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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 22, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:
Rachel Myers
Whatcom Community Foundation
Rachel@WhatcomCF.org
(360) 671-6463
https://www.whatcomcf.org/community-impact/resilience-fund/

Jeff Bezos pledges an additional $25 million in matching funds to support COVID-19 relief efforts in Washington

Pledge ensures all gifts to Whatcom Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund will be matched dollar for dollar through the end of 2020

All In Washington, a statewide COVID-19 relief effort, today announced that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged another $25 million in matching funds to the campaign, bringing his total contributions to $50 million. Bezos' pledge will help All In WA toward its new fundraising goal of $100 million.

All in WA provides funds to causes that support workers and families who have been acutely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including gifts to the Resilience Fund at the Whatcom Community Foundation.  The Resilience Fund is investing in nonprofits working on the front lines of COVID-19 response, getting emergency assistance to our community's most vulnerable neighbors. 

Generous donors have already contributed more than $1.6 million to the Resilience Fund, and the needs of our community continue to grow, according the Whatcom Community Foundation President and CEO, Mauri Ingram, “Mr. Bezos doubling his match couldn’t come at a better time as we aim to raise $3 million for response and recovery work. There are so many obvious needs and there will be many less visible needs, including mental health supports and the grind of economic recovery, that will linger long after the pandemic subsides. This an incredible momentum builder.”

As of December 21, the Resilience Fund has qualified for more than $400,000 in matching funds from All In WA, and the announcement of the increased match means that all gifts received into the Resilience Fund by the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar.  As with his earlier pledge, Jeff Bezos will match individual donations up to $1 million.

More than $1.2 million has been put to work by local organizations to address the urgent needs our neighbors face during this crisis. Community partners have stepped up and pivoted services to meet the dual disasters of a pandemic and an economic crisis. Recent grants included funding to the YWCA to increase beds available for older women experiencing homelessness, and a grant to Unity Care NW to help families pay for medical expenses.

In response to this increased gift and the new goal of $100 million set by All In WA, Governor Jay Inslee today said, “This has been a year of unprecedented hardship for our state. Through this pandemic, families and workers have had to grapple with unimaginable difficulties meeting basic needs like housing, food, digital access and childcare - and systemic inequity makes it harder for our Black and Indigenous communities, people of color, and our rural and remote residents to stay healthy and safe. But alongside that hardship, we’ve also seen the tremendous generosity of philanthropy and corporations, and I want to thank those donors, Jeff Bezos and All In WA for stepping up to provide the critical resources alongside state funding to meet those critical needs.”

All In WA is a coalition of philanthropic and community leaders, companies, community foundations, United Way organizations, frontline nonprofits, individuals, and public officials across Washington state.

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