Degrees of Changes works to help close persistent gaps in college completion through partnerships with higher education institutions and other anchor organizations. The organization’s programs support students as they begin, persist in and graduate from college and transition into the workforce.
Foundation for Tacoma Students — $35,000 (multiyear)
The Foundation for Tacoma Students supports a collective-impact approach to help students achieve success from cradle to college and career through a partnership of 270-plus organizations. This includes working to remove barriers such as startup costs and housing as students graduate and transition into higher education pursuits.
Hilltop Artists — $15,000
Hilltop Artists’ efforts include a youth mentorship program involving hands-on skill building and learning in glassblowing for 650 youth in Tacoma and surrounding areas, as well as comprehensive support for students experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and other issues through its year-round outreach program.
REACH Center — $40,000 (multiyear)
REACH Center is a Tacoma-based drop-in center working to equip and embolden young people to achieve success in education, employment and housing stability. The organization delivers programs to support education, employment training and housing support, peer mentorship, legal assistance, and mental health resources.
The foundation — which focuses its giving on environmental sustainability, grassroots leadership, and global peace — last year won South Sound Business Magazine’s IDEA award (Innovation, Distinction, Excellence and Achievement) in the category of Most Philanthropic. Many of the foundation’s efforts are focused in Tacoma, elsewhere in Pierce County, and South Sound, where the Russell family established and built its business. The business, launched as Frank Russell Co. in 1936 in Tacoma as a brokerage firm, is today a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange (LSEG). LSEG acquired the firm in 2014 from Northwestern Mutual Insurance, but later sold off its investment division as Russell Investments to TA Associates in 2015.