Big hearted volunteers help Central Whidbey homeowners
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
May 8, 2012 · Updated 1:44 PM
Thanks to the enthusiastic help of dedicated volunteers, several homes throughout Central Whidbey are safer and nicer than they were before.
More than 100 volunteers participated in the annual Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers workday Saturday. They spent the day clearing bushes, repairing decks, removing rotted wood and fixing plumbing on more than 20 homes located within the boundaries of the Coupeville School District.
For Kathleen Jones, Hearts and Hammers provided the help she’s needed to keep up with the maintenance she’s struggled to handle since she was diagnosed with MS two years ago.
“It’s become increasingly difficult to take care of my home and my yard,” Jones said as volunteers were busy removing blackberry bushes and fixing a fence.
The blackberry bushes had overgrown a large portion of Jones’ yard. So much so that volunteers uncovered a small tree when the bushes were removed. A fence that was knocked down during a recent winter storm had to be repaired and volunteers also removed an old shed.
Two homeowners at the Olympic View trailer court in Coupeville also received help. Volunteers replaced the stairs with new ones that wouldn’t be as steep while another team replaced the rotting wood of a mobile home’s carport.
Of the 22 homes that needed help, volunteers completed repairs on 20 of them. Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers president Vickie Chambers said the large volunteer turnout and the nice weather helped people complete Saturday’s work.
“We were blessed with good weather for a change,” Chambers said, noting that rain has plagued the workday over the past several years.
She noted that volunteers managed to paint a house, patch the roofs of three homes and install stairs for someone who is disabled.
As for the two projects that volunteers weren’t able toe complete, a volunteer will go back in the coming days to finish the work, Chambers said. They were both plumbing projects, and after starting the work, it turned out there weren’t parts available yet to get the job done.
Volunteers gathered at Living Home Foursquare Church to enjoy an authentic “Cinco de Mayo” inspired meal prepared by several of the homeowners who received help Saturday.
Central Whidbey Hearts & Hammers patterned itself after the long-running South Whidbey Hearts & Hammers which also worked Saturday, fixing up approximately 50 homes.
With the Central Whidbey event completed volunteers will start planning for the 2013 work day. Chambers hopes that people will start looking for suitable homes early as the organization wants to help more people.
“We never stop looking for homes,” Chambers said.
For more information about Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers, go to www.centralwhidbeyheartsandhammers.com.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.