WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF THE FRC?
Mission: The Friends of the Family Resource Center (Friends of the FRC) is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting the Bellingham Public Schools' Family Resource Centers’ efforts to address students’ and their families’ unmet basic needs by raising funds, procuring resources, increasing public awareness, and building connections across the community.
100% of donations received go toward unmet basic needs for students and families in Bellingham Public Schools.
Our all-volunteer group formed at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, in response to the unmet basic needs of students and families in Bellingham Public Schools. We were inspired by a 2017 Bellingham Public Schools PACS (Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent) presentation by Isabel Meaker (Executive Director, Family Engagement). Meaker spoke about the great needs and challenges experienced by a number of students and families in schools across the district, such as:
Loss of employment, housing, or access to healthcare;
Unexpected physical and mental health challenges;
Students who are “unaccompanied minors” who aren’t looked after by an adult; and
Students who arrive from other countries, fleeing war or violence, and speak little or no English.
In each case, the result is students and families with unmet basic needs, and a threatened ability to survive and thrive.
The Friends of the FRC initially set out to provide the Family Resource Centers (FRCs) with a consistent, year-round supply of personal care items, for distribution to students and families. Specifically, personal care items that cannot be purchased with food stamps, and are generally not available at the food bank. Items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, diapers and baby wipes, dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and bar soap.
We have since expanded our assistance to include things such as kitchen and household items, baby items, clothing, beds and bedding, emergency food items, transportation assistance, utility and rent assistance, emergency housing, laundry assistance, and healthcare assistance. Focussing our support where gaps in basic-need resources and services exist.
We continue to adapt and fulfill additional unmet needs that the FRC staff bring forward.
Other important pieces of our work include:
Community Education - making people aware of the FRCs, and the challenges that students and families in Bellingham schools face; and
Building Community Connections - creating and fostering connections among the FRCs, organizations, businesses, and individuals in order to improve basic needs access and strengthen our entire community.
We envision a community where all students and their families are able to meet their basic needs. Thereby creating the conditions for each person to not only survive, but thrive.
Promise Award, Community Partner of the Year. In our fourth year, the Friends of the FRC received a Promise Award from Bellingham Public Schools for being “instrumental in helping to meet the needs and fill resource gaps of our families.” (May 2021)
Ken Gass Community Building Award. In our second year, the Friends of the FRC received a Ken Gass Community Building Award from the Whatcom Family & Community Network “in recognition of outstanding contributions to building community and improving the lives of children, youth and families.” (Dec 2018)
Article, “2021 Promise Award Recipients Celebrated.” April 2021, the Friends of the FRC were celebrated as Promise Award recipients in this Bellingham Public Schools’ article: https://bellinghamschools.org/news/2021-promise-award-recipients-celebrated/
Video, “The Family Resource Center.” December 2020, our Winter Helping Hands fundraiser and webpage appeared in this video in support of the Bellingham Public Schools’ Family Resource Centers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=pj40Arhd7M0&list=PLn-o1ULKXO8IoZkJmIwxhXWmMTyfY0iIF&index=23
Article, “‘Friends’ give helping hand to Bellingham school families.” March 2018, the Friends of the FRC were featured in this Bellingham Public Schools’ Bellingham Promise ‘Community in Action’ article: https://promise.bellinghamschools.org/2018/03/30/friends-give-helping-hand-bellingham-school-families/
Current Executive Board: Anne Calico, Laura Corker, Linda Feltham, Grace Munson, Cherie Yarberry, and Alina Zollfrank.
Founding Members (2017-2018 School Year): Carmen Gilmore, Grace Munson, Daniele O’Connell, Dorothy Watson, Kate Wearn.
WHAT ARE THE FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS?
The Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are family support centers of Bellingham Public Schools that link school families with local resources and human services addressing the needs of the whole child in order to promote student success. All families are welcome.
The FRC locations are safe places where families can access information and available services including:
* Basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing
* Child academic and behavioral support
* Medical and mental health
* Special needs and disability
* Financial and legal assistance
* Educational and employment opportunities
* Emergency assistance
* Bellingham Public School provided resources and educational processes
|Shuksan Family Resource Center|
There are 2 locations:
Shuksan Middle School (in a portable alongside the school)
2717 Alderwood Ave
Bellingham, WA 98226
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Carl Cozier Elementary School (in a portable alongside the school)
1330 Lincoln Street
Bellingham, WA 98229
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Learn more about the FRCs here:
P.O. Box 24
Bellingham, WA 98227