Op-Ed

Higbee supports developmentally disabled teens, adults

Max Higbee Center hikers stop at Artist’s Point on Mount Baker during their annual camping trip at Silver Lake.
Max Higbee Center hikers stop at Artist’s Point on Mount Baker during their annual camping trip at Silver Lake. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Max Higbee Center was established in 1984 and had about 325 volunteers in 2015.

Purpose: We provide community-based recreation programs for youth and adults (14 and older) with developmental disabilities with three broad aims: To provide opportunities for personal enjoyment and enrichment through a diverse range of leisure activities, to promote the social, physical, emotional and cognitive growth and development of participants, and to assist participants to achieve greater independence in their lives and increase involvement in the community. Max Higbee Center values a fun, safe, welcoming and people-first community dedicated to creating friendships and offering opportunities for all members to reach their greatest potential. Max Higbee Center envisions a caring, inclusive, respectful and thriving community where people are empowered to grow, develop and enrich their lives through recreation activities and the relationships they create.

Volunteer highlights: Max Higbee Center offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities that allow you to choose what you want your role to like. Program volunteers provide staff support and experience one-on-one interaction with members. Volunteers also come in the form of community partners who lead group activities or outings. So, if you have an interest or hobby you’d like to share with us, we can schedule your activity on our calendars! For example, we have a volunteer we see once a month who shares his drum collection with us, which allows us to explore music and creativity. Another volunteer brings in his pottery supplies for us to create and explore different mediums of art expression. We are also in need of event volunteers this month. Specifically, we need to recruit 250 volunteers for our upcoming event, April Brews Day — a microbrewery tasting event that raises funds for Max Higbee Center.

Signature fundraiser: April Brews Day, April 30, Depot Market Square.

Wish list: Program supplies including exercise/fitness equipment, art supplies, non-fabric folding chairs, instruments, electric pencil sharpener, small white boards, cookbooks and first-aid supplies. Office/building supplies such as printer paper, label maker, envelopes, forever stamps, cleaning supplies, cutting boards and paper products.

Current volunteer needs: We are always in need of program volunteers throughout the year, and welcome new community partners as well! Currently, our largest need is event volunteers for our fundraiser at the end of April.

For more information, go online to maxhigbee.org.

VOLUNTEER MONTH

April is National Volunteer Month and The Bellingham Herald has partnered with the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County to highlight local non-profit agencies that offer opportunities to become involved in our community. For more information online about the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, go to whatcomvolunteer.org.

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