Hurricane victims and how you can help, Indigenous People’s Day, Arts, and Harvest Festival


Last week, Hurricane Ian obliterated communities in Florida. As of today, according to CNN, at least 102 people have been reported killed by the hurricane in Florida – 55 of them in Lee County, Florida as well as four people in North Carolina. As those affected by this storm grapple with putting their lives back together, the rest of the country is trying to decide how best to support the victims. Watching football this weekend, several donation websites were offered, but I am starting to hear about other “official” donation websites. Having been involved in many of these natural disasters, I would recommend that if you really want to help our fellow citizens, the best thing to do is to donate to the tried-and-true organizations that are involved in every major disaster. They have developed efficient and effective ways to get funding and resources to those affected. This is not to say that others do not have good intentions, but unless you have worked in a natural disaster, it is hard to really know what to do. I suggest the following organizations.

  • Charlotte Community Foundation: I always recommend donating to the local community foundation in the impacted area as they already have partnerships with local businesses and nonprofits and know where donations can have the most impact. The Charlotte Community Foundation has activated the Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund. Funds will provide financial assistance and resources to Charlotte County residents impacted by the Hurricane. For more information, go to
  • Metropolitan Ministries: Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen team aim to prepare 15,000 hot meals and 10,000 cold meals every day as needed using the Metropolitan Ministries commercial kitchen as their main distribution hub. To help, send donations to and sign up to volunteer at
  • Salvation Army: From Florida to Puerto Rico, the Salvation Army is providing food, drinks, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, and other emergency services to hurricane survivors and rescue workers. All proceeds from every donation to the organization’s disaster services are applied to the selected disaster relief operation. To donate, go to!/donation/checkout
  • Rebuilding Together: Having previously helped communities after Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and more, Rebuilding Together Tampa, Central Florida, and North Central Florida, the affiliates of the national organization – are already on the ground helping neighbors in Florida rebuild and recover from the effects of Hurricane Ian. 100% of funds given go to the impacted communities. To donate, go to
  • American Humane: In rapid response to the devastation in Florida caused by Hurricane Ian, American Humane's Rescue Team currently remains on the ground in Florida’s DeSoto County, conducting urgent water search and rescue operations for family pets as well as horses and farm animals affected. To donate, go to

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day at Squaxin Park

Join the Squaxin Island Tribe and the City of Olympia to celebrate Indigenous culture, history, and communities from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. The event will be held at the newly renamed Squaxin Park located at 2600 East Bay Drive NE. According to Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby, “It’s fitting that this year’s celebration will be held at Squaxin Park.” “The renaming of the former Priest Point Park and this Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration are exciting steps in fulfilling the City’s accord and commitment with the Squaxin Island Tribe to promote a healthy exchange of cultures.” Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. Today, October 4, the Olympia City Council will be joined by Squaxin Island Tribal Chairman Kris Peters in consideration of a proclamation to recognize the October 10, 2022, holiday. For more information, including special parking, instructions go to

This week’s other nonprofit events

  • The Olympia Fall Arts Walk – Downtown Olympia won’t be empty this weekend! Look for performances, vendors, family-friendly activities, interactive art, and more. For more information, visit their new website at
  • Harvest Festival – This Saturday, October 8, the Thurston County Conservation District is hosting a fall Harvest Festival featuring a pie baking contest, cider pressing – (BYOA - bring your apples) –soil test drop-off station, kids arts and crafts face painting plus live music or food. Find more information at
  • Celebrate Arbor Day – Celebrate Olympia’s 29th year as a Tree City USA at the 2022 Arbor Day Celebration at Squaxin Park (formerly Priest Point Park) at Picnic Shelter #4 this Saturday, October 8. For more details, go to
  • Book Sale – South Puget Sound Community College is hosting a book sale October 10-13 from 9 am to 6 pm. All proceeds will be used for library events and programs such as Maker Day, Late Night at the library, and more. For more details, go to
  • History Talks - Karen Johnson, Curator of the Schmidt House, will be hosting a talk entitled: Scoundrels: The Life of Susie Lewis on Wednesday, October 12. For more information, go to

Soliciting your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that is doing something great, celebrating a success, needs some outstanding volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!

Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and to individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to her at


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