A matching grant of $12,500 from an anonymous donor kicked off a quick round of fundraising by the Hood River County Education Foundation. That effort has produced a total of more than $30,000 to help the Hood River County School District meet the added expenses of providing remote learning as schools have closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant is being used to purchase basic supplies for students who are now distance-learning, and to bring WiFi access into homes.

“There are close to 200 families needing internet equipment and services in Hood River County, and the district has already done a remarkable job in a very short period of time by getting 65 of those families up and running, at a cost of about $20,000,” said a foundation press release.

"Local internet service providers have also been amazing partners in this effort by providing the monthly internet service for free. However, the school district had to cover equipment and installation costs, and there is still more to do."

All donations will go directly into the homes of families who are already under a great deal of stress with job insecurity and health concerns, said the press release.

“The fundraising was greatly boosted by the generosity of the Tofurky Company and Hood River Valley High School Boosters Club, each of which made $1,000 gifts to the matching campaign,” said the press release.

There is hope that state and federal resources may become available to help offset some costs, but the Education Foundation will continue to accept gifts on behalf of the district.

 Donations can be made online at www.hrcef.org or via a check made out to “HRCEF” and mailed to HRCEF, 1011 Eugene St., Hood River OR 97031. Please add “COVID-19 Fund” to the memo field of the check.

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