Founded in 1965 by a group of local citizens concerned about their neighbors, Rural Resources provides support for all needs with over 30 programs, each with the goal of assisting people and communities to develop the skills, resources and services necessary to improve their general welfare.
“We try to give people all the tools they need to achieve self-sustainability, basically to get them back to the point where they no longer need our services,” said Jesse Murphy-Hill, Resource Development Manager.
As a private nonprofit, the community action agency focuses on six core program areas ranging from victim services to housing, transportation and early learning. They serve over 14,000 people annually in Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Whitman and Stevens and Grant Counties, with select programs and services reaching into 12 more counties throughout Eastern and Central Washington. They are part of a nationwide network of more than 1,000 community action agencies with similar missions and service populations.
Inspired by the 5% Campaign, they founded the Rural Resources Endowment Fund at Innovia in 2021 to encourage estate and unconventional gifts, adding planned giving tools to their donation materials and website.
Key to their mission is serving whole communities, not just those living in poverty or experiencing hardship. Through regular assessments of needs, they provide targeted support to the communities, neighborhoods and individuals that need it most. “Pretty much everybody knows somebody who could use our services,” Murphy-Hill said. “We want people to feel safe and stable. We’re here to support the whole community.”
To effectively serve the wider community, Rural Resources boasts a governing Board of Directors with representation by elected officials, private business, community and low-income individuals throughout their service area.
“The needs continue; they don’t abate,” said founding board member Al Six. “People need a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and a living wage to pay for it. Rural Resources will always be here – neighbors helping neighbors.”