Dear Friends of BTS,
At the end of August, we participated in the Skillshare Faire, held this year at Fairhaven Park. There was a terrific windstorm on the first day of the fair, which blew canopies away and knocked out electricity to much of the county. Thankfully, we had not planned to be there on that day; the next day was partly sunny and much less windy. We set up our booth and sang for quite a few people who came by.
In September, we hosted a presentation for the public on Advanced Medical Interventions, a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when a person is brought to the hospital with a medical emergency. The presentation, offered by two experienced emergency room nurses, was excellent, and there were many good questions at the end. If you missed this event, it will be offered again at WECU on November 4 and at the Senior Center on November 18.
Five of our members attended the Northwest Regional Gathering of Threshold Choirs in Portland in September. This year’s gathering was the first without Kate Munger, the founder of the Threshold Choir movement, who retired last year. It was inspiring to see how threshold singers from several choirs stepped forward to offer wonderful musical events and workshops. Singers from BTS offered two workshops, both of which were well attended and much appreciated. Choirs from California, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Oregon, were represented.
We took part in the Art of Death event in October, offering a 3-hour intensive workshop on bedside singing, participating in a panel on music at the end of life, and singing for people who dropped in. We had an information table at the main event on Saturday. Some of our singers were honored to join Tracy Spring in performing a song that she said was partly inspired by the songwriting workshop she did for BTS in June.
We are currently giving our Compassionate Singing class for 7 of our members who want to become Sails. We are very excited to have these women join us at the bedside when they are ready.
We haven’t done much fundraising in the past, and we’re very careful with our money, so we’ve been able to meet our modest needs with donations and occasional grants. Donations come from grateful families of people we’ve sung for, from people like you who believe in our mission, and from our members. We have not been successful in getting grants recently, and our members volunteer so much, we hate to ask them to contribute more.
This year we embarked on a fundraising campaign in which our members are sending letters to their friends and families letting them know about BTS and that donations are needed and appreciated. Here is what the letter says:
The Bellingham Threshold Singers (a member of Threshold Choir International) was initiated in 2007 and presently consists of about 42 women who bring the comfort of song to the bedside of those who are approaching death or who are struggling with critical illness. We sing, when invited, in small groups of 3 or 4, at the bedsides of those in care facilities or private homes and through our songs hope to bring ease and peace at life’s thresholds. This letter is an invitation to help us reach, through your kind donation, our 2015 fundraising goal of $8,000.
During 2014, we made 575 bedside visits. As word continues to spread and the demand for our service grows, it appears that in 2015 we will sing to about 700+ clients. To make this happen, our members will put in over 5,000 volunteer hours; and BTS will spend about $10 per bedside visit. Our service is free; we are supported entirely through donations and grants.
Your donation will support the training of our singers, provide education in specialized techniques, pay for music, maintain the BTS website, call-line and post office box, and cover the general expenses of an organization that is completely volunteer-run.
Bellingham Threshold Singers is a 501(c)3 organization and a registered charity with the State of Washington. Your donation will be tax-deductible. Your name and contact information will not be sold to or shared with any other organization.
Would you consider supporting us so that we can continue to provide this service?
If so, please go to our BTS website to make a donation:
Send your check to: PO Box 5303, Bellingham, WA 98227-5303
Thank you for your consideration and for your generosity!
If you’d like to be part of our fundraising campaign, we invite you to follow the instructions in the letter to donate through our website or with a check. We appreciate every penny! And if you know someone who would like to help support us, please pass the word along.
Come visit: Guests are always welcome at our rehearsals, which are on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Jerns Funeral Chapel at the corner of Sunset and James. It’s okay to just observe, but chances are you’ll want to sing along with us. Call 360-927-4384 for more information or check out our website at BellinghamThresholdSingers.org.
Thank you, as always, for your enduring interest and support.
PO Box 5303
Bellingham WA 98227