Extreme Home Makeover: the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation edition

A T-Mobile grant of $50K will allow the local nonprofit to finally get its own digs.

Despite having served the Plateau for 40 years, the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation has never had a building of its own.

That’s about to change, thanks to a $50,000 grant from T-Mobile.

The local nonprofit announced the big news last Thursday at its normal Full Bellies free dinner program at the Calvary Presbyterian Church.

The grant will allow RFWF to purchase and renovate a building near downtown; Executive Director Sara Stratton said a building has been identified, but hasn’t been officially confirmed by print deadline, Sept. 26.

“This building will drastically improve our efficiency and allow us to more holistically serve the community,” Stratton said. “We envision a community hub where neighbors of all ages and demographic groups connect and build relationships.”

The new headquarters will be used for office space and will be the new site for the Full Bellies meals will be served. It will also be where the senior meal delivery and student weekend food backpack programs will operate (currently, volunteers borrow space at the local senior center to cook the food and prep the backpacks).

Stratton hopes that with a larger kitchen, the senior meal delivery program will be able to expand, and RFWF “will also seek funding to expand our mental health program with designated counseling space in the new building,” she said.

Because the lease for the building is not yet finalized, and necessary renovations not complete, Stratton aims to finally occupy the building a year after signing the lease.

RFWF is just one of several recipients of T-Mobile’s Hometown Grant program, which started April 2021; the company touts that more than $5.5 million has gone to various nonprofits and community projects across 37 states, exclusively to communities of 50,000 people or less. The city of Toppenish was another recipient.