Soup; Laundry; Other Needs; Homeless Perspective; MLK Jr Conference & Film; More; Folk Festival; Tune: Washington Blues

CONTENTS 1/14/2021
Soup Brigade
Laundry Help
City Hall Encampment Needs
Homeless Perspective
MLK Jr Human Rights Conference
Donate A Baby Gate?
Victorian Rental
Bellingham Folk Festival
Radio Free Fl!p: Washington Blues


I have been coordinating community grass-roots efforts to provide hot, nourishing food to the neighbors who have lost their homes and are camping on the city hall and library lawns for the last few months, hoping to draw public attention to their plight. Because of Covid, local Whatcom County refugees have no buildings they can go into to warm up and dry out. Many of them have been outside for months in drenching rain and blustery winds that blow their tents down.  So we try to warm them up from inside. You can pick up ingredients, big cooking pots, and helpful tips from me.

Today’s Ingredients: Some carrots, (carrot muffins anyone?) 15# rice, 4# lentils, three 4# bags of pasta (Ziti, penne), two 5# sacks and two 2# sacks of shredded cheddar. (Please come get the cheese!)  There’s a big tub of curry paste (wouldn’t that be great with lentils & onions?). About 8# of onions. Ten dozen eggs. Three jars of chicken soup base. Seven huge cans of Chili, and cheese & onions to go with them, for those who would rather heat food that make it from scratch. And individual containers for everything.

Sign up here to keep a steady flow of meals, and then come pick up soup pots,  ingredients & individual containers from me. I’ll be glad to talk you through the process.


They are still working on a new system so campers at City Hall can put one load of blankets a in blue plastic recycling bag from the supplies tent. If you want to help with cleaning and drying out blankets, food tent volunteers are likely to be able to point you to the pile. Anyone can pick up a bag or bags, launder and return to the donations tent. Clear plastic return bags are best, so it’s easy to see what’s in the bag, to make sure it doesn’t get mistaken for garbage (black bags).


If you bring donations to our house at 2518 Cherry Street, we now have outreach volunteers come by three times a week to rescue us from the mountains of gifts. Thank you!

*One back-up battery for an outreach volunteer’s phone
*Great big 90+ gallon black garbage bags – the ones they sell to line wheelie bin toters.
*See-through blue plastic Recycling bags for laundry. These need to be at least big enough to hold a couple blankets.
*Clear plastic bags big enough to hold a single blanket for returning clean laundry and keeping it dry while it awaits pickup and travels from the donations tent to the person who needs it.


This is not a comfortable thing to read, but I offer it anyway. We need to first listen well and in detail to anyone we would like to assist. That person knows the most about their own circumstances. When I first read this, I kept noticing all the details this woman has had to figure out and keep track of to survive. Her life is more complex than mine – and I thought I was busy! She offers a view of the structure of our local system, as seen from the bottom.


I wanted to plug this weekend’s MLK Jr Human Rights Conference, an annual event hosted by the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and other community orgs, now virtual for 2021. There is still time to register and join the workshops. It kicks off Thursday evening 1/14 and continues into Saturday.Take care! ~ Elma Burnham 


CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival joins film festivals from across North America for an online screening of Ashley O’Shay’s 82-minute documentary, “Unapologetic” this Saturday, Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King weekend.

The film focuses on Janaé and Bella, two young activists who, after two police killings, challenge a Chicago administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents. Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of mayor Lori Lightfoot. Watch the trailer here

Buy your tickets here. Purchase your tickets in advance and watch the film anytime Friday, Jan 15 and Saturday, Jan. 16. One half of every ticket purchase goes back to CASCADIA!

A ‘live’ Q&A with Ashley O’Shay and the film’s subjects Janaé and Bella will take place for all ticket holders at 6:30 p.m. PDT. A Zoom link to the Q&A will appear in your ticket confirmation email.


I am looking for one of those classic wood/wire mesh (plastic/wire mesh) baby gates that requires no installation for doorways. If you have a one of thes baby gates you no longer need and would like to donate, I would be happy to pick it up. The doorway I want to close off is about 31in wide. ~ Kaleigh Downing, Washington St,


Sweet Victorian, 2515 Jaeger St, Columbia neighborhood. Currently available.  3 bdrm, 2 ba, plus bonus room. 1800 sq ft. Built in early 1900’s. Completely updated including wiring, plumbing, insulation, furnace, water heater, thermopane windows, new roof, fresh paint inside/outside. Clean. Small fenced back yard. Off street parking. Close to Squalicum Park, easy access to I-5. No smoking/no pets. $2200 per month, first, last, deposit. Call/text Sally Hileman, 360-303-7141. 


January 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2021

One of the most delightful local events I know, and virtual this year. I get to lead a sing-along session on Saturday and decided to lead it on songs of connection – to people, places, memories, and ourselves. (And do go look at the poster! It utterly cracks me up!!! Read the fine print.)


My beloved Elizabeth (Libba) Cotten plays an instrumental guitar piece she created when she lived in our nation’s capital. I thought we might all be able to use something deep, calm and loving about the heart of our nation at this challenging time.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you’re willing to share your phone and address with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission.

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

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