Help Build a Legacy of Inclusion

Many of us take recreation, friendship, health, and community for granted. Yet some of our neighbors face significant barriers to enjoying these essential needs. For teens and adults with developmental disabilities, the opportunities to explore new hobbies, make new friends, and enjoy the community are limited. Architectural, financial, social, transportation, and communication barriers combined with stigmas and stereotypes create a formidable wall between people with developmental disabilities and their community. 
In Whatcom County, Max Higbee Center is a bright light for many people with disabilities because we offer welcoming and empowering recreation programs. The Center is a source of dignity, respect, and joy. However, for the first time in our 35-year history, we frequently have to say “no” to potential new participants because we are out of space. This has been tragic for our community.

What's next?
We found a vastly larger space in the heart of downtown Bellingham that will allow the Center to eliminate its waiting list and expand programs for the next 25+ years. This is a celebratory step, but our work is far from finished.
The new location must be fully renovated to offer safe and accessible programs that meet participants’ needs and interests. Please help us say “You belong!” to our friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors with developmental disabilities by contributing to the renovation of the new Max Higbee Center.

How can you help? - Donate or share today!

Donate: Your donation of $25, $100, $200, or any size, will fund renovations and necessary ADA accessibility standards, including a full kitchen, large recreation room, front-desk reception, and quiet activity room. Your generous gift will create a welcoming space and support for people to dance, play games, make art and music, exercise, cook, build community, and spend time in the company of friends. Donate today!

To help get the word out, share this page to your Facebook page or in a text or email to your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.

It will take a village of support to remodel this space so that everyone feels welcomed, supported and safe. Every donation, small or large, will help make this our dream home and leave a legacy of inclusion in the Bellingham-Whatcom community.

Please help us create a community where everyone belongs!  Together, we can make this happen!

About Max Higbee Center:

The Center provides community-based, inclusive recreation programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities. We envision a caring, inclusive, respectful, and thriving community where people are empowered to grow, develop, and enrich their lives through recreation activities and the relationships they create. 

Max Higbee Center is a grassroots organization founded by educators and families of people with developmental disabilities who wanted quality recreation opportunities in Whatcom County. Max Higbee, a professor at Western Washington University, spearheaded this movement. The Drop-In Center gained status as a non-profit organization in 1984 and was then renamed in honor of its founder. 

Click here to learn more about the Max Higbee Center 


  • Kelly Bashaw
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $695 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs
  • Elizabeth Higbee Budd and Tim Budd
    • $4,000 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs
  • Karen Post
    • $1,750 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs


Max Higbee Ctr
Bellingham, WA
Max Higbee Community Recreation Center
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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