Volunteer for Hearts and Hammers

"The Hearts and Hammers annual workday is set for Saturday, May 6, and volunteers are needed this year more than ever, say organizers. This week letters were sent to 33 homeowners on South Whidbey to let them know they can expect work crews on that first Saturday in May.It will the 7th year that this nonprofit all volunteer organization has mobilized to work on repairs and maintenance at the homes of people physically or financially unable to do the work themselves. All materials and labor are free to the homeowners thanks to a year-round fund-raising effort, discounts and donations in kind from local businesses. The yearly effort has grown in scope and popularity not only due to increasing need in the community, but in large measure because of what the volunteers get out of the day, said Randy Hudson of H&H. The rewards of lending a helping hand to neighbors in need, and the joy of sharing the day with so many like-minded community members makes for a wonderful experience that draws folks year after year. Ask anyone who has been involved and you will hear enthusiastic reports of accomplishment, fellowship and goodwill.The big workday begins with everyone gathering in the high school commons for coffee, rolls and work assignments. Folks then disperse to the various house sites and spend the day painting, building, roofing, gardening, hauling debris, or whatever else is needed. Meanwhile, a crew of kitchen helpers prepares a bounteous celebratory dinner, to which all volunteers and homeowners are invited that evening.If you would like to participate, Hearts and Hammers needs to hear from you as soon as possible, and in any event no later than March 25. All manner of volunteers are needed, from skilled labor to weed pullers. If you want to help there is a job for you. There will be 33 teams needed for the day, including crews for the firewood site, recycling site and dinner preparation. Each year many people who intend to be involved put off submitting the forms, but much organization and planning needs to be done beforehand, so please sign up now, Hudson said.Volunteer forms are available at local building supply stores, libraries, Bayview Farm and Garden Nursery, Clyde Theater box office, and the Langley Visitor Center; or by calling Suzanne at 341-5587."

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