Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Andrea Capere sat down with Amy Rowley, founder and executive director of The Mayday Foundation and Kate Scriven, the Foundation’s secretary, to discuss this new nonprofit’s important work.
The Mayday Foundation, established in December 2017, provides immediate financial support for Thurston and Gray Harbor County families upon receiving a parent’s cancer diagnosis. The goal of the Foundation is to “maintain a sense of normalcy for the children and keep families intact” by providing financial support to pay for necessities such as the mortgage, utility bills, groceries, car repairs, etc.
Rowley started the foundation after her own experience fighting breast cancer. Even though she says she was fortunate enough to have flexible employment, family nearby to help with the kids, and ample money saved, her family still found it a challenging time. What about those who don’t have the financial means or support system ready to be activated? “Through my cancer treatments I had the chance to talk to a lot of health workers just to find out what would families be doing that maybe didn’t have the same resources that we fortunately had,” Rowley shares, “and there just weren’t a lot of options out there.”
So, Rowley decided to use her business background to start The Mayday Foundation for local families who are struggling to pay their household expenses on top of medical bills. “We believe no family should be thrown into bankruptcy or forced into homelessness as a result of a parent’s cancer diagnosis,” she adds. “So we are filling that short-term need until a parent can get back to work.
The Mayday Foundation has a team of eight board members, including Rowley and Scriven, who all have business backgrounds and work towards finding the best ways to help the families that are in need.
In 2018, their first full year in operation, The Mayday Foundation helped 14 families. “About 55 percent of our distributions went towards rent and mortgage payments,” shares Rowley. The remainder was spent on utilities, gas and groceries. “100 percent of our families stayed in their homes, the kids stayed in their same schools, they were able to not be upended by moving and nobody filed for bankruptcy, so those were some really exciting goals we accomplished last year.”
One of the most important things The MayDay Foundation does is to really talk to the families and make sure they are getting their needs met, even the ones they are not sure how to ask for. “There’s been a lot of creative brainstorming and being able to say ‘have you thought of this’ we can pay for these things,” explains Scriven. “So The Mayday Foundation is not only coming in with Financial support for also some advice and suggestions on things that might just make a big difference in easing that burden.”
Since the Foundation has very little overhead, every dollar donate goes directly to help local families. To learn more about the services they provide, ways you can help and more, visit The Mayday Foundation website.
You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.