People love living in Whatcom County for its natural beauty. Yes, the trees are wonderful and the ocean is great, but what makes Whatcom County truly beautiful is the people. Many sacrifice their time and effort to help others in need. Here are two stories of Bellingham residents giving back in unique ways.

The Hunt family worked together to build this stove. Photo courtesy: Hunt family.
The Hunt family worked together to build this stove. Photo courtesy: Hunt family.

The Hunt Family

The Hunt family lives in Bellingham, but their good deeds spread beyond the boundaries of Washington. In the summer of 2016, the Hunts went to Peru and volunteered in Cusco. Here the Hunts worked to paint a boardinghouse for children. Family matriarch, Jolyn Hunt, said, “Whenever I travel to places, I get so much out of it. I felt selfish and I wanted to give back.”

Jolyn and her husband, Vance, have a daughter and a son, Arden and Noah. Arden is 14 and Noah is 12. “I felt as if I was doing something good for the world,” said Noah.

Arden felt close to the kids in Peru, despite the difference in their upbringing and culture. She now wants to travel to other countries to help other kids in need. “Playing with the other children showed that even though we live thousands of miles away, we can still have fun together.”

The Hunt family built this mud brick stove. Photo courtesy: Hunt family.
The Hunt family built this mud brick stove. Photo courtesy: Hunt family.

For Jolyn and Vance, their goal of teaching their kids the importance of giving back and living meaningful lives was accomplished through physical work of building an oven and painting a room for children who were living far away from their families and attending schools without heat. Physically being in a place where people live in houses with dirt floors, no heat and no running water opens your eyes to another level of poverty that most of us here in America will never experience. “People think it’s too much work but in the long run, it’s more productive and fun than going to Hawaii and sitting on a beach,” said Vance.

Jane Talbot

Jane Talbot takes a moment to connect with one of her rescued dogs,
Jane Talbot takes a moment to connect with one of her rescued dogs,

Surrounded by the animals she rescued, Jane Talbot exudes love and kindness. When she moved to Bellingham she wanted to be a positive, contributing member of Whatcom county. Jane has always loved animals and had a profound experience with taking care of urban feral cats in Chicago while studying art at a university.

She started working with Whatcom County Humane Society and now is an integral member. Jane functions as a veterinarian assistant and donates part of her house to serve as an after-surgery recovery center. Because of her experience in Chicago, she firmly believes in spaying and neutering animals and the majority of her work is in this area.

Jane Talbot loves to care for rescues like this one.
Jane Talbot loves to care for rescues like this one.

Jane would like to see a more peaceful, nurturing society and she believes animals help people become more compassionate. “Make time and make it a priority,” Jane said. “Make your community a better place by taking care of those who can’t speak or take care of themselves.”

Whatcom County is a beautiful place to live. It’s not just nature that makes it nice, but the people who care enough to give their time and energy. The people who choose to make things better are what makes Whatcom a beautiful place.

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