Pivot Series: Nonprofits

Leo Cohen is joined by leaders from local nonprofits, including Lydia Place's Emily O'Connor, to talk about community, giving, and leading through the tough times.

COVID-19 Impacts: Highlights from Lydia Place

We ask Emily O'Connor, the Executive Director of Lydia Place, to share her thoughts in a Q&A style format on how Lydia Place is navigating these turbulent times.

Art for Housing: #endthestigma

Lydia Place's virtual art auction and fundraiser raised funds while raising awareness about mental health. Listen to members of our Mental Health Program read real client testimony about how vital the Mental Heath Program is to their journey through homelessness.

Event: Handbags for Housing
Thursday, September 17th
Barkley Village Green

Mark your calendar for Bellingham’s largest handbag exchange and fashion show extravaganza- Handbags for Housing! This year we're bringing back all your favorites, but with a cherry on top! We'll be serving up sweet handbag deals and sweet treats while you shop from over 500+ handbags from our epic handbag bazaar and live + silent auctions. Additional activities include a beauty bar, cocktail and wine vendors, along with local boutiques and retailers all coming together under one roof, to showcase the sheer power of local fashion and philanthropy.

All event proceeds benefit Lydia Place so, grab your besties and treat yourself to a new bag, specialty cocktails, appetizers, and a mini beauty treatment because you've earned it!
Community Cares celebrates individuals and businesses who coordinated a drive and/or donated 100% of proceeds in order to fulfill an immediate Lydia Place need.
Community Cares: Art for Housing Virtual Auction and Fundraiser

On May 8th, Lydia Place supporters near and far came together, at a distance, to show the individuals and families in our community experiencing homelessness that their  #mentalhealthmatters .

We recognize all of us are impacted by this pandemic and each contribution made to the success of this event was a sacrifice. For that we are forever grateful to everyone, including our Art for Housing Sponsors  Rice Insurance, LLC Western Solar Inc. Chuckanut Bay Distillery , and  Veritas Media & Studio V , all the fabulous in-kind art donations from artists and collectors, and everyone who attended our first ever virtual fundraiser.

Also, SO many amazing people used their voice and various platforms to spread the word about Art for Housing. If you are someone who did as such-thank you! If you know someone who shared our event, please help us pay it forward and share this wonderful news with them!

This event was a community effort and we are so thankful we get to do this work alongside such compassionate humans.
We heART you,
Team LP
Community Cares: Ben Kinney Companies

We are so grateful for phenomenal leaders with philanthropic hearts, such as Ben Kinney Companies, for their continued generosity and unwavering support of Lydia Place. Thanks to Ben Kinney Companies generous donation of laptops, Lydia Place case managers were able to quickly transition to working from home with little or no disruption in service delivery. Thank you for equipping us with the necessary tools to ensure our team stays safe, healthy, and ready to serve our families who need us more than ever.
Community Cares: First Federal Community Foundation

A HUGE thank you to the First Federal Community Foundation for quickly responding to the increasing needs of our community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you investing in the future of our community by ensuring critical services such as food, housing, childcare, and more, are available to those who need them the most. Lydia Place was awarded with a $50,000 grant from the foundation that will go towards Heart House , an 11-unit permanent supportive housing project with on-site licensed childcare facility designated for mother with children experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County.
Community Cares: WECU's Giving Tuesday Facebook Giveaway

We want to send a big virtual hug to  WECU and thank everyone that took the time to recognize the exceptional work of all the amazing nonprofits here in our community. Thank you to the LP supporters for uplifting our staff with your kind words and most importantly, uplifting our families with this generous $500 contribution.
Community Cares: The Master Gardener Foundation of Whatcom

Thank you to the Master Gardener Foundation of Whatcom for donating fresh produce starts to our Campus Support Program. For years, the Gladstone Garden and our amazing gardening volunteers, have shown mothers and children living in our Gladstone House, how a little dirt therapy can cultivate healthy foods and healing.

What is a Master Gardener?  Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who work in partnership with WSU Extension to educate the public and enhance the quality of life in the community by promoting sound gardening practices. This includes integrated pest management, efficient watering systems, soil improvement and choosing appropriate plants. 
In celebration and thanks to the amazing acts of service of our volunteers, we would like to spend the next few months shining a light on some of the amazing humans supporting our programs, services, and fundraisers. These kind, caring, and selfless individuals commit their time, talents, and hearts to making our community a better place.

Did you know the value of volunteer time in Washington state is $25.43 per hour?

With almost 13,000 hours selflessly contributed by our volunteers in 2019, that equates to a value over $300k worth of support provided by Lydia Place and Wise Buys volunteers!

Join us in celebrating this month's featured volunteer...
Lydia Place Volunteer: Carol H.
Carol has lived in Whatcom County for 65 years and began volunteering at Lydia Place as a Wise Buys volunteer in 2016.
Q: How did you first get involved with Lydia Place?
I first started volunteer work at Wise Buys...which led me to more direct involvement with Lydia Place.
What are some of the opportunities you've volunteered for with LP?
At Wise Buys I helped in the receiving donation area where I sorted donations and placed in appropriate categories along with working store front. At Lydia Place I am volunteer as a Donation Coordinator.
Why do you choose to volunteer with LP?
I love what Lydia Place supports....the compassion and enthusiasm to help and support every family in our community to have a home and opportunity to thrive despite obstacles.
Is there anything you’d like to tell someone considering volunteering for the first time with Lydia Place?
Lydia Place is filled with positive and enthusiasm energy. The interview policy is thorough and every employee is very supportive...with the same goals. If you have a heart that has the desire to make a difference in our community either small or more commitment there will be a place for you and appreciated, which I hear from them constantly.  
A note from Rita Thames,
Lydia Place Community Engagement Coordinator
Even during this challenging time as we shelter at home, we can still feel the strength of our community around us as we continue to receive emails and phones calls asking, “How can we help?” While this year will undoubtedly look different and volunteerism will look different, we are adapting, and we are taking our cues from each other, and we are listening to the needs of those around us. 

