Youth Mental Health

This next story is about youth mental health and tells of the magic that happens when generosity of
spirit, inventive ideas, connection and collaboration unexpectedly evolve into something greater than
anyone expected when it all started.

Let’s start with the happy ending first: Chimacum Elementary School now has staff, space and
partnership of Jumping Mouse Children’s Center to help young people find the mental health support
they need.

This ending evolved over a 3-year period, with various people building on each other’s
contributions. Follow along if you will, because this path is an interesting, and sometimes surprising,
confluence of donors, nonprofit organizations, thought leaders, and lots of people who care.

The story begins when a local changemaker inherited a painting from their parents that turned out to
be valuable. The painting was sold at auction at Sotheby’s and this person wanted to do something
with the funds received that would benefit the community, honor his parents and lift up local leaders,
something dear to his heart. He came to JCF to see if we could help shape a giving strategy to meet
those goals.

As a result, JCF formed the Youth Mental Health Giving Circle. Funded by the proceeds of the painting,
JCF gathered eight leaders of local youth mental health programs to make a recommendation for how
the funding should be used. A decision was made to recommend support for ongoing training for
Chimacum teachers with Jumping Mouse Children’s Center to help them better identify and handle the
impacts of childhood trauma in their students.

Then in the summer of 2022, the members of another giving circle at JCF — the Better Living through
Giving Circle — were interested in supporting local public education and organized a session with all
five of Jefferson County’s school superintendents to get some direction about where their gifts could
have the most impact.

JCF staff listened in and created a list of funding opportunities that was shared with our larger
network of donors. The list included the need for a permanent physical space for the Chimacum
Elementary Schools youth mental health program, one where Jumping Mouse staff, teachers and
young people could meet consistently and have access to the tools or resources needed for the model
of play therapy that Jumping Mouse does so well.

Two weeks later, a new donor who had seen the list contributed $8,000 to make the therapy room a
reality. Thank you to the schools, Jumping Mouse staff, giving circle members, mental health
professionals, donors, teachers, and students for coming together to make this a reality!

The End… or is it?