The Wildbird Treasure Nest boutique in Blaine has moved from its location across from Edaleen Dairy to the historic Goff Building. Wildbird Treasure Nest sells gently used clothing, accessories, household décor and more—all for a good cause.
Roughly 80% of proceeds go to Wild Bird Charity, a registered charity with a focus on homelessness outreach and a weekend food program for school kids.
The former Goff’s Department Store ran for 56 years under lifelong Blaine resident Murray Goff, who succeeded his father, C.T. Goff. His father bought the dry goods store in 1915. It closed in 2009 when Murray retired. The move to this historic, nearly century-old spot has been a boon for Wild Bird, bringing both new life to the site and tripling what they can do.
Mike Mulder started Wild Bird Charity three years ago with his fellow “wild birds,” old college friends from Trinity Western University in British Columbia. All retiring or retired, they asked themselves what they could do to give back to the community.
“They just came together and decided they wanted to do something really special, and to outreach and help people,” says Deanna Mulder, Wild Bird operations manager and Mike’s wife.
One of those friends is Phil Esau.
“We said, ‘You know what? We want to finish well,’” says Esau, charity administrator and a retired school principal.
Wild Bird Treasure Nest
Wildbird Treasure Nest opened not long after the charity began.
“About two years ago, my husband talked about opening a thrift store, and I just balked,” Deanna says. “I was getting close to retirement. But [then] I thought, ‘You know, yes, I could do this.’”
The store has become increasingly well-known, with people stopping in from all over Whatcom County. Wildbird Treasure Nest accepts gently used donations, with some donors bringing their items to Wildbird over selling to consignment, Deanna has been told, because they know they’re going to a good cause.
They also pride themselves on making sure their donated items are washed, cleaned, and look good.
“We’re picky, but we’re kind about it,” Deanna says. “I’m trying to be a little bit different than everyone else out there.”
After opening in their old location, the store grew rapidly. They took on more donations, including furniture, and soon needed more space. Mike already owned the old Goff store, and Wildbird Treasure Nest moved in around August after making renovations.
“Since that time, coming up on three months, the traffic moving up here has tripled,” she says. “The sales have tripled most weeks, the donations have tripled—I’m almost at the point of having to say ‘one week of no donations.’”
The space next to Peace Arch Café, which used to be a grocery store, now holds Wildbird’s larger furniture pieces. Esau says they’ll likely do some renovations and have a periodic furniture sale to the public.
The Treasure Nest’s former location, across from Edaleen, will eventually be remodeled into a European-style bakery.
Wild Bird Charity
Wild Bird Charity’s Starfish Pack USA gives weekend backpacks of healthy food to hungry kids in Whatcom County throughout the school year. According to last year’s census, Whatcom County is the second-poorest county in Washington, and weekend food for low-income families goes a long way. The food is nutritious, kid-friendly, and easy to prepare. $37.50 a month feeds one child on weekends for a full school year.
Starfish Pack USA got started when the daughter of a Wild Bird volunteer couple, a nurse at Mount Baker School District, noticed several children coming to school hungry Monday morning. Esau researched and found the Starfish Program in Fraser Valley, B.C, which they named their own program after.
The program works with schools to identify need. Esau knows from his experience as a school principal what a difference it makes when children are fed.
“Knowing that such a large percentage of people in this county are living below the poverty line is really important,” Esau says. “I’m a true believer that we are our brother’s keeper. People get really passionate about feeding kids in their own backyard.”
Street outreach, Wild Bird’s other major program, helps area veterans and homeless. Andrea Skorka, Treasure Nest store manager, leads the outreach program, which gives food, clothes, and hygiene bags to people on the streets.
“Outreach is my biggest thing,” Skorka says. “I’ve been sober for 20 years, but I was homeless for nine. It’s a soft spot for me.”
Their hygiene bags include foot care, and come with athlete’s foot cream, bandages, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, antibiotic cream, and more. Different things are in the bag depending on the season, like hats and gloves for winter.
They also meet with people, bringing bags and making lists of other things they need that Skorka can bring the next week. She’s also connected with HomesNow!, and will take clothes and blankets to them.