Safe Harbor Support Center leaders hoped to raise $30,000 to help bridge a gap for the next few months while they worked to secure stable funding.
And they didn’t end up merely hitting that goal.
They exceeded it. By a wide margin.
A fundraiser through Gesa Credit Union brought in more than $90,000. More than $15,000 in other donations also came in over the last few weeks, since the Kennewick nonprofit revealed it may have to close its doors because of financial difficulties.
That brings the total raised since the beginning of the month to more than $100,000.
The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, said Karen Kirk-Brockman, Safe Harbor executive director.
As a result, “we will keep our most vulnerable children -- from our youngest victims of childhood trauma, of physical and/or sexual abuse, to our oldest children in the homeless teen shelter -- safe for a while longer,” she said.
“Safety and security may sound like just words,” she added. “But to our kids, who have not had safety and security in their lives prior to coming to Safe Harbor and My Friends Place, (they are) so much more than words.”
Kirk-Brockman spoke Wednesday morning during an event to announce the amount raised through Gesa’s campaign. When the total was revealed --$90,649 --the audience cheered and applauded.
Gesa kicked off the campaign by pledging to match donations up to a total of $15,000. The money started pouring in. “We as a team at Gesa kept going, ‘Amazing.’ I can’t tell you how proud and how emotional it is to see what our community reached out and did,” said Don Miller, president and chief executive officer of the credit union.
Safe Harbor provides support for children dealing with trauma, as well as outreach, support and training for families. Its teen shelter, My Friends Place, is the only shelter of its kind in the region.
The shelter has seen its hours reduced and many of Safe Harbor’s offerings were halted as the nonprofit grappled with financial issues.
The annual budget is about $400,000, and the nonprofit recently took about a $156,000 revenue hit because of changes at the state level.
Eleven staff were furloughed or laid off.
Therapeutic child care and other offerings are to be relaunched soon and the shelter hours will be returning to normal. The plan is to bring back as many staffers as possible.
Safe Harbor leaders said they’re grateful -- to Gesa and the community. Very grateful.
“We were looking at something along the lines of $30,000 to limp along a little longer. The fact that it came in like this was amazing,” Kirk-Brockman said.
The nonprofit still could use donations, including volunteers and in-kind help. Online: www.crisis-nursery.org.