Letter: Spaghetti meal was community at its best


Last Friday evening, nearly 400 people gathered at Langley United Methodist Church to eat delicious spaghetti, fantastic salads and decadent desserts: all to benefit members of the South Whidbey Community. The Fellowship Hall at Langley United Methodist Church was filled with laughter and lively conversations as friends and strangers shared the essence of South Whidbey: neighbors coming together to help neighbors.

In 1994, Lynn Willeford, and others, had the idea of gathering a group of handy folks to a volunteer day of work to help their neighbors. The idea was to do minor repairs and fixes to allow those without the means to be safe and more secure in their homes. Now, 30 years later, Hearts & Hammers of South Whidbey continues to work on people’s homes every first Saturday of May. But now its 250-350 volunteers are working on 30-35 houses to help keep our neighbors safer.

Friday night was our annual fundraising dinner and a chance for folks to sign up to volunteer for this May’s Work Day. With food donations from every grocer on the South End (The Goose, Payless, Star Store, Red Apple at Ken’s Korner, and Clinton Food Mart), plus all the delicious salads from Blooms Winery, Braeburn, China City, Fare Market, Flower House Café, Greenbank Pantry, Inn at Langley, Langley Kitchen, Pickles, Prima Bistro, Savory and Useless Bay Golf Club, we fed a constant flow of 400 folks.

We raised nearly $8,000, signed up new and old volunteers, and had an all-around fantastic event. It would not have happened without Shellie Moore grabbing her apron at the last moment and orchestrating the grand finale: Thank you Shellie.

It takes many hands to make light work; in this case nearly 70 volunteers to prepare sauce, cook the pasta, set the tables, do the magic in the kitchen, provide desserts, recycle, compost and leave the place spotless at the end of the night. Hearts & Hammers is a spectacular example of what makes South Whidbey such a heartfelt place: people coming together in great cheer to enjoy each other while doing good for others. I’m so grateful to be part of this giving community.

Dyanne Sheldon

Hearts & Hammers dinner coordinator