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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.
To help families with basic essentials and provide growth opportunities they cannot otherwise afford for their children that raise hope and self esteem and allows each child to feel equal to their peers. To increase the capacity to grant Little Wishes for children in need through grants, donations, fundraisers and our signature program - Sponsor-A-Child. To increase hope and raise self-esteem in our homeless, low-income and foster children, ages six to eighteen.
Established in 1997, Blue Skies was created out of a need in our local community to help the children of Whatcom County raise hope and self-esteem. In 2002, Blue Skies became a 501(c)(3), hired its first executive director. The organization was initially modeled after Treehouse for Kids in King County and offered a Little Wishes Program as well as a clothing outlet where children in need could "shop" for clothing for free twice a year. The program was offered to homeless, low-income and foster children.
In 2004, the organization re-focused its programs targeting children ages 6 to 15.
In 2007, the organization had grown and the board of directors made the difficult decision to close the clothing outlet and focus on its Little Wishes Enrichment Program, keeping children healthy and active by sponsoring ongoing enrichment activities such as sports, dance, swimming, martial arts, music and art lessons. In September, the organization moved its office to a new location and hired a new Executive Director.
In 2008, Blue Skies established its Sponsor-A-Child Donor Program. That same year the One-time Little Wishes Program was formed, offering children an opportunity to receive support for school trips, summer camp, ASB cards, sports cleats, bicycle & helmet, and other individual needs.
In 2009, Blue Skies established a unique Driver's Education Scholarship Program for those ages 15 - 17 year olds. Additionally, it formalized the Instrument Loaner Program for children wishing to participate in their school band or orchestra but could not otherwise afford the instrument rental fee.
In 2010, Blue Skies formalized its Winter Warm-Up Program to provide a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf and blanket to our children who need it most. Blue Skies partnered for the first time with Sole4Souls to distribute brand new shoes and socks, establishing an annual Shoe Give Program. That same year, The Josh Fueston Swim to Live Fund was established by Laurie Fueston, in memory of 19yo Josh Fueston, an avid swimmer, to provide enrichment support to children who wish for swimming lessons, help with swim team fees, or are in need of swim therapy. Blue Skies is the administrator of this fund.
In 2014, moved its office to a larger office space and changed the age of children served from 6 to 15 years to now serve ages 6 to 18th birthday or graduation from high school.
In 2016, Blue Skies formalized its Back-to-School Backpack Program. Blue Skies for Children is an active member of the Whatcom/Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, Whatcom Women in Business and Women Sharing Hope, and continues to act as the distribution arm in Whatcom County for Ticket to Dream / Mattress Firm's Foster Kids program.
AWARDS In 2012, Blue Skies for Children received the coveted Chamber of Commerce 2012 Non-Profit of the Year award. In 2013, Blue Skies is honored to have received the BBJ Readers’ Choice Award. In 2015, Blue Skies receive the WWU Teaching-Learning Academy Award, in recognition of our contribution to reducing barriers to life-long learning across disciplines and communities. In 2017, Blue Skies was very excited to receive the Lowe's Heros Award. We werechosen by the Bellingham Store Employees. In 2019, Blue Skies received Bronze from Bellingham Alive's Best of the Northwest Readers Choice Awards for Best Nonprofit
Going forward, as need for our services continues to increase, Blue Skies is working to increase its capacity to serve our most needy children, continue to educate our community on our mission and services, and seek new and committed funding sources.