Nonprofit Notebook

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Village Books begins 14th annual Giving Tree

The Village Books Giving Tree is a collaboration among book lovers, Village Books, and several community organizations to provide the long-lasting gift of reading to local children.

Blue Skies for Children, Catholic Community Services NW, Lummi Children’s Services, Lummi Head Start, NW Youth Services, Interfaith Coalition, Lydia Place, Women Care Shelter, and Early Childhood Opportunities NW have provided Village Books with the names of hundreds of children who would love to receive the gift of books but who otherwise would probably not receive them.

Each child gets his or her own angel ornament on one of the Village Books Giving Trees with his or her first name, age, and gender written on it. Generous Village Books customers then get to match appropriate books with angels, receiving a 20% discount on each book.

Village Books will also host two wrapping parties to prepare the books for the kids at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17. Wrapping paper will be donated by Paper Dreams and Scholastic, Inc. and refreshments will be donated by the Colophon Cafe.


Local foundation announces new grant application deadline

Whatcom Community Foundation (WCF) changed its competitive grant process to now require the submission of a letter of interest by Jan. 7. This new step in the application process will streamline the application process for local nonprofit organizations.

WCF is a nonprofit, publicly supported philanthropic institution managing a pool of charitable funds whose income is used to meet the changing needs of the greater Whatcom County community.  WCF serves as a funding partner to area nonprofits that engage in community-building projects in Whatcom County and conducts an annual competitive grant round.

WCF has $64,690 available for 2008 in the following fund categories:

  • $20,517 unrestricted
  • $10,681 for arts and culture
  • $7,674 for children with special health care needs
  • $11,490 for the environment
  • $2,558 for mental health
  • $1,000 for preschool or elementary education
  • $3,791 for charitable programs in the South Fork area
  • $3,884 for youth and families
  • $3,095 for youth development

Interested nonprofits will now need to submit a letter of interest by Jan. 7. Nonprofit organizations selected to complete a full grant application will be notified by Feb. 1. More details can be found on the WCF Web site at


Peace Builder award recipients honored

More than 150 community members attended the fifth Annual Peace Builder Awards Nov. 10, sponsored by Boundary Bay Brewery to honor 10 community members and programs for their contributions to peaceful conflict resolution throughout Whatcom County.

“The evening was a tremendous success, not only did it give voice to these amazing people and programs, but it also raised nearly $10,000 in support of the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center,”  said Moonwater, executive director of the WDRC.

Joined by Washington State Rep. Kelli Linville, the board of directors of the WDRC congratulated the following for their work in Whatcom County to build relationships, support youth, and encourage peaceful conflict resolution in work places, neighborhoods, and schools.

  • Environment: Steve Seymour, Nooksack Watershed Steward, for his commitment to collaboration as he addresses the sensitive and critical needs of the Nooksack River Watershed.
  • Community: Roosevelt Neighborhood Association for its commitment to peace building as it effectively addresses issues of crime, safety, and community.
  • Program: 2007 Paddle to Lummi Canoe Journey, James and Lutie Hillaire for their efforts as hosts; Maria Roberts for her efforts as head cook; and Freddie Lane for his efforts as project director.
  • Public Servant: Terry Bornemann for his commitment to peace building — both within families as well as within the greater community.
  • Youth: Lynden High School S.O.C.K. Club for its commitment to improving the lives of the homeless, warming the hearts of our soldiers, and touching the lives of incarcerated moms.
  • Education: Dr. Vernon Damani Johnson for his commitment to creating a more peaceful community through education, dialogue, and inspiration.
  • Volunteer: Beth Brownfield for her efforts with the Paddle to Lummi Community Connections Committee, providing resources, support and awareness about the 2007 Intertribal Canoe Journey.


Local recycling coalition helps save community $5,000

Approximately 200 people participated in GaPac Community Federal Credit Union Shred & Computer Recycling Week in conjunction with Sound Shredding & Recycling.

“The event saved the public $5,000 in shredding services costs. Residential off-site pickup is normally $25 per household for 2 boxes of papers shredded” said Rich Boyer of Sound S&R. 

The event recycled 5,095 pounds of confidential paper collected in locked barrels inside the credit union’s lobby — saving the equivalent of six 100-foot tall trees.

