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Submitted by Lydia Place

Dear Lydia Place and Wise Buys Community,

We write to you today with a mix of sadness and celebration. After 30 years of providing great bargains for a great cause, to our Lydia Place families and the greater community, the Wise Buys Thrift Store will not reopen. Due to the hard economic impact of the Covid-19 closure and the constraints on reopening for the foreseeable future, the Board and staff at Lydia Place have accepted the difficult reality that Wise Buys cannot remain a program of Lydia Place.

The mission of Wise Buys was to process and sell community donations in a respectful, sustainable and usable manner to benefit our clients and the greater community, provide inclusive job training and educational opportunities, as well as increase awareness of the faces and causes of homelessness, and on all points, thanks to our amazing community of donors, volunteers, and patrons, Wise Buys lived up to its mission.

We want to say a very SPECIAL THANK YOU to our vocational partners, Opportunity Council, Work Source, Work Opportunities, Lake Whatcom Residential Treatment Center, Advancement NW, Service Alternatives, Cascade Connections and our educational partners Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, Bellingham High School, Sehome High School, and Nooksack Valley High school.

A GRATEFUL THANK YOU to the 1,200+ volunteers, who donated tens of thousands of hours over 30 years – accepting the merchandise, moving merchandise, cleaning merchandise, boxing and unboxing merchandise, merchandising merchandise, moving merchandise, selling, hanging and ticketing merchandise… *you all know what we are talking about!* and allowing us to be a part of your lives.

We cannot say farewell without honoring our beloved volunteer store manager of 15 years, Arla Fowler, and the founding crew of volunteers (most 50+), who put Wise Buys on the map and held it together through the recession. And to our amazing store manager of the past six years, Nancy Long, who poured her heart and soul into a vision of Wise Buys that made the store a place where anyone and everyone was welcomed and valued.

To the vocational staff, thousands of volunteers, and students of all ages- YOU helped create a space that was inclusive, diverse, and something incredible, THANK YOU.

125,000 hours in donated time, $130,000+ annual program funding, and full 1,800+ large bags recycled/up-cycled partnership deferral is your impact and legacy on our community.

We want to say THANK YOU to our community for supporting the store through your donations and treasure hunting! We will miss seeing you in the store and our hope is that the program will continue in our community under the oversight of another local non-profit. Until that announcement comes, we want you to know that we still need your support and hope that you will continue to support Lydia Place families by donating your goods to our amazing donation partners we’ve listed below.

It is through these donations and partnerships that Lydia Place clients will maintain a strong voucher program and you will continue to support philanthropic giving and up-cycle programs that benefit our planet. This is one of our core values and we look forward to supporting these retail and non-profit partnerships.

We hope that you will consider maintaining your dedication to the work of Lydia Place through our other program volunteer opportunities and Housing Heroes program.

With love and gratitude,

Lydia Place

Children’s and Maternity Items

Flip Kids and Maternity
1512 Ellis St.
Bellingham, WA 98225


Little Bugs
2400 Yew St.
Bellingham, WA 98229


Household Goods and Furniture

Habitat for Humanity

1825 Cornwall Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225

View List of Accepted Items
Schedule a Donation Pick-Up

Clothing and Accessories

We are currently working on new partnerships for the clothing and accessory donations Wise Buys would normally accept. Stay tuned for more details!

Vehicle Donation

Donate for Charity

You get a minimum $500 tax deduction (or higher, depending on what your car sells for), and  Lydia Place receives the net proceeds to support our program. You can either click on the link provided here, or call Donate For Charity directly at
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