Plans are underway for busy Hearts & Hammers workday

In a show of strength and support, hundreds of volunteers will gather together to repair nearly 50 homes this Saturday during the annual Hearts & Hammers one-day work blitz.

Rain or shine, 400-plus volunteers will gather for the 14th annual event that assists the elderly and those who are physically unable to do home maintenance and repairs.

Volunteers who have not yet signed up can still come to the breakfast to get an assignment.

Jim Scullin, who oversees all of the work teams, said he will find work for anyone who shows up to volunteer at 7:30 a.m. at the high school.

“We will have a table for people interested in volunteering but who haven’t pre-registered online,” Scullin said.

In addition to the house teams, there are four special teams; the woodchuck group that chops and delivers wood to homes, the trucking team that transports building materials to the different projects, the waste warriors who take garbage and recyclable waste to a special station set up next to the Bayview transfer station, and the kitchen crew who feeds the volunteers breakfast and dinner at the high school.

So far, 425 volunteers have signed up to work on Saturday.

“It creeps up every year. We have seen tremendous growth in the last four or five years, but then we are doing more projects than ever before,” Scullin said.

Volunteers do whatever repairs and renovations that are possible within the scope of a one-day work party. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, rakes, shovels or any other equipment their house captain have requested. Volunteers also need to bring a lunch.

All skill levels are needed, from carpentry, plumbing, electrical and flooring, to gardening, hauling and cleaning. All ages participate, too, with helpers from 18 to 80. Youths under 18 need a permission slip from their parents, however. The form is available online at

Rob Hetler, president of the organization, said the one-day event comes off like clockwork.

“Every year we seem to get better. It’s a well-organized operation,” Hetler said.

Pre-registered volunteers will meet at 7:45 a.m. at South Whidbey High School for breakfast and to get team assignments from their house captains. Those who haven’t registered should arrive 15 minutes earlier to receive their assignments.

A photo will be taken of the entire group just before everyone heads out to the various homes.

Volunteers and homeowners are invited back at the high school at the end of the day for a well-deserved meal, entertainment and a wrap-up of the day’s work.

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