Extend-a-Hand giving tops $37,000

As the new year begins, people have given $37,335 so far to The Bellingham Herald’s Extend-a-Hand charity, and additional donations are welcome.

Extend-a-Hand helps low-income Whatcom residents with rental housing through the Opportunity Council and with medical prescriptions through Interfaith Community Health Center. The Herald covers the charity’s administrative costs for up to $50,000 in donations, so most gifts directly support people in need.

Last season, people donated $54,408. The record for regular donations is $57,326, in 2010.

Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Extend-a-Hand, c/o Opportunity Council, P.O. Box 2134, Bellingham, WA 98227. Credit card donations are accepted. Details: Jackie Lafata-Rinker, 360-734-5121, ext. 333.