A $5,000 grant from Innovia will help Project Timothy provide emergency housing, meals, rental assistance, financial assistance for utilities and public transportation passes to those who find themselves facing economic hardships in Columbia County and Waitsburg, Washington.
Prior to the founding of the organization, there was a lack of coordination in meeting the financial needs of the community, according to Jeannie Lyonnais, Project Timothy Board President.
“Now the entire community, from churches to local citizens, has supported our efforts because they see the good that we do,” Jeannie added. “We are the only organization in our area that provides these services.”
Project Timothy is run by volunteers serving those who find themselves in financially difficult circumstances. “Columbia County has a high population of low-income families,” Jeannie explained, adding that the pandemic only made difficult situations more complicated.
The organization does not limit their services and instead embraces the fact that financial hardship can look different for everyone. “We serve people who are having unusual medical problems that have caused them to be in a difficult financial position or personal problems, such as divorces or deaths in the family, that have caused a real imbalance in what their normal income was and what it is now,” she said.
The organization’s impactful work is evident, acting as a reminder to Jeannie of why she believes in the vision driving Project Timothy.
“I have had so many people leave my office with tears of gratitude because they came in overwhelmed with a big utility bill or because of another unfortunate circumstance,” she shared. “To see their faces has made me so grateful that I am a part of an organization that can bring that kind of relief to people.”
In addition to their regular operations, Project Timothy coordinates an annual event each December to help restore hope and holiday spirit. Community volunteers, Board members and members of the Kiwanis Club of Dayton all come together to provide a Christmas dinner for more than 100 families.
“Grants are truly our lifeblood outside of donations from our community members and businesses,” shared Jeannie. “That’s how we can continue helping the individuals who need it the most.”