Resources During the Holidays
Everyone deserves a holiday season that is warm and full of joy. With the rate of unemployment at an all time high and homelessness on the rise, it is important to keep informed of resources available during this holiday season. We are so proud of our community for having so many options for families in need. Those who need assistance with food, clothing, shelter, and holiday gifts can turn to a number of local resources.
Here are a few local resources that Whatcom and Skagit County have to offer:
- Bellingham Food Bank, Helping Hands Food Bank, Skagit Valley Neighbors in Need – These programs are available for anyone in need of food all year round. They do a great job of posting their availability for families to arrive safely and get groceries.
- LightHouse Mission Base Camp and the Skagit Valley Friendship House – For those in need of shelter, these nonprofits have provided meals and a place to stay to hundreds of families a week.
- Lydia Place – Holidays can be an extra stressor during a normal year, but when you factor in the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be a recipe for a vulnerable and unsafe environment. Lydia Place has an Emergency Stays program to get women and young children into a safe shelter overnight.
- Bellingham Toys for Tots – This program provides toys to be given as holiday gifts for children 0-18 years old for families with an established need.
If you find yourself in a position to help others, please consider the gift of giving during this holiday season. A gesture, big or small, could provide joy and cheer in someone who really needs it. Don’t know where to start? Check out these donation programs:
- Salvation Army Angel Tree Program – Shop a registry to purchase gifts for children in need this holiday season. Purchase and direct ship to your local Salvation Army location, or source the items yourself and leave at your local drop off.
- Bellingham Toys for Tots – Donate toys to any of the specified drop sites or contribute funds to the program directly.New and unwrapped toys will be distributed to families in need, or if your giving mood never stops, you can link your Fred Meyer Rewards to donate to Toys for Tots as you spend all year long.
- Sponsor a Stocking (Francis Place) – Donate a $25 Fred Meyer gift card, a stocking, or $10 of holiday treats to a person in the CCS (Catholic Community Services) Francis Place Housing Program. This program provides permanent supportive housing to adults who have experienced chronic homelessness. In addition to the holiday cheer a stuffed stocking can provide, the opportunity to buy essentials at Fred Meyer can be genuinely helpful to someone in need of support.
Whether you are in need yourself, know somebody who could use a little help, or are somebody able to offer something extra, there is no shortage of resources in our generous community. With the year 2020 finally coming to a close, we wish everyone a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season.