Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: Olympia Firefighters Foundation


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 Robert Kam sat down with Derek Johnson, president of Olympia Firefighters Foundation to talk about their mission.

The Olympia Firefighters Foundation was founded as a nonprofit in 2021, bringing together the joint charitable efforts of the Olympia Firefighters (Local 468) and Tumwater Firefighters (Local 2409).

“We enrich our community through charitable donations and acts of kindness,” shares Johnson. “That’s very broad, but we kind of break it down into three things, and that is one, providing opportunities to youth within our community, more specific to safe and secure educational environment for them; then we provide relief to victims of fires and other catastrophic emergencies; and also, we provide assistance to those in crisis or any other unforeseen circumstances.”

For youth, the Olympia Firefighters Foundation works with the Olympia School District and the Tumwater School District partnered with TOGETHER!, to provide students with shelf-stable food, hygiene products, backpacks, coats, clothes, school supplies and more through their four pantries within the two districts.

This year they sent kids home with backpacks for food for spring break, another time when kids often go hungry if their main meals are coming from school.

Each year they have also done a winter coats drive. “This past year we actually gave out 850 coats to kids in four schools, two in the Olympia School District and two in the Tumwater School District,” shares Johnson.

The Olympia Firefighters Foundation partners with the Red Cross to help victims of fires recoup, specifically large needs. “We are able to go those individuals or those businesses and provide them with a little bit of money or some rental assistance,” shares Johnson. For one family, they were able to partner with the school district to find them housing after a fire took their home and business. They also help with providing things like clothes and other necessities.

They are gearing up for their Annual Charity Auction on Saturday, July 22 at Nicole’s Bar. This is the nonprofit’s main fundraiser for the year. The event is raising money to support children in families in the communities of Olympia and Tumwater School Districts. You can purchase tickets on the Olympia Firefighters Foundation website.

For more information, watch the full video above and visit the Olympia Firefighters Foundation website. You can also visit the website and make a donation at any time. Volunteers are always welcome to help out, especially during the coats drive in the fall.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 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 Thurston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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