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WCF / Thrive / Resources

Take a Closer Look

Welcome to our “resource archive,” a growing library of presentations and other materials aimed at sharing a deeper understanding of the challenges our community is facing, and how the Community Foundation is responding.

Neighborliness & Building Connections

Everyone loves a good neighbor. And yet, it’s no secret that record high levels of political and economic polarization continue to drive people apart in ways that undermine relationships and tear at the fabric of civic life.

An equally disturbing, and related, trend is the rising sense of isolation that many people feel. During his first term as U.S. surgeon general (2014-17), Dr. Vivek Murthy identified loneliness as a public health issue. At the time – well before the pandemic and its isolating effects — various studies pegged the nationwide rates of loneliness from 22 % to 50+% percent of adults, with particularly high rates among young adults.

Economic Opportunity | Economic Mobility Starts at Birth

Economic opportunity begins at birth. And even though everyone wants to give their children more and better opportunities than they had, the deck is stacked in favor of babies born to higher-income families who are white, college-educated and thus steeped in “social capital,” i.e., the relationships that give people the ability to act on their aspirations as well as the ability to access benefits. These are the essential factors that predict educational attainment, financial security and even life expectancy.

Food Insecurity

As of June 2022, an estimated 1 in 5 people in Whatcom County is considered “food insecure,” which is defined as a “lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”  Since the child tax credit expired last December and inflation continues to affect gas and food prices, many families are back to choosing between rent, medicine, childcare, work transportation and food – food being the most flexible area to cut. Whatcom food banks are struggling to keep up, experiencing higher than typical use and are facing increased costs related to inflation.

Here’s a list of Whatcom County Food Banks with links to give.

Youth Mental Health

In a class of 30 Whatcom County 10th graders, 21 are dealing with anxiety; 12 are dealing with depression; 6 have contemplated suicide, 5 have made a suicide plan; 2 have attempted suicide. (Healthy Youth Survey 2021).

Rates of childhood mental health concerns and suicide had been rising steadily for at least a decade before the pandemic, when isolation, uncertainty and grief exacerbated the problem, which has been declared a national emergency by leading pediatric groups and merited a rare advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General in December 2021. Here are some resources from Whatcom County mental health providers and other experts.

Tools & Resources


Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Recovery

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s historic floods, people in government, nonprofits, healthcare, as well as countless good neighbors across our community have done heroic work. And yet? We can do better.

As the Community Foundation, along with government and nonprofit partners, navigates the remaining relief and recovery processes related to the pandemic and the floods, we are also working to improve preparedness and coordination in anticipation of future events, knowing that different types of disasters require varied response.

Resource Library

The Whatcom Community Foundation produces its THRIVE newsletter 6-8 times annually, using this platform to provide topical updates on crucial topics impacting out communities.

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