BELLINGHAM - After Whatcom Middle School caught fire Thursday, Nov. 5, sixth-grade twins Rachel and Kim Dorr immediately wanted to do something to help their teachers replace classroom items.
So with the help of their mom and friends, they raised more than $3,500, mostly by standing outside the Barkley Village Haggen and asking people to help if possible. The first $92 came from their own piggy banks.
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, they delivered the money to the Whatcom Communtiy Foundation, which has been helping the Bellingham School District and the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation organize and track fundraising efforts.
"It's a fantastic example that it doesn't matter how old you are to make things happen," said Mauri Ingram, president of the foundation, adding that another $1,000 had come in directly to the foundation.
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Community response to the fire has been immense. Some of the larger offerings include Bellingham Cold Storage donating $1,000 for calculators, Whatcom Educational Credit Union and the Bellingham Education Association donating a combined total of $300 to each teacher, representatives of Lummi Nation donating school and art supplies, Premiere Graphics offering to replace any lost student planners and Parkview Elementary PTA donating $3,000 to help replace books.
Numerous other community organizations, including the Bellingham Sportsplex, Whatcom Family YMCA, Haggen, Starbucks, Allied Arts of Whatcom County, Upfront Theatre and Costco, donated good or entertainment for students who were out of school.
The receiving and tallying of donations isn't over and doesn't include gifts and other items being provided by individual school groups.