1-800-GOT-JUNK offered computer recycling at the event for the first time.  A GOT-JUNK truck located on site for 2 days collected 35 monitors and 45 towers. The computers will be dismantled and environmentally recycled by Ryzex to keep them from polluting landfills.


Explorations Academy partners up with Sammy’s Place

As a participating business in the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program, Sammy’s Place Exxon on State Street has again made a $500 grant to Explorations Academy.

“We are happy that we can continue supporting Explorations Academy’s excellent educational work,” said Sammy Mansour, owner of Sammy’s Place Exxon. “As a Yorkston Oil Company retailer, I’m always looking for ways to give back to the community that’s supporting my business.”

This grant is one of 4,000 made available by ExxonMobil to schools across the country in areas served by Exxon and Mobil service stations. The ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program gives retailers an opportunity to invest in their communities through grants to neighborhood schools.

Explorations Academy is Bellingham’s only fully accredited independent high school. Explorations focuses on preparing students to be leaders in the 21st century by using experiential learning techniques and academically challenging curriculum to serve motivated and capable youth.

The ExxonMobil donation will be used to support innovative field study outings, an important complement to classroom studies at Explorations Academy.


Cowden and Overhead help raise $8,000 for Opportunity Council

Cowden Gravel and Ready Mix, Overhead Door and golfers raised $8,000 for people in need during the Building Industry Association Whatcom County (BIAWC) annual charity golf tournament in August. BIAWC presented a check to the Opportunity Council at the BIAWC membership meeting Nov. 14. This is the fourth year BIAWC has teamed up with the Opportunity Council for this charity tournament.

“This tournament grows every year and creates a new circle of supporters who help make a difference for people in need locally,” said Sheri Emerson from the Opportunity Council. “It provides a bonus for our human service programs.”

The BIAWC is a private, nonprofit trade organization of builders and other businesses related to the home building and the construction industry.

The Opportunity Council is a private, nonprofit, community action agency in Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties providing programs that help people help themselves, including emergency and transitional housing, energy assistance, early childhood education and child care resources.


Third annual Dorothy Place luncheon raises record amount

Businesses and individuals raised more than $27,000 at a fundraising luncheon Nov. 1 to support the Opportunity Council’s Dorothy Place housing program for survivors of domestic violence. In addition to housing, Dorothy Place offers help with parenting skills, life skills, child advocacy, and employment-related education and training.

“We’re very grateful to everyone who came out to the luncheon and to all who contributed to support Dorothy Place,” said Dave Finet, executive director for the Opportunity Council. “This Opportunity Council program provides an important function in our community, helping women and their children escape abusive situations and get back on their feet. We couldn’t do it without your help.”

US Bank and Hotel Bellwether sponsored the luncheon attended by more than 240 people. Other table sponsors included North Coast Credit Union, ConocoPhilips, John and Brenda Riseland, Fairhaven Lions Club, SPIE, Exxel Pacific, Barkley Company and Bellingham Cold Storage.


Fundraising begins for fallen Fairhaven flagpole

An enormous flag dedicated to fallen veterans flew from a 110-foot tall wooden flagpole, greeting visitors for 25 years to Fairhaven. But a windstorm in November 2005 toppled the pole, breaking it irreparably at the base. The Old Fairhaven Association started a fundraising campaign to bring back the glory of the veterans flagpole to Fairhaven. Ebenal General has donated $10,000 toward the project, but another $16,000 is still needed.


Local grocers are raising money to help fight hunger

For the ninth year in a row, Cost Cutter, Food Pavilion and Everson Red Apple stores in Whatcom County will partner with Food For All to fight hunger during the holiday season. Customers and employees will have the opportunity to help feed the hungry in our communities by donating $1, $3 or $5 at a checkstand through Jan. 5.

Over the past eight years, generous Whatcom County residents have donated more than $132,000 to local anti-hunger programs. This year all eight stores in Whatcom County are determined to raise a record amount for local charities, which include the Nooksack Valley Food Bank, Bellingham Food Bank, Blue Skies for Children, Lighthouse Mission, Ferndale Food Bank, Southside Food Bank and the Blaine Food Bank.

Food For All is a nonprofit organization that raises money to combat hunger in this country and worldwide. This holiday season, more than 8,000 supermarkets will join in fundraising for the more than 36 million hungry people in America.

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