Bellingham charity now serves kids up to age 18

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 6, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - A nonprofit organization that provides programs to homeless, low-income and fostered children now will be be able to serve children until they are 18, two years longer than before.

Blue Skies for Children offers in-need and at-risk children age 6 or older various programs, such as music, dance or sports lessons, and clothing donations, but until recently children were not eligible for the program once they turned 16.

"We want these kids to continue in our activities," Blue Skies Director Julie Guay said. "We can't just have them stop their lessons in the middle just because they age out."

Guay said a lot went into this decision, because the organization was working with the same funding it's always had. Blue Skies was frugal through the tough recession years and now able to find the funding within its current budget.

The organization also will be expanding its driver's education scholarships from six a year to 10. This is especially important, Guay said, because many children Blue Skies works with don't have parents or guardians who are capable of teaching them how to drive.

Unlike the enrichment programs that are purely need-based, however, the driver's education scholarships are based on need and merit, Guay said.

More information on how to donate to Blue Skies, volunteer or register for these programs can be found at blueskiesforchildren.org or by calling 360-756-6710.

Reach James Kozanitis at James.Kozanitis@bellinghamherald.com or 360-715-2249.

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