Nonprofit Notebook, February 2009

Items for Nonprofit Notebook need to be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication.


Feb. 20 deadline for restaurants to sign up for
Dine Out event

Local restaurant owners who want to participate in the ninth annual “Dine Out for Maple Alley Inn” on May 5 will need to sign up with the Opportunity Council by Feb. 20.

During this one-day event, participating local restaurants donate 20 percent of their sales to Maple Alley Inn, an Opportunity Council program that provides hot, nutritious meals for people who are homeless or hungry.

Participating restaurants receive extensive publicity for “Dine Out.”

For more information or to participate in the program, call Emerson at (360) 734-5121, ext. 301. The Opportunity Council must receive restaurant commitments by Feb. 20 to be included in the 2008 “Dine Out” promotional materials.


WTA to purchase Green power for all buildings
and facilities

As of January 2009, Whatcom Transportation Authority is participating in Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) Green Power program. Green Power is electricity generated from renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydrogen. Participants in PSE’s program pay a premium above their standard utility charges in order to increase the amount of Green Power PSE is able to purchase.

WTA’s board of directors approved participation at its November 2008 meeting. At the time, it was estimated the switch would cost the agency an additional $22,000 annually. In fact, WTA qualifies for a large volume rate, available only to customers who purchase more than 1 million kilowatt hours per year. Therefore the additional cost is instead expected to be $8,500 annually.

Bellingham is currently ranked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the number one “Green Power Community” for having the largest number of voluntary Green Power purchasers in the nation.


Saturna Capital employees donate bonuses
to charitable program

Employees at Saturna Capital Corp., investment adviser to the Amana and Sextant Funds, donated their 2008 year-end bonuses to a program, created by the company to aid its local community. Through the program, the company recently distributed more than $77,000 to various nonprofit organizations in Bellingham.

Saturna Capital created the program and employees were given the option of either receiving a year-end bonus or directing a larger donation to a non-profit organization.

The largest recipient of the employees’ donations was the Bellingham chapter of the Salvation Army, which received $10,500. Other Bellingham area recipients of the program funds included the Womencare Shelter, Whatcom Hospice, Opportunity Council, Bellingham Food Bank and Agape House.


Business Bank participates in fun run

Business Bank employees participated in the first annual Skagit County Jingle Bell Run/Walk held on Dec. 6. The employees were the Team Challenge sponsor.

More than $18,000 was raised for the Arthritis Foundation and more than 350 people participated in the two-mile walk or four-mile run.

Business Bank is a community-owned bank with a focus on small-to medium- sized businesses and the private banking needs of individuals, entrepreneurs and professionals.


RE/MAX Whatcom County donates teddy bears

Agents and staff members of RE/MAX Whatcom County recently donated 114 new teddy bears to help children who are patients or have family members being treated at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham.

The teddy bears, collected during RE/MAX’s holiday party, were distributed to the hospital’s emergency department, pediatric unit, childbirth center and procedural care unit. This is the second year RE/MAX has taken up the collection and exceeded last year’s collection by more than 20 bears.


The Woods Coffee joins Project Education to support students in Kenya

The Woods Coffee is partnering with Tembo Trading Company to support Project Education Inc., which helps educate children in Kenya. Project Education is a nonprofit organization started by three Whatcom County women.

Project Education Inc. works to provide employment to families in the communities where they work as well as provide education and medical care for children in the community. Every cup of coffee brings new hope to families in Kenya, with half the profits going directly to the education of impoverished children in Kenya and will enable Project Education to further develop their programs. For more information regarding PEI, please visit

Watoto coffee is 100 percent Kenyan coffee from just outside Nairobi, Kenya, and sold exclusively through The Woods Coffee, with more than 50 percent of the profits going directly to Project Education and their mission.


St. Joseph Cancer Care commended by American College of Surgeons

St. Joseph Hospital was recently awarded the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACSCC) “Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program” designation, renewing its prior prestigious designation. St. Joseph Hospital also earned eight of nine commendation scores possible in the cancer commission’s survey.

Approval by the commission is given only to organizations that voluntarily commit to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancers. To meet the standards for this approval, each cancer program and the organization that controls it must undergo a rigorous review of its performance every three years. Only one in four hospitals that treat cancer patients earn ACSCC approval.


Blue Skies for Children offers Sponsor-A-Child Program

Blue Skies for Children, a local organization that grants Little Wishes for children who are 6 to 15 years old and are homeless, low-income or in foster care, rolled out a new program in 2008 offering the community an opportunity to sponsor a child locally either one time or on a monthly basis.

Sponsorship is $50 per month and each sponsor receives a photo and personal story about the child they sponsor. For more information or to Sponsor-A-Child, call (360) 756-6710.


Wells Fargo donates in celebration of grand opening

Wells Fargo held a community celebration Jan. 25 for the grand opening of its newest banking store at 1855 Main St. in Ferndale. To mark the opening, Wells Fargo donated $1,500 to the Ferndale Food Bank and the Ferndale Boys & Girls Club. Attendees had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Wells Fargo financial services specialists representing the company’s complete range of services, including individual and business banking, investments, mortgage and insurance.

The Ferndale store event included photo opportunities on the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, refreshments, face painting, a balloon artist, and prize giveaways. Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen, Ferndale Chamber of Commerce President Guy Occhiogrosso, “Blitz” from the Seattle Seahawks, representatives from Ferndale Boys & Girls Club, Ferndale Food Bank and KAFE 104.3, “Jack the Dog” and Wells Fargo team members were all present at the celebration.


St. Francis donates to food bank

St. Francis of Bellingham has made a donation of $500 to the Bellingham Food Bank in the name of clinics and doctors who refer patients to the facility. St. Francis has traditionally given holiday gift baskets to those who refer clients, but decided that supporting the Food Bank would be a more appropriate gesture given the recessionary times.

While food banks rely to a certain extent on donations of food from various sources, cash donations are vital in order to fill the gaps. Many food banks in the Northwest are reeling from increased demand and decreased donations. The Bellingham Food Bank has recorded a 25 percent increase in demand over the past few months, but is meeting that demand so far.

In addition to supporting the food bank, St. Francis is also underwriting programming on KMRE, the low-power FM station that is part of the American Museum of Radio and Electricity. Recently, St. Francis became a sponsor of, a program of the Whatcom Coalition for Healthy Communities.


Volunteer center hosts Feb. 11 workshop on risk management

Whatcom Volunteer Center will hold the workshop “Managing Risk in Your Volunteer Program” to help nonprofit organizations manage the risk associated with working with volunteers on Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Whatcom Volunteer Center at 725 N. State St.

Special presenter Zach Clem from Unity Group will help nonprofit board and staff minimize risk while maximizing a nonprofit’s ability to meet its mission. A general discussion of risk management for nonprofits, volunteer programs and insurance needed by nonprofits, will help nonprofits assess their organization’s exposure and help minimize risks. Advance registration is required and there is a $5 charge for materials. To register, call the Whatcom Volunteer Center at 734-3055.

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