NW Natural Employees Raise $100,000 for COVID-19 Relief

Media contact: media@nwnatural.com; 503-818-9845 (pager)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. — NW Natural’s employees, retirees and shareholders have rallied together to give $100,000 to 11 local organizations that support Oregon and Southwest Washington communities facing COVID-19 challenges.
During the month of April, employees and retirees’ contributions of up to $5,000 were matched dollar-for-dollar by NW Natural’s Corporate Philanthropy Fund, made possible by shareholders.
“Every year, our Corporate Philanthropy Fund gives nearly $1 million to local nonprofits that support children and families at risk,” said Mary Moerlins, corporate citizenship manager for NW Natural. “But the need is great right now, which is why we’re doubling down on philanthropic support to organizations that are providing absolutely critical services in our communities."
Donations from NW Natural’s employee-giving campaign will be made to the following organizations for COVID-19 relief: 
  • 211 Info is the go-to public phone number to get information about the coronavirus in partnership with Oregon Health Authority. Community information specialists answer questions about symptoms, prevention, transmission, treatment, travel health, animals/pets, and persons under investigation and/or monitoring.
  • American Red Cross Cascades Region is encouraging people to make blood donation appointments after the cancellation of many drives has led to national shortages. This will help ensure a stable supply throughout the pandemic.
  • Blanchet House of Hospitalitywelcomes anyone in need of a meal to come in and be served as a guest in its café. During COVID-19, in less than 24 hours, Blanchet House pivoted and began serving to-go meals and drinks. On March 31, Blanchet House handed out 2,052 bagged or boxed meals – a 50% increase from 2019.
  • Community Foundation of SW Washington’s COVID-19 Response Fund is intended to sustain and develop vital community services for residents who stand to lose the most from this unfolding emergency, including housing stability efforts, services for people facing homelessness, physical and behavioral healthcare, emergency food programs and childcare support.
  • Community Warehouse is providing a new model for service delivery with its "HOME 2 GO" kits. The kits include new and affordable basic items (bath and bedding, cookware and dining) that can be easily bundled into specially designed dressers, wrapped safely, and loaded into the back of a car. Community Warehouse is also a NW Natural “Program of Focus” partner.
  • Lines for Life is available 24/7/365 to intervene with personalized help when a crisis arises. Their support to those in crisis is experiencing very high demands and continues to be a true lifeline for community members.
  • Meals on Wheels People is ramping up response to provide food and comfort as community need has grown in the last month. Volunteers are hard at work delivering meals to increasingly isolated seniors even through the COVID-19 challenges.
  • Oregon Community Foundation’s COVID Recovery Fund was established in collaboration with partners throughout the state and will deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. The Oregon Small Business Stabilization Fund provides emergency capital to nonprofit community lenders in both urban and rural communities.
  • Oregon Food Bank and its 1,400+ partners are now addressing significantly increased and immediate need. Closures of schools and community centers as well as stay-home orders has created a gap in meals for countless kids, seniors and others at risk.
  • Portland Homeless Family Solutions continues to provide, and even expand, critical services to families without homes, or families struggling to pay rent. Families experiencing homelessness are at an even greater risk today for both illness and income impacts of COVID-19. PHFS is also a NW Natural “Program of Focus” partner.
  • Gas Assistance Program (GAP) in partnership with United Way and NW Natural customers provides bill payment assistance for those in need to help keep the heat on.