Project Neighborly 2017

“What is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.” ― Fred Rogers





The Community Foundation shares Mr. Rogers’ enthusiasm. It’s easy to find comradery with others who believe what we believe, look like us and have similar backgrounds. And yet we know that the best ideas and decisions come from groups of people with differing perspectives working together. The good news is that our community is filled with a wide range of experiences and viewpoints. All we need to do is find ways to start those conversations. Building bridges (and community) is challenging, often messy work. When it happens, it is exciting and infectious. That’s why we launched Project Neighborly.

All projects took place in 2017 and grantees recorded their experiences and results here.  

Project Neighborly 2017:

Organization Project Name Amount Funded
Beach Elementary School 

Pen pals With Our Elders

Created positive relationships with our elder community through a pen pal program culminating with a Friendship Tea to meet each other.

The Bellingham Herald

Outside the Bubble

Paired people with different experiences for a shared meal and conversation, with their commonalities shared publicly.


Bellingham Public Library

Bring Your Light to the Library

A free, family event featured music, sing-alongs, stories & more, offered in the spirit of hope & kindness

City of Bellingham

Bellingham Block Party Trailer

The City of Bellingham delivers a portable trailer stocked with resources to support any community member interested in hosting a neighborhood block party.

Birchwood Elementary School

Birchwood Family and Community Night

Birchwood Family & Community Night was an event that brought the diverse constituents of our neighborhood together to enjoy food, conversation, & music.

Whatcom Family & Community Network for Birchwood Neighborhood

Family Language Exchange (FLEX) 2017

The Family Language Exchange brought cross-culture participants together in a social setting to gain language skills and understanding of one another.

Christ Episcopal Church

“Children’s Giving Garden”

Harvested produce donated to the Blaine Boys and Girls club to support their food program.

DNR for Concerned Whatcom County Residents

Wildfire Education and Prevention Neighborhood Gatherings

Organized community gatherings, distributed educational material and encouraged ongoing wildfire prevention activities.

Friends of the Deming Library

Stitching the Fabric of Difference: Our American Quilt

East Whatcom Community Council

East Whatcom Community Meals

Launched monthly community meals at our rural resource center (EWRRC), as a way to build connections, support, and share a nourishing meal.

City of Ferndale

The Great Ferndale Treasure Hunt

Intergenerational teams of neighbors followed clues that weave together local history, science and problem solving to explore the greater Ferndale area.

Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Build Community

Leverage & maintain shelter as a catalyst for community transformation.

Sustainable Connections for Happy Valley Neighborhood Association


YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) held a workshop for diverse stakeholders to promote housing that is accessible and affordable for everyone.

Horizon Middle School

Positive Messages for Our Community

7th grade students organized the installation of ten positive-message signs in Ferndale and created a corresponding citizen blog.

Kendall Elementary School PTA

Kids Cook for You Community Dinner

Around a common table neighbors came together around a warm meal and thoughtful words.

The Interfaith Coalition for Kids Need Books 

Building Bridges with Books (BX3)

BX3 distributed children’s books promoting kindness and cooperation to low-income families who then shared their responses on community bulletin boards.

Kulshan Community Land Trust

Birchwood Avenue cottages and garden

This project included site improvement, planning, community building and a produce garden in the Birchwood neighborhood.

South Whatcom Fire Authority for Lake Samish Association

Lake Samish: Renewing Its Sense of Community

Re-established a sense of community among Lake Samish residents, using potlucks and a refurbished Community Hall for social purposes.

Lighthouse Mission Ministries

Good Neighbors

A community clean-up project provided an opportunity where conversations and relationships can form naturally as community volunteers and person experiencing homelessness pick up trash together in their neighborhoods.

Lummi Cedar Project

Lummi Peacemaking Circle Initiative – 3-Day Introductory Circle

The Peacemaking Circle is a leadership practice of deep listening and storytelling to build trust and strengthen relationships within community, to learn healthy communication, build connections amongst people of diverse backgrounds, and participate in community-driven decision making.


Lummi Island Foundation for Education

Lummi / Island Story & Song for Families

A family-oriented Saturday afternoon event on Lummi Island featured food, storytellers and musicians from both Lummi Nation and the Island.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Community Bridges – Conversations about Salmon

In our community, salmon recovery is polarized but we can find commonality by sharing information in open discussions to build understanding and community bridges.

PLLAY (Programs to Lighten the Lives of Adults and Youth)

Street PLLAY

Street PLLAY is a mobile pop-up play shop that sparks community connections by providing delightful and engaging outdoor fun for all ages.


South Fork Valley Community Association

“Know Your Neighbor” Speaker Series

Panels from representative groups in the community will discuss the rewards and challenges of living and working in the South Fork Valley.

Huxley College of the Environment, WWU

Visioning a Future for the Alderwood Community

This project brought a community together to participate it its future visioning as a first step towards transitioning into an urban Bellingham neighborhood.

Whatcom County Library System Foundation

Creating Communities ~ Weaving Indra’s Net in Whatcom County

A collaborative net from recycled and donated fabrics, knotted by community members coming together at the ten library branches in Whatcom County was created in the spring of 2017.

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Project Connection: Curiosity, Culture, and Conversation

This project fostered connection and curiosity by bringing a structured free workshop and subsequent facilitated conversation on Exploring Equity and Cultural Humility to residents in 4 locations around Whatcom County.

Whatcom Peace & Justice Center

Kids and Race Workshop

The workshop engaged attendees in discussions about how kids experience race and privilege, and how to develop empathy and celebrate diverse communities.


Y Squalicum Water Association Inc.

Harmonizing Water Voices

Hosted meetings where current and prospective members of our non-profit association can learn about us, our mission, and each other.

Wild Whatcom

The HELP Project (Helping Everyone Live & Prosper)

The HELP Project empowers youth to build connections with those experiencing homelessness and to create a more compassionate, responsive community.

  Total   $103,065