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The gift of time: Supporting local organizations this season, and throughout the year

Dec 3rd, 2017 | Category: Community, Features

by Grow Northwest

We can’t do everything, but we can all do a little something. As we look to the holiday season and 2018, consider gifting some time to a local organization. There are hundreds of groups working throughout our northwest corner to help, strengthen and serve the community. Here are a few to consider this season.

The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County: The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County mobilizes and engages volunteers to meet community needs, and inspires support for community service. They connect volunteers with opportunities through hundreds of non-profit partners in Whatcom County, making them the go-to agency to find the perfect fit. Visit www.whatcomvolunteer.org.

Skookum Kids: This non-profit helps provide critical care for foster children, including housing during the first 72 hours in foster care, and works to raise awareness and build community to care for children and foster families. This agency highlights the massive needs for foster parents and families and provides positive opportunities and training. Visit www.skookumkids.org.

Meals on Wheels and More Whatcom/San Juan, with the help of Dewey Griffin Subaru, recently assembled and provided emergency meals to recipients. COURTESY PHOTO

Meals on Wheels and More Whatcom/San Juan, with the help of Dewey Griffin Subaru, recently assembled and provided emergency meals to recipients. COURTESY PHOTO

Days for Girls: Based in Whatcom County, with chapters around the world, Days for Girls is an international non-profit dedicated to creating a more free, dignified, and educated world through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education. Since 2008, Days for Girls has reached over 800,000 women and girls in over 110+ countries, helping great numbers to stay in school, learn critical self-care, and provide empowerment through education and health. Visit www.daysforgirls.org.

Community Action of Skagit County: This nonprofit agency helps thousands of residents with food, shelter, and health care access in Skagit County. The group has six major areas of focus: Crisis Intervention; Housing and Shelter; Food, Access and Nutrition; Health Care Access; Education, Literacy, and Job Skills; and Volunteerism. Visit www.communityactionskagit.org.

Meals on Wheels: Each county has their own chapter or agency focused on helping to collect, cook, and deliver meals for homebound senior residents. Seniors eligible for this service are least 60 years old, homebound, have difficulty shopping or safely preparing nutritious meals, or are the spouse/partner or disabled dependent of an eligible senior. County contact information is as follows: Whatcom and San Juan: wccoa.org/index.php/Nutrition; Skagit: see www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HumanServices/mow.htm; Snohomish: snohomishcountywa.gov; and Island: senior-resources.org/meals-on-wheels/.

Additionally, the Whatcom Volunteer Center has a direct program for anyone wanting to adopt a senior for the Holidays. See whatcomvolunteer.org, and search Adopt a Senior under opportunities.

Blue Skies for Children: This non-profit agency works to raise hope and self-esteem by sponsoring enrichment programs and other essentials for homeless, low-income and foster children in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. Visit www.blueskiesforchildren.org.

Max Higbee Center: This group provides community-based recreation programs for youth and adults (14 and older) with developmental disabilities, to provide opportunities for: personal enjoyment and enrichment; social, physical, emotional, and cognitive growth and development; and to assist participants to achieve greater independence and increased involvement. See www.maxhigbee.org.

Whatcom Family Farmers: Family farmers of Whatcom County have come together to help raise awareness about the very real concerns facing farmers, including water, quality concerns, and education. Visit whatcomfamilyfarmers.org.

Brigadoon Service Dogs: This group provides trained service dogs for veterans, children, adults with physical, developmental, and behavioral health disabilities to promote a more independent and enriched life. Visit www.brigadoondogs.org.

Animals as Natural Therapy: ANT offers healing programs for at-risk youth and veterans based on the knowledge that animals can teach humans important life skills: respect for self and others, trust-building, and clear communication. See www.animalsasnaturaltherapy.org.

These are only a few recommendations; there are hundreds more organizations out there in need of you, as well as your local food bank, school, library, church program, etc. Thanks for giving your time this holiday season, and throughout the year! If you want to share your favorite service organizations, please comment through the online article at www.grownorthwest.com.


Published in Grow Northwest, December 2017

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