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.
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 significantly 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. Additionally, Blue Skies became a distribution partner for Sleep Train Foster Kids Program.
In 2009, Blue Skies established a unique Driver's Education Scholarship Program for 15 to 17 year olds. Additionally, it formalized the Little WishesInstrument 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 Distribution 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 Distribution Program. That same year, the 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.
In 2014, moved its office to a larger facility and changed the age of children served from 6 to 15 years to be 6 to 18th birthday or graduation from high school, whichever comes first. Blue Skies for Children is an active member of the Whatcom/Bellingham Chamber of Commerce.
In 2016, Blue Skies formalized its Back-to-School Backpack 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 2014, Blue Skies received the Teaching-Learning Academy Award from Western Washington University's TLA Western Libraries. In 2017, Blue Skies received the Lowe's Hero's Award from our Bellingham Lowe's store, voted in by over 400 local employees. In 2019, 2020, and 2022, Blue Skies received the honor of the Readers Choice Award from Bellingham Alive's Best of the Northwest contest, awarding Blue Skies Bronze for Best Nonprofit Organization all three years.