North Whidbey food bank helped by builders’ association

The group’s raised $5,550 in donations for the North Whidbey Help House.

A holiday-themed fundraiser run by the Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association has helped raise a considerable chunk of change for North Whidbey Help House.

The builders association’s fundraiser ran three weeks in December and collected $5,550 in donations for the food bank, which was given as a Christmas present.

North Whidbey Help House Executive Director Jean Wieman said the association reached out to the Whidbey Community Foundation and was able to secure a matching donation.

“It was very unexpected and a very pleasant surprise,” Wieman said.

Khalyn King, the marketing manager and events coordinator for the builders association, said it decided to do monetary donations instead of food donations this year.

In the past, the association has chosen to sponsor a few families during the holiday season, but by giving to food banks, the organization’s members thought giving to food banks might be a way to help more people.

“No one should go hungry,” King said. “Food is the number one thing people should have access to.”

Wieman said the holiday generosity allows North Whidbey Help House staff the opportunity to restock the warehouse.

She agreed that the monetary donations were a good idea.

“It would have been difficult to set up everything for people to drop off food,” she said.

“The virtual way was much easier for them to do.”

Although the food bank is not sure what will come in the post-holiday months, Wieman said there is a plan to allow people to pick up groceries twice a month starting in February.

“Thank you to the community,” Wieman said.

“It has been very humbling and overwhelming, the support we’ve been getting.”