We encourage our community to help in the ways their physical and mental health allows by reaching out to neighbors, running errands for someone at risk, donating, volunteering online, supporting local businesses, and by offering and attending virtual meetings, classes, and fundraisers.

Volunteering for Lydia Place is volunteering for our community as a whole and we only hope to continue to work with you to ensure that our community is one where every family has a home and an opportunity to thrive . A big thank you to the volunteers who participated in our Volunteer Appreciation Month survey. We look forward to sharing more stories with you in the following months.

Warm regards,
Rita Thames
Interested in volunteering or staying informed on how you can help? Join our volunteer e-newsletter list by sending a message to Rita at
Featured Partnership: PSE a Powerful Partnership

It’s the season for pruning, painting and other activities that bring ladders and tools dangerously close to overhead power lines if you’re not careful. Our #powerfulpartner @PugetSoundEnergy wants to remind you to be mindful when working near overhead lines of how you’re carrying ladders, and keep them, yourself and your tools at least 10 feet away from the line. For more visit,
Welcome Back Lydia Place Donation Partners!

The following businesses are currently accepting donations, however, we strongly encourage you to contact each business for their current COVID-19 donation policies and procedures as they vary from business to business.

Friendly Reminder : You must mention Lydia Place during your donation process at the following locations for us to receive credit for our families. Thank you!
Donate Furniture, Building Supplies, Appliances, and Household Items
Habitat for Humanity
1825 Cornwall Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 778-2036
Donate Children's and Maternity Items
Flip Kids and Maternity Consignment
1512 Ellis Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 671-0954
Donate Vehicles (Working or not!)
Donate for Charity
(866) 392-4483

Get a minimum $500 deduction (or higher, depending on what your car sells for) and Lydia Place receives the net proceeds.
Local Nonprofits to Share $340K in Grant Funding From...

Submitted by First Federal First Federal Community Foundation announced it has chosen 13 regional nonprofit organizations to share $340,000 in grant funding in the Foundation's Spring 2020 grant cycle. The recipients are organizations in Clallam, ...

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Compassionate Texting System Allows You to Send Kind...

As millions of courageous healthcare workers continue their work to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this ingenious new service allows you to send unconditional messages of love and support to a frontline hero-and get one in return.

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10-Year-old Gives the Gift of Art to More Than 1,500...

This 10-year-old girl has singlehandedly managed to give the gift of art and joy to more than 1,500 kids in foster care and homeless shelters during the COVID-19 shutdowns. Chelsea Phaire is the mastermind behind Chelsea's Charity -a nonprofit...

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Thank You Housing HEROES!
Matthew Barrow, David Beaumier, Drew Betz, Brianna Brumbaugh, Michael & Mary Brunt, Gabriel H. Byram, Karen & Richard Clark, Jennifer Cool, Susan Costanzo, Sue Ann Croft, Shannon Day, Michelle Dohm, Pamela E. Englett, Graham Essex, Steve Forbes, Rachel Garcia, Kaitlyn Gerard, Audrey E. Gravley, Alycia Hawkins, Roxanna Hayes, Lisa Heezen, Amy Johnson, Ann Lackland, Tom Laughlin, Sonja Lee, Megan McGinty, Dustin McKissen, Kathleen McQuaide, Heather Michel, Patti Morgan, Marilyn Moullen, Shenandoah Myrick, Nina Nancarrow, Tammie O'Dell, Deborah Parker, Kristen Parsons, Melanie Pysden, Misty Kaye Rainwater, Kari Severns, Karla Slusher, Jillene Snell, Ashley Rose Snyder, Delores Starcher, Pete Stelling, Sterling Rentals 1 LLC, Ryan Thramer, Jeffery Y. Tom, Peter Turner, Shawna Unger, Trent Vigor, Elizabeth Walukas

Attention Lydia Place Housing Heroes Monthly Contributors

You may update or change your credit card details via our Financial Manager, Judy Wayt at 360.671.7663 ext 2003 or by filling out a new online donation form with your new credit card information here.

Thank you the following collectives who gave a one-time gift this month!
Anonymous, Judy M. Bell, Tanya Biersdorff, BP Foundation, Carol Browder, Christine Coder, Cohen Group NW, Frontstream, Ashley Garrett, Calvin Hayes, Craig Hayes, Thomas Brian Kirchner, Kroger, Nathan & Sacha Lough, Karin Luce, Amelia Midkiff, Network for Good, Dawn Oehlerich, Saratoga Commercial Management Inc, Margaret Schacht, Seeking Health, Janet Simpson, RoseMarie Slay, Mary H. Storer Foundation, United Way of King County, United Way of Whatcom County, Tomas Vrba, Marcus Warolin, John & Linda Watkins, WECU, Savanna Jane Wolverton, Helene Zaslow

How the CARES Act Impacts Charitable Giving for 2020

New Deduction Available: Non-itemizer taxpayers can write off up to $300 ($600 for a married couple) in charitable cash contributions for 2020. This is available only to people who take the standard deduction, not for people who can itemize their deductions on Schedule A. It is an “above the line” deduction from income that will reduce a donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), and thereby reduce taxable income.

This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results.

Lydia Place is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by the law.