WISH nets more than $15,000 in fundraiser

Julie Pigott is the director of WISH, a non-profit organization in Freeland that matches home sharers with home seekers. - Spencer Webster / The Record
Julie Pigott is the director of WISH, a non-profit organization in Freeland that matches home sharers with home seekers.
— image credit: Spencer Webster / The Record

FREELAND — Whidbey Island Share A Home has raised $15,600 during its third annual fundraiser.

“That is a fantastic number,” said WISH director Julie Pigott.

That’s $1,500 more than the nonprofit organization received last year, she said.

WISH connects people who need homes with people who want to share their homes. And most of the money goes to the administration of the program, including security checks on tenants and home-owners, Pigott said.

Pigott knows that WISH is not the only local organization asking for funding, so to receive more than she anticipated was a good thing.

“Many programs have been asking for larger donations because the economy is hard hit,” she said. “It was quite a statement of support to step up and help WISH.”

Pigott saw that a lot of the money that arrived in WISH’s coffers came from Whidbey’s Coffee Company’s dispersal of more than 160 house-shaped plastic banks.

“Whidbey’s Coffee really helped us. They got the banks into homes for donations and got the word out about WISH,” she said.

“This is our second year helping WISH,” said Stacy Madsen, retail buyer for Whidbey’s Coffee Company. “We put the banks in our drive-throughs across the island and at our cafe in Freeland.”

Whidbey’s Coffee provided incentive for coffee drinkers to donate and to get their caffeine fix, Madsen said.

“Every bank that comes back full, they get 10 free drinks,” she said. “We’ll continue the program. We help people link up and find a home. I think its great WISH got that much money.”

It’s trickle-down economy at its best for WISH, Pigott said.

“They give out the banks and they give out information about WISH,” she said. “They take positive energy and spread it out.”

The $15,600 will go a long way, Pigott said.

“It allows us to make an impact on the community,” she said. “We try to get them housing as soon as possible.”

Successes like the fundraiser and continued placement of people into homes has prompted WISH to open a second office in Oak Harbor in the spring,

Pigott said.

“We made three matches in January. Normally, we make around one to two per month,” she said. “It’s a combination of the economy and people needing housemates and compatibility.”

Spencer Webster can be reached at 221-5300 or swebster@south

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