Gesa in the Community —

Supporting our Local Heroes

With every swipe of a Local Heroes co-branded Gesa Visa® Debit Card, Gesa members earn funds designated for grants in that card’s Local Heroes category (Firefighters, Healthcare Workers, Law Enforcement, Teachers, and Veterans).

 

The Local Heroes Grants Program awards these funds to eligible organizations that support Local Heroes in regions where Gesa is active.

 

The funding amounts each year are dependent on the number of funds raised the prior year through the Local Heroes co-branded Gesa Visa® Debit Cards. Grants are awarded in September.

 

We are pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the Gesa Local Heroes Grant Program! In total, we have awarded $110,000 to 23 different organizations representing local heroes in each of our Gesa market areas. Learn more about our 2021 grant winners and the impact these grants will make with our Local Heroes:

Grant Recipients

Benton County Fire District 2- With this $5000 award, the Benton County Fire District #2 will outfit their boat with a small pump to use in firefighting operations, providing more robust emergency service options to communities in the Columbia Basin.

 

City of Walla Walla Fire Department- The City of Walla Walla Fire Department will direct their $5,000 grant toward the purchase of a Zoll X-series cardiac monitor which will allow their Community Paramedic to provide advanced care to residents while avoiding costly ambulance and emergency room visits.

 

Franklin County Fire Protection District 2- The Franklin County Fire Protection District 2 will use this $5000 Grant to upgrade apparatus on fire trucks, increasing their ability to protect citizens and property in the district.

 

Grant County Fire District #5- Grant County Fire District #5 will use this $5000 grant to purchase two TrueCPR devices for use administering High Performance CPR in the most populated and highest response areas that they cover.

 

High Rollers Grant County Fire District #7- This $5000 grant to High Rollers (supporting Grant County Fire District #7) will help to replace their entire inventory of air bottles, which expire at the beginning of December 2021. This will enable firefighters to safely respond to hazmat and fire calls in the community.

 

Richland Firefighters Community Outreach Program- This $5000 grant to the Richland Firefighters Community Outreach Program will be used to support families in need of shelter, transportation, and other basic necessities.

 

Salvation Army, Yakima Valley- The Yakima Valley Salvation Army will sue their $5000 grant to help outfit the organization’s Emergency Disaster Service vehicle, which provides food, water, supplies, and emotional first aid to first responders and affected individuals during disasters.

 

Walla Walla City/County Ambulance- A $2000 award to the Walla Walla City/County Ambulance will go toward a cooler purchase and other supplies that the Community Paramedic will use when passing out drinking water and supporting community members.

Chaplain Services Network, Tri-Cities- The Chaplain Services Network will use their $5000 grant to provide scholarships for 16 first responder leaders in the Tri-Cities to take Critical Incident Stress Management. This course is a nationally recognized program that teaches intervention skills to firefighters, police officers, and paramedics so they are equipped to provide peer support before, during, and after critical events.

 

K9 Foundation Yakima Valley- The K9 Foundation Yakima Valley will use this $5,000 award toward a fully-trained, safety-equipped law enforcement K9 team that will support the work of law enforcement officers in Yakima County.

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Cascade Elementary School, Wenatchee- This $5,000 grant will be used by Cascade Elementary to purchase social emotional learning resources and reading materials for students. Examples include items for calm down zones, mindfulness resources, and a sensory wall.

 

Central Washington Catholic Foundation, Yakima- This $5,000 grant to the Central Washington Catholic Foundation will support their Digital Learning Fund, which helps to purchase new computers, online learning curriculum, and other materials for students and teachers.

 

Collins Elementary School, Tacoma- Collins Elementary takes students on an annual trip to a YMCA Camp that focuses on outdoor education as a way to teach about respect for self, others, and the environment. This $5,000 grant will help to cover the cost for students to attend in 2022.

 

Foundation for Edmonds School District- The Foundation for Edmonds School District will use their $5,000 grant to fund creative classroom projects in district elementary, middle, and high schools. They’ll use an equity lens to prioritize classrooms with high percentages of children from low-income families.

 

InvestED, Tacoma- InvestED will use this $5,000 grant to send $1,250 additional dollars to four Tacoma-area schools with high percentages of students from low-income families. Teachers will use the money throughout the year to purchase items that directly benefit students and support their educational achievement.

 

Mid-Columbia Ballet, Richland- This $3,000 grant will support the Mid-Columbia Ballet’s sensory-friendly programming designed for people with disabilities and special needs. Funds will help compensate teachers in this program and go toward production costs for sensory friendly performances.

 

Roosevelt Booster Club, Yakima- A $5000 grant to the Roosevelt Booster Club will provide resources for students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Yakima by supporting initiatives that help to build a strong, equitable school culture through attendance and behavior incentives, bilingual posters and signs, and more.

 

Second Harvest, Spokane- Second Harvest will use this $5,000 grant to support three school-based Mobile Market free food distributions at high-need Spokane schools, helping to increase food access points and fill nutritional gaps for students from low-income families. The Markets will serve approximately 50 families and provide more than 40 meals for each family.

 

Second Harvest, Tri-Cities- Second Harvest will use this $5,000 grant to support three school-based Mobile Market free food distributions at Tri-Cities area schools located in areas of very high need. Each Market will provide 250 families with approximately 50 pounds of food each.

 

Shoreline Public Schools Foundation- The Shoreline Public Schools Foundation will use their $5,000 grant to pay teachers who lead their 2022 Write & Ready College Application Workshop, which works with rising high school seniors to prepare them for the college application process.

 

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Clover Park Technical College Veterans Resource Center, Lakewood/Tacoma- This $5,000 grant to the Clover Park Technical College Veterans Resource Center will provide financial assistance to Veterans by helping them pay utility bills, purchase textbooks, and provide other support to help them succeed on their chosen educational path.

 

Free Rein Therapeutic Riding, Spokane- Free Rein Therapeutic Riding will use their $5,000 grant as a Giving Tuesday match to generate support for the Military Horsemanship Program, which serves active-duty military, veterans, and their immediate family members in the greater Spokane area. The program provides free services that help with healing, hope, and healthy relationships for those recovering from serious injuries and emotional trauma.

 

Friends of Disabled Veterans, Tri-Cities- This $5,000 grant will support the Tri-Cities-based Friends of Disabled Veterans initiative to construct accessible permanent bathrooms at their Veteran Events Lodge, where disabled veterans and their families can unwind and relax through outdoor activities, comradery, and volunteering.

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