Kindness overflows in Oak Harbor

Angels among us ... 

If anyone deserves to get a warm fuzzy out of a disaster, it is the people whose lives were trashed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Folding shirts you no longer wear, or putting women’s sweaters into a plastic bag is how many of us reached out to them on Sept. 24, the day the big 24-foot Salvation Army truck came to town.

Problem was, the truck was scheduled to be here for just four short hours; Safeway offered its parking lot for the event and folks began arriving early. The result was overwhelming. 

Fast forward to quitting time and enough donations to fill five such trucks were delivered to Anacortes. The last load left after 7 p.m. Some people used their own vehicles to deliver the donations to Anacortes, several making two or three trips.

Other folks came by with gifts of cash amounting to $1,700. All were earmarked for the hurricane fund.

Local organizers HELEN and KEN BATES shun the spotlight but in this case, they are to be thanked for a spontaneous demonstration of caring. They say their contribution was small compared to that of the many volunteers who came and worked the entire day, such as TRACI, BOBBY, MERI JO, SARAH, KEITH, MICHELLE, MARY, GINA, AL, BILL, ASHLEY, HANNAH, RACHEL, DEBBIE, KATHY and JEFF.

Manager SHERRY SADIGHI let them use the Safeway parking lot. CAPT. MICHAEL PAUGH was the Anacortes Salvation Army coordinator.

Word spread of the event through the WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES, businesses posted signs and ISLAND DRUG even put it on their Web site. MARTHA WALLIN signed up Kiwanis volunteers. Others came with food and water to refresh workers.

“Mrs. ASPLUND’s Oak Harbor High School Special Education Life Skill class donated 60 personal hygiene kits they put together themselves,” said Helen. She regrets some people were turned away because no more trucks were available at the last minute, and hopes they take their donations to a local thrift shop.

The entire operation ran on raw volunteer power. Each of you angels deserves a gold star.

We’re talking luxury …

You don’t have to be over 60 to enjoy being spoiled on an Alaska cruise or any of the other trips planned under the auspices of the Oak Harbor Senior Center. Thirty-one local travelers from 12 to 80 sailed from Pier 30 in Seattle on Sept. 11, headed north to Sitka, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, the Inland Passage and a stopover in Victoria.

JOYCE KUBALSKY and her grand-daughter AMANDA RAGDE of California shared a cabin; TERRY and GAY TANBER also came from California to join friends JIM and HELEN BREMNER; and WILMA TULL brought her family together to celebrate son ROBERT JR. and daughter-in-law BILLIE’s 38th wedding anniversary, along with their daughter MICHELLE of Stanwood. 

The cruise was also a romantic escape for BARRY and KATHRYN RIX of Coupeville who celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Congestion suggestion …

The committee that came up with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on crowded highways deserves our thanks.

The same idea might apply to our city’s stop-and-go traffic that looks more like the road to the Mukilteo ferry every day.

TERESA BESAW thinks there should be a specially-designated Sports Mom Lane (SML) going up Highway 20 from Burger King to Swantown and back.

“Only moms with a carload of kids and sports equipment would get to go in that lane,” she offered. “If you have kids in football and soccer and have to be at Fort Nugent at 5 p.m. and City Beach at 5:15 p.m., you get stuck at Swantown, stuck by Whidbey Island Bank and stuck at Burger King.”

Leave earlier, you say. Honestly now, have you ever seen kids who are ready when the carpool mom pulls up? Like Haley’s Comet, it doesn’t happen that often.

No doubt the City Council would snicker at the idea, but it’s on the table now.

Help is available

Do you use a plastic Jack-O-Lantern as a table lamp all year long? Do you secretly try on shaggy wigs and scar makeup that is over 20 years old? You could be the Adult Child of a Halloween Addict. Let me know what you will wear this year, and if costumes are allowed at your workplace.

Please call me at 360-675-6611 and tell North Whidbey why. See you on Oct. 12 or write to me at

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 22
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates