Community Health Initiatives Fill Outstanding C-19 Needs in Snohomish County

Live Well Local Gives brings PPE to Snohomish County

Covid-19 mask makers

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a series of tragedies, and a big one has been this: the virus has disproportionately impacted already vulnerable communities, making them even more vulnerable. Older populations have been particularly affected, as coronavirus seems to prey upon seniors. Individuals experiencing homelessness also have been heavily impacted because they have trouble quarantining or sheltering in place.

In the early months of the pandemic, The Providence Institute for Healthier Communities (PIHC) saw the increasing need for more PPE in the Snohomish County communities that they serve. Local nonprofits that served vulnerable populations began to scramble for items like hand sanitizer, masks, and even toilet paper, as these items were snapped up in bulk by skittish consumers.

In response, the team at PIHC started a few initiatives to help meet the emergent C-19 crisis:

Live Well Local Gives is an online Covid-19 hub, where organizations can post their needs — PPE, hand sanitizer — and altruistic donors can fill these requests. It’s a hub that matches organizational needs with resources and donors.

Snohomish County Mask Brigade

Above: Mask Brigade volunteers catch up at a virtual happy hour.


Later in 2020, in an effort to meet still-increasing demands, PIHC also launched the Snohomish County Mask Brigade— a website where volunteer mask-makers and generous donors can donate face coverings. Volunteers pick up the masks from donors at their homes. It’s a contactless process, ensuring the safety of both mask donors and volunteers.

To date, the Snohomish County Mask Brigade has distributed nearly 35,000 face masks. Several of these were made from volunteer mask makers, which includes over 203 volunteer mask makers throughout Snohomish and parts of King County. The Mask Brigade has distributed PPE to 79 organizations in need.

Helping nonprofits, utilizing college student field work

Above: PIHC and UW-Field Work Students, Dacia Wagnon and Eldina Djuderija, both UW Bothell Seniors graduating in the winter/spring, participated in the Snohomish County Mask Brigade: Friday Mask Outreach, located at the Interfaith Family Shelter (inside Trinity Episcopal Church).


The PIHC Mask Brigade is a volunteer-driven effort to make and distribute masks. PIHC also works with volunteers to procure much-needed transparent masks and loop-style masks for seniors.

PIHC is helping to meet PPE needs in our community through mask donations distributed through food banks and other nonprofits. Nonprofits need help in 2020. Even during a good year, many nonprofits struggle with budgets and the monetary factors of meeting client needs.

PIHC can move masks more efficiently than ever thanks to the recent help of UW Bothell students. During the past few months, students in the Health Studies program have been assisting with gathering and distributing masks. By doing so, these students get “field work” internship credit toward their transcripts while earning real-world experience. Many hands make light work!

The need for proper and even specialized PPE has never been greater. Thanks to the PIHC’s Mask Brigade and the students of UW Bothell, our community can breathe a little bit easier behind their face coverings.

If you would like to participate in these programs, please visit Live Well Local Gives or the Snohomish County Mask Brigade websites to make a donation. Your community will thank you for your generosity!



May Featured Resources

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and stroke Awareness Month here are some local Mental Health and Stroke Support Resources you can find on and on our Facebook page.

ImHurting Crisis Chat

ImHurting Crisis Chat is a service offered through Volunteers of America Western Washington in the North Puget Sound region. Their mission is to help people by providing online emotional support during times of crisis. Everyone is welcome to talk about what’s causing them to feel pain. Crisis Counselors will listen to you without judgment, and help you feel cared about and safe. You can expect the Crisis Counselor to help you explore your feelings, come up with some coping strategies, and focus on your personal safety. This is a safe place to talk about what’s troubling you – including suicide. 

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It is a public education and prevention tool that connects people with care for and improves knowledge of mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid USA is taught by certified instructors. Classes are taught at the Compass Health Federal Avenue Campus in Everett open to the community, by contract and by contract at your site. Class size is 12 to 30 participants. 

The Stroke Support Group

The Stroke Support Group is specifically designed to offer you and your caregivers, family and friends the opportunity to talk with other stroke survivors and learn how to make the most life after stroke. We know you have many questions. This group is led by fellow stroke survivors who offer insights into what they have learned and helpful tips they have gained, all in an open and friendly environment. The Stroke Support Group meets on the 2nd Friday of every month at the Medical Office Building adjacent to the Hospital in the St. Helens Room. For questions, please contact Lisa Shumaker at 425-404-6842.

Our 2021 Impact

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