Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
The Yakima region enjoys a positive reputation for philanthropy. Over the years, generous residents have created lasting legacies through their tireless support for community projects. Whether it’s creating a theatre from an old fruit warehouse, buying up land for conservation, or supporting a new hospital wing, there are countless stories about the region’s “can-do” spirit. According to Yakima County Development Association President Dave McFadden, “I have lived in many communities and none of them even compare to Yakima in terms of philanthropy. The region is unique in terms of how much its people get involved and financially support local causes.” Yakima County’s recent philanthropic spirit speaks for itself. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, the region’s new medical school was built largely on local donations over a three-year period.
The Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) has gone from humble beginnings to one of the largest endowments in Washington State in five short years. Children’s Village, a health care facility assisting children with special needs, is currently adding 17,000 square feet thanks to several million dollars in local donations. And last year two ladies passed away and left $40 million dollars to local foundations for education scholarships and other special projects. Communities throughout the Yakima Valley enjoy chapters of internationally recognized service groups and numerous home grown non-profits - all working towards improving the area’s liveability. John Colgan, president of the Community Foundation says it this way, “When I tell folks about the quality of life in the Yakima Valley, the first thing I mention are our big hearted people –then I talk about our great weather, recreation, and peaceful life. Our region’s philanthropy is a unique quality and one worth boasting about.”