Members of The Church at Bakerview aid Hope House


Members of The Church at Bakerview in Bellingham scrape and paint the outside of Hope House, a ministry that helps out single moms, their children and homeless people.


Bob Friske, senior pastor at The Church at Bakerview in Bellingham, said the congregation's goal this year was to help those who help others. Here's his story about how the evangelical Protestant church helped out a Catholic Charities Ministry.

"We decided as a church to see how we could help other non-profits in a practical and meaningful way. During these tough economic times many non-profits within greater Whatcom County are feeling a financial crunch and many projects that needed to be done can't, and are on the back-burner.

"So this summer we had heard about a need that the Hope House of Bellingham had. The Hope House, we discovered, was in desperate need to have the exterior of their house painted. So 25 people from our congregation spent three Saturdays and a couple of weekdays, scraping and painting; the finished result not only lifted the spirits of the clients and the staff at the Hope House, but it also reminded us that we too can make a difference in the lives of others.

"But as good as it was to paint the Hope House we need to remember how important this ministry is for the poor and the working-poor in Bellingham. The Hope House is a ministry that helps out single moms, their children, and other homeless individuals on a weekly basis. They collect and distribute baby supplies (diapers, formula), toiletries (toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap), clothing, and other assorted items."

Bob wrote that he hopes others will continue to support Hope House, particularly during the holidays. "Painting the Hope House was easy; keeping them supplied is the better task," he said.

You can reach Cheri Woolsey, director of Hope House, at


Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery and Mike Hammes of RAM Construction were honored at the Nov. 15 National Philanthropy Day luncheon in Seattle, according to a press release. More than 80 people from Whatcom County attended the event along with more than 900 other donors, volunteers, leaders and other supporters of nonprofit organizations, making it one of the largest National Philanthropy Day celebrations in the nation.

The refinery was named outstanding philanthropic corporation and RAM Construction was named outstanding philanthropic small business.

Here's what the press release had to say about the organizations:

"For nearly 60 years the Ferndale Refinery, owned and operated by Phillips 66, has provided millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to support communities throughout Whatcom County. With a focus on education, the environment and health and safety, Phillips 66 supports a variety of nonprofit organizations with direct donations and generous employee volunteer and matching gift programs. Among the organizations benefiting from the company's contributions are the United Way of Whatcom County, Whatcom Land Trust, Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative, Bellingham Technical College, the Ferndale School District, Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, and Ferndale Boys & Girls Club. Phillips 66 also supports nonprofits in other Washington cities where it does business, such as Tacoma and Spokane.

"Phillips 66 encourages employee participation and leverages its employees' efforts by matching employee donations to any eligible nonprofit organization or school, up to $15,000 per employee, per year. In addition, employees and their spouses can earn company donations for qualifying nonprofit organizations by volunteering their personal time for those organizations. 'Phillips 66 is an outstanding philanthropic leader that takes great pride in being a good neighbor and in helping make this a wonderful place to live and work,' wrote Mauri Ingram, president and chief executive of the Whatcom Community Foundation in nominating Phillips 66 for this honor.

"Mike Hammes, owner of RAM Construction of Bellingham, is known not only for what he and his company give to the community, but for initiating philanthropic causes. When a specific need arises in the community, Mike and RAM are first to step up and issue a challenge for others to make their donations to fill the need.

"Hammes and RAM have worked to help local organizations from the Bellingham Food Bank to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation and St. Luke's Foundation to children in Honduras through Rotary. When nominating RAM, Dr. David A. Lynch, vice president of St. Luke's Foundation, wrote, 'Mike compounds his volunteering by inspiring others to get involved. He's a catalyst for good that sparks light and vision in other people. Whether he is coordinating construction of Hospice House, promoting the Rotary International Water Quality Project, or sponsoring a school in rural Honduras, he draws others to his side.' "


Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa shared 1,995 pounds of turkey with the Bellingham Food Bank and Lummi Commodity Foods to help neighbors in need celebrate Thanksgiving, according to a press release.

"We hope these donations will help make people's holidays just a little bit brighter and close the gap of need in the Bellingham area," said Harlan Oppenheim, chief executive officer of Silver Reef.

Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa also donated 400 pounds of food in early November to the Bellingham Food Bank.

Out and About is published Mondays in The Bellingham Herald. Reach Executive Editor Julie Shirley at or 360-715-2261.

Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at or call 715-2261.

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