South Whidbey Hearts & Hammers volunteers, including house captain Ken Murray, center, work on a project Saturday. (Photo provided)

South Whidbey Hearts & Hammers volunteers, including house captain Ken Murray, center, work on a project Saturday. (Photo provided)

Hearts & Hammers has ‘wonderful day’

It was the big weekend for Whidbey Island’s Hearts & Hammers chapters, which held their once-a-year workday on Saturday, May 4.

South Whidbey Hearts & Hammers and Central Whidbey Hearts & Hammers work to match homeowners who have an urgent need with volunteers of all trades who provide home repair free of charge.

The groups start their day with a big breakfast, divide into teams and disperse to spend the day laboring on various projects, such as repairing decks, building wheelchair accessible ramps, yard work, painting, installing smoke alarms, roof repair and more.

The requirement for homeowners who apply for assistance is that they can’t do it on their own or hire people to fix it.

South Whidbey Hearts & Hammers, the original chapter, had about 350 volunteers and 27 projects for its 26th annual workday, organizers said.

“It was a wonderful day,” board president Baz Stevens said. “We did some really great projects. … It’s a privilege working with so many selfless individuals.”

One project for the Central Whidbey Hearts & Hammers was at the Terry Mobile Park in Coupeville.

The organization worked on more than 15 projects on Saturday, president Wilson Binger said, with about 100 volunteers.

“‘We”ll do whatever we can do help keep people in their homes,” he said. “Part of our mission is to create a sense of community.”

Island County waives Hearts & Hammers dumping fees each year, which is financially a big help, Binger said.

Organizers of a newly forming third chapter, North Whidbey Hearts & Hammers, expect to be able to run a workday of their own next year.

Volunteers from Central Whidbey Hearts Hammers work on building a deck. From left to right are Chuck Hathaway, Devin Short, house captain Gary Wray and Dave Park. (Photo by Maria Matson/ South Whidbey Record)

Volunteers from Central Whidbey Hearts Hammers work on building a deck. From left to right are Chuck Hathaway, Devin Short, house captain Gary Wray and Dave Park. (Photo by Maria Matson/ South Whidbey Record)