Community members have given $49,445 to The Bellingham Herald's Extend-a-Hand charity this holiday season, topping last year's figure for regular donations.
Extend-a-Hand helps low-income Whatcom County residents with rental housing through the Opportunity Council and with medical prescriptions through Interfaith Community Health Center.
Last season, people gave $42,084, with a separate one-time donation of $29,276 from Regal Entertainment Group, owner of the Barkley Regal theater complex.
The record for regular donations is $57,326, in 2010.
The Herald covers the charity's administrative costs for up to $43,000 in donations, so most gifts directly support people in need.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed or taken to: Extend-a-Hand, c/o Opportunity Council, P.O. Box 2134, Bellingham, WA 98227. Credit card donations accepted. Details: Jackie Rafata-Rinker, 360-734-5121, ext. 333.
Reach Dean Kahn at 360-715-229 or firstname.lastname@example.org .