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Building Resilience in Washington State

This time last fall, we said that 2021 would be the year to rebuild our communities. While this work has certainly begun, 2021 was not quite the end of the pandemic and the full return to normalcy for which we had hoped. Many towns and cities remain suspended in crisis response mode. Many small businesses continue to struggle. And many communities still strive for connection and togetherness amidst a new normal. The past two years have been a test for us all—a test of compassion and of endurance.

What have we learned along the way? That the true measure of the health of our towns and cities, of the commercial districts and small businesses which make up our state’s economic fabric, is not in gross income or big-name brands. It’s the strength of the communities around them. Neighbors helping neighbors, peers supporting peers, in the fight to save the places that matter—be it a local restaurant, museum, or landmark.

Here at the Washington Trust, our work has never felt so vital. This year we successfully advocated in the state legislature for funding for historic barns, courthouses, cemeteries, and theaters, all cornerstones of local economies and communities. We created a new program to support the transformation and activation of outdoor public spaces in Main Streets from Colville to Centralia. We campaigned for the preservation of important historic sites like the Dr. Nettie Asberry House in Tacoma, which honors one of our state’s civil rights pioneers. And we built a coalition of partners to help launch the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area, to better honor and share the stories of our maritime landscape.

More than rebuilding our communities, we’re working to build resilience in our communities—by providing technical resources and funding, by educating elected officials and the public about preservation as an economic tool, by telling the stories of our state’s many histories and cultures, by fostering connections between people through a shared love of place.

Join us. Make a year-end donation today. Not only is your contribution completely tax-deductible, it makes a tremendous difference in supporting our mission to save the places that matter in Washington State, through the coming year and for generations to come.

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