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Love for The Landing: A Service Project to Benefit Skookum Kids

December 15, 2023

From left to right: Pete, Tera, Braulio, Jack, Trevor, Levi, Gail, and Allison break for a team photo before getting back to work leveling the new playset we installed at Skookum’s “The Landing” in Bellingham, WA.

The Spirit of Giving has been alive and well here at Highline this December. We had our annual holiday party for our employees and their families; awarded holiday bonuses to our employees; and have mountains of treats on our breakroom table thanks to the generosity of our clients, vendors, and subcontractors. Perhaps the most fun of all, though, came from our holiday service project – an annual collaboration we do with The Orderly Space. This year, rather than transforming the home of a local family, we selected a transitional home for foster kids called The Landing, thereby touching the lives of many families in flux.

Skookum Kids is a local force for good, providing safe emergency shelter for children in need at The Landing, among other foster care services. Their services are made possible through an abundance of love from their dedicated staff members, volunteers, and donors, and we just couldn’t help but get in on the action in the way we were most equipped to help – a bit of building and remodeling!

When we first toured the space with Abby Smith, their Director of Programs, Abby showed us two major areas where they needed more functionality: the bathroom and the kitchen. The bathroom needed cubbies so each child could store their own toiletries. An individual cubby, though small, can give a sense of ownership of space, even if only living at The Landing for 2-3 days. Bits of dignity like that matter. The kitchen had a dishwasher… kind of. It wasn’t plumbed in and had to be wheeled across the kitchen and connected to the sink each time they needed to run it. This was far from convenient and didn’t send a message to kids that everything would be okay.

We have been in enough old houses to know that, though seemingly small, these updates would be a lot to take on in just two days while keeping our regular projects moving. With the unmatched skills of our very talented finish carpenter, Braulio, we successfully installed cubbies and a new vanity in the bathroom and left The Landing with a fully working kitchen, with reliable (and stationary!) appliances, and more counterspace for preparing healthy meals. Of course, we can’t take all the credit. We were happy to have help from our friends at Favinger Plumbing, who donated their time and materials, and from Interior Doors and More, Stone Pros, and Judd & Black, who all also donated goods to make this project possible.

While we were busy in the kitchen and bathroom, the team from The Orderly Space, supported by the Savvyness Interiors crew with additional donations from Jessica Stuart Designs and iDesignLiveSimply, focused on the dining room, living room, and office. They freshened up the spaces with new paint, new furniture, custom artwork, and improved organization for art supplies, altogether making the space feel like more of a safe haven for the kids during their time there.

We were proud of being able to help in the bathroom and in the kitchen and know those improvements will make things easier for the kids and staff inside The Landing, but we kept coming back to what we know to be true for all kids (and adults too!): play is essential to healing and stress management, and what better place to play than outside?! We couldn’t leave this Skookum site without adding a play structure to their large open yard. Such a large, relatively flat space – it was just begging for it! We purchased and installed a playset that we hope will give the kids who find themselves at The Landing the fresh air and level of play they need to make it through a really hard time.

We know not everyone is in a position to donate, but, if you are, we believe Skookum does a lot of good for our community and would be worthy of your support. If you can, donate today.

To the many, many people it takes to help children and parents make it through their most vulnerable and turbulent times, thank you. Thank you for loving each other and believing in one another, for opening your hearts, and for stepping up to the ongoing challenge to do right by future generations.

To the kids at The Landing and to every child everywhere, you are loved.

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“Highline exceeded our expectations.

“Communication was constant, honest and clear. Trevor and his crew were all friendly and professional.  They listened to our requests and delivered.

“We are thrilled with the quality of work! The project was on time and on budget. We will definitely be recommending Highline to our friends and family.”

– Matt Whitten, Bellingham, WA

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