It is random acts of kindness making the world a better place and brightening people’s lives in the most beautiful ways every day. It’s even more remarkable when a group of people comes together for the cause to help others and their communities. These clusters of good have led to the creation of charities and non-profits destined to change hundreds if not thousands of lives. In fact, some of the oldest charities around can be found in Britain, with some of them dating back 900 years. Of course, none of the charities in the Tri-Cities are that old, but there are still plenty of them in our area, lending a helping hand to the world and the community around them.
Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue
P.O. Box 4355, West Richland
Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue in West Richland is named after a big, friendly black Labrador named Mikey who one day found himself abandoned by his owners and left in an overcrowded shelter for months. It was too late by the time a rescue worker had found him a foster home. Mikey was euthanized the very day he was scheduled to be picked up because he growled at a shelter worker due to the stress of his situation. As a result, they deemed him potentially dangerous. While Mikey’s chance at a new life came too late, Mikey’s Chance was set up to save other dogs like him, focusing on saving dogs at risk in our region and placing them with adopters throughout the Pacific Northwest.
321 W Lewis St., Pasco
Working since 1992 to strengthen the community — succeeding tremendously in the endeavor, and growing substantially — is Serve Tri-Cities. What started as just six Corps Members has grown to serve more than a dozen schools and even more community organizations with an average of 30 Corps Members per year. They have focused on education over their long years of service, primarily addressing literacy, academic success, youth development, and public safety. They envision a community where every child can grow up with the basic skills they need to succeed.
Edith Bishel Center for the Blind
628 N Arthur St., Kennewick
The year was 1988, and the founders of The Edith Bishel Center realized that there were no adequate services in the region offered to people aged 55 and over who were blind or visually impaired. To address the issue, the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind was born. They have been serving the Tri-Cities ever since, working hard to enrich the independence and quality of life for blind and visually impaired individuals.
Tri-Cities Food Bank
420 W Deschutes Ave., Kennewick
Local non-profit Tri-Cities Food Bank has been feeding those in need in Benton County since 1975. More than 100 volunteers have contributed to the non-profit just by donating nothing but their own time to collect and distribute food to low-income households. Annually they help over 40,000 families, with an average of 20 tons of food distributed weekly. Over 40% of the people they serve are children of the Tri-Cities area.
Families in need may receive food as often as once every two weeks from the organization, with a week’s supply of groceries provided at each visit. The only requirement to receive is a statement of need, a valid photo identification, and a current piece of mail to establish residency in the area. No proof of income is ever required.
285 Williams Blvd., Richland
Since 2016, local non-profit Confluent has served as a maker space in the Tri-Cities community. They host events, offer classes, make tools available for use, and provide spaces for artisans to work. Their events and classes cover various topics, from art to technology and everything in between. Spaces, tools and supplies are available for members to use on-site. There’s garage space, a 3D printer area, an electronics lab, a woodworking shop, a machine shop, a metalworking shop, and a backyard for welding and larger projects. The mission is to facilitate the education and growth of inventors, artists, technologists, and hobbyists by providing the space, tools, and education necessary to enable the creation of art, technology, business, culture, and community.
Second Chance Center
720 W. Court St., Pasco
Second Chance Center serves families with children who are homeless, doubled up, or in imminent danger of becoming houseless in the Tri-Cities community. The mission is to offer families in crisis a second chance to build a strong foundation in the hopes of a brighter future. Their services include laundry facilities, showers, food and kitchen facilities, computer labs for job searches and resume writing, a family rest area, a children’s play area and a nap room. They also offer housing stability plans, life skills learning, and financial literacy education.
Of course, these wonderful agencies are not the only charities in the area offering aid to community members. Some even go above and beyond to accommodate the needs of those in the Tri-Cities. One such organization is the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee. If those in need visit their website, they will find plenty of helpful links to pathways out of their hardships. A resource directory on their site supports people looking for help on specific items, linking them to other local charities and non-profits that can provide assistance.