M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Summer came to a quick close this year, with much-welcome rain heralding autumn, as it usually does in the Pacific Northwest. Here at the Murdock Trust, we have a familiar routine to close out summer and ring in the fall season. Our team has the privilege every year of visiting nonprofit organizations in a different region of the Pacific Northwest for our staff and Trustee retreat. We recently spent time in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area, visiting with organizations whose work touches the lives of individuals and families all across their communities. As we toured the area, we were struck by the many great nonprofits that are actively investing in our youth and making a difference for their futures.

Image 1: a camp facility with several buildings, pine trees, and picnic tables outside. Image 2: a sign that says "Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery" in front of trees. Image 3: inside a store with the logo for Habitat for Humanity overhead. Image 4: two women have a conversation inside a yellow room. Image 5: an ice rink with a single skater on it.
Some of the grantees we visited on our recent staff retreat to Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

The Union Gospel Mission of Spokane brings tangible hope to families affected by homelessness, providing the tools for parents to succeed, find stability, and provide for their children. The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery is a safe place for parents in crisis to bring their children, providing a place of refuge and family support to help parents as they work through the challenges they’re facing. Habitat for Humanity of Spokane gives families a means to build their own houses and have a stable and affordable place to call home. At Lutherhaven, youth have the opportunity to connect with their peers, deepen their faith, and grow in a beautiful outdoor setting. And the Frontier Ice Arena hosts hundreds of children, teens, and adults in hockey, ice skating, and other winter sports to give them an outlet for physical activity and to learn discipline, commitment, and teamwork. These are just a handful of nonprofits that are addressing the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of our youth and their families in creative and sustainable ways every day.

At our recent summer grants meeting, nearly $13.2 million was invested in 57 organizations, all of which either directly or indirectly touch the lives of children. Among the youth-serving organizations that received grants are:

  • Alaska Children’s Trust in Anchorage ($240,000), which serves vulnerable children and works to prevent child abuse and neglect
  • Camp Mak-A-Dream in Missoula ($123,000), giving children with cancer and their families free access to a beautiful and inclusive camp experience in Montana
  • Kindering Center in Washington ($300,000), providing education and therapies to children of diverse abilities to help them reach their full potential
  • Friends of the Children of the Klamath Basin in Oregon ($131,500), serving at-risk children by providing caring, consistent, long-term adult mentorship to help break the cycle of poverty
  • Salvation Army in Boise ($350,000), providing services to youth and their families to overcome poverty

These are just a few of the organizations we have the honor of partnering with to nurture and enrich the lives of our youth and their families and to help create a better future for them.

We are honored to be part of the bigger nonprofit ecosystem, and just one in the company of individuals and groups that invest in nonprofits in our region. In early October, private, corporate, family, and community foundations will come together for the Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference in Vancouver, Washington. We’re excited to welcome our partners in philanthropy to our neighborhood and to engage in meaningful conversation about the challenges facing our communities, region, and beyond and work together toward positive, constructive change. We are encouraged by the spirit of philanthropy in the Northwest and the great work being done by the nonprofits in this creative and diverse ecosystem.

Thanks for all you do!

Steven G.W. Moore
Executive Director
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

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