BELLINGHAM (September 14, 2022) — WECU announced today it will award a total of $110,000 to four local nonprofits, Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and Pickford Film Center, as part of the credit union’s annual Education First Grant Program. Grants will be allocated over a two-year period.

“These organizations are doing amazing work for our community.” said Jennifer Kutcher, WECU President and CEO. “We’re proud to be able to support them in this way.”

The program’s goal is to move forward education in its many forms in our community. Its focus on education is a nod to WECU’s history as a credit union founded by Bellingham teachers in 1936. The three recipients join the 2021 recipients, bringing the total currently funded by the program to seven.

2022 Education First Grant Awardees:

Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center (General Operating): A nonprofit providing early education in Whatcom County, Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center is dedicated to childcare accessibility for local families of all income levels. A portion of WECU funds will be used to help renovate the facility, further ensuring the safety and well-being of program participants.

Pickford Film Center’s Doc ED Program: Doc ED exposes middle school students to thought-provoking documentaries. Choosing from a menu of films available, public-school teachers are provided corresponding curriculum to supplement classroom education. Lessons develop critical thinking, encourage historical empathy for diverse viewpoints, foster social responsibility, and promote inclusivity.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s Students for Salmon Program: Students for Salmon offers no-cost science and environmental education to all Whatcom County Schools. For more than 20 years, the group has provided experiential learning opportunities. Coursework encourages children to investigate local streams, hypothesize and experiment with restoration techniques, and creates support for sustained salmon populations.

About WECU

WECU is a not-for-profit credit union based in Bellingham, Washington. Founded in 1936 as Bellingham Teachers Credit Union, WECU serves individuals and businesses located throughout the state of Washington. With more than $2.5 billion in assets, WECU serves more than 140,000 members and employs nearly 400 people in Whatcom and Skagit County.

Media Contact:
Keith Mader, Program Manager PR & Content at WECU, 360-756-7694,