To be eligible for Blue Skies for Children programs:
Child must be homeless, low-income or in foster care, -and-
Child must live in Whatcom or Skagit County -and-
Child must be age 6 to 18th birthday (or graduation from high school, whichever comes last)
Family income verification is required. If a child is eligible for free or reduced lunch under WA State OSPI Guidelines, the child will be eligible for our programs.
Identification is required for the parent/guardian and child.
Important to note: An eligible family may receive up to three Little Wishes per calendar year per family. The distribution programs do not count toward a Little Wish. Blue Skies may serve up to five children per family for each distribution program. All requirements are subject to change.
Grants Little Wishes for ongoing support of lessons and activities including, but not limited to, art lessons, music lessons such as piano, violin or guitar, as well as martial arts, team sports, individual activities such as swimming lessons, dance, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, ice hockey, horseback riding, and soccer.
Our One-Time Little Wishes Program (Offered year round)
Grants Little Wishes for support of school trip fees, summer camp enrollment fees, bicycle and helmet, special needs equipment, tutoring, computers, school related supplies such as a scientific calculator, or an ASB card (required to participate in school sports), sports fees and/or uniforms, cleats, and other items. The Little Wish requests we receive are unique to the needs of each child.
Our Little Wishes Instrument Loaner Program (Offered year round)
Loans musical instruments to children who wish to participate in their school band or orchestra, but find they are unable to afford the monthly rental cost of an instrument. Blue Skies inventory of instruments includes wind instruments, brass, strings, keyboards and drums. If an instrument is not found in inventory, Blue Skies will rent an instrument for the child from a local music store.
Shoe Give Distribution Program (Offered Aug/Sept)
The shoe give distribution typically occurs in April / May each year. (Call to set an appointment after April 1, and an application will be mailed to you. You must have an appointment scheduled to receive an application.
Back to School Backpack Program (Offered Aug/Sept)
Brand new backpacks will be distributed August 1 through mid September each year. Call to calendar dates for distribution. Blue Skies will provide up to five children per family with a brand new backpack.
Winter Warm-Up Distribution Program (Offered Nov/Dec/Jan)
Formalized in 2010, the Winter Warm-Up Program provides children in need with a new or gently used coat, hat, gloves, scarf, hooded sweatshirt and/or blanket. This program is 100% dependent on donations of new or gently used items. The program is generally available in Fall each year. (Call to set an appointment the last week of October, and an application will be mailed to you).
This program provides funding for services that support graduation from high school and enrollment in higher learning. Eligibility is for foster youth only, who live within Whatcom or Skagit County. This program allows but is not limited to those in traditional foster homes, group homes, residential treatment centers, kinship care, independent living programs and emergency placement centers. Age eligibility extends to 21st birthday if living within the foster system.
Eligible services include: GED class and test fees, graduation fees such as cap and gown, S.A.T. prep and test fees, flash drives, tutoring, technical college or community college registration fees, beauty school application fees, lab fees and supplies, special required calculators, and parking fees.
Our Driver's Education Scholarship is offered to teens 15 to 17 years of age, who are homeless, low-income or in foster care. It is a competitive scholarship and does require an application, essay, parent/guardian letter of reference, a third party letter of reference, school grades transcript, and access to a car and auto insurance. Typically, the scholarship grants up to $400 toward driver's education and is limited to a certain number of scholarships available each Spring and Fall, as determined by our board of directors. Award is based on both merit and need.
In memory of 19 year old Josh Fueston, this fund has been established to support children in need who love to swim and wish to participate on the Bellingham Bay Swim team. The fund also offers help with swim meet fees, swim lessons, developmental delay swim therapy & supplies, and pool passes.
The Evan J. Sobjack Memorial Fund, Legends of Mt. Baker
In memory of Evan J. Sobjack, an avid snowboarder, this fund has been established to support children in need who are interested in learning to snowboard. A Little Wish request for snowboarding may include gear rental, a day pass to Mt. Baker, and/or ski bus fees.