Editorial: Blessed with giving people

Whidbey Island is an amazing place not just because of its scenery, but because so many people are willing to roll up their sleeves to help, inform and entertain the community. Although people sometimes joke about the number of festivals and other events we have, the fact is that all those efforts are made by people who sincerely want to help.

Just when we thought we had plenty of festivals and the like, another one pops up: The Shanty Fest

, set for Jan. 22-23 at the Greenbank Farm. Organizers are associated with The Shifty Sailors, Whidbey Island’s internationally renown group of sea shanty singers, who spend countless hours entertaining and helping others. The idea of the Shanty Fest is to raise money for Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers, a group that repairs homes for people who can’t afford to do it themselves. It’s a great idea, and refutes the idea that we already had enough festivals.

Also in January, which used to be the deadest month of the year on Whidbey, we have the Ways of the Whales Workshop on Jan. 23 in Coupeville, sponsored by Whidbey-based Orca Network. Its goal is simply to educate the public on orca, humpback an gray whales that can be seen off Whidbey’s shores, and raise some money to keep the effort going.

And next month, we have Sound Waters on Feb. 6 at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center, which literally attracts hundreds of islanders each year solely interested in how they can help protect our marine environment. This is a massive volunteer effort offering some 60 classes during the day, all for the purpose of helping make Whidbey an even better place to live.

This is not intended to list every festival this month or next, or for the entire year. That would take a lot of research and space. It’s just to remind islanders that we’re lucky to live in a place where people care so much about helping others. To do your part, simply attend some of these events and show your support.

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