Opinion

Lummi Nation grants invest in quality of life for everyone

From the Lummi reservation, to Ferndale, Bellingham and beyond, so many dedicated people work each and every day to make our home a great place to live. We have organizations that keep us safe, schools that give our kids the tools they need to succeed and programs that help some of the most vulnerable elders, adults and children in Whatcom County.

The Lummi Nation is humbled and honored to be able to give back to the people who work so hard to make our community thrive. We recently awarded $605,000 to 43 organizations. But this isn’t about what we have to give; it’s about what these organizations give back to all of us. The commitment of our many neighborhood nonprofits, schools and health care providers help build a stronger community. For Lummi, investing in these programs is really about investing in the kind of place where we all want to live and improving the quality of life for everyone.

Thanks to the emergency services provided by Whatcom County Fire District 8, we’re in safe hands. Whether we need a fire or medical emergency crew, we know they have us covered. And because of the Ferndale Golden Eagle Booster Club, our local students are supported and encouraged to reach their full potential. Lummi is happy to help the school purchase a new reader board to share information with students, parents and neighbors.

There are so many worthy organizations that are meeting the needs of people in our county and state. They are working every day to put meals on people’s tables and house those in need. Even as our state and national economy recovers, there are still many families struggling to make ends meet. Today, the Bellingham Food Bank serves 1,200 Bellingham residents every week. It’s an honor to be able to support its important mission.

Other organizations are committed to expanding employment opportunities. The Whatcom Literacy Council serves more than 500 adult learners to help them build their literacy skills and improve their English. This can lead them on a path to more self-sufficiency and help them in their job search.

While we contribute to some of the greatest needs throughout the broader community, we also tackle issues at home on the reservation. Youth programs such as Xwlemi Youth Council that are rooted in our culture are important to bringing up the next generation of Lummi leaders. And programs such as our Community Gardening and Nutrition Education and Lummi Youth Basketball are key to our tribal members finding a healthier lifestyle through exercise and good food.

Like many people, we were brought up to serve others — to feed those who come across our path or into our homes, to lend a hand to people who need help. It’s part of the Lummi way. And it’s inspiring to see the spirit of service in so many of our friends, neighbors and colleagues. Our contribution is small compared to the contributions organizations in our county and region make every day. Their work to make life a little easier, happier, healthier and more fulfilling for county residents is invaluable.

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