If there is an iconic “Mom and Pop” of South Whidbey, the Wimberly couple fit the role. Bob and Audrey have lived on South Whidbey for 44 years and owned Saucy’s Pizza in Clinton for 19 years. They always hired high school students at their business, providing jobs and guidance for a host of young workers over the years. Many of those students, some over 30 years old now, stay in contact and still refer to the couple as Mom and Pop. Needing help themselves was something the Wimberly couple never considered.
Both over 70 years old with health issues, home repairs were becoming a burden they could not accomplish. Their daughter, Cindy Wimberly, convinced them they needed help and signed them up for the annual Hearts & Hammers workday last year.
Hearts & Hammers offers homeowners help with repairs for those physically or financially unable to do the work alone, said Ross Godwin, the group’s president. For the last 20 years, volunteer crews achieved whatever work could be accomplished in a one-day work blitz. Last May, more than 400 volunteers brought help to 36 homes on South Whidbey. All the work and supplies were offered at no cost to the homeowner because of donations of labor and materials from many local businesses as well as the efforts of volunteers.
“This is one of the best programs on the Island for ‘neighbors helping neighbors,’ ” Godwin said.
“It was wonderful,” Audrey said of the help provided by Hearts & Hammers. “You couldn’t ask for nicer, more considerate people. They always asked if something was OK before they did it.”
“And they were here when they said they would be,” Bob added.
A crew of about eight volunteers came last May under the direction of House Captain Marcia Wiley.
A rotting beam was replaced over the front porch, new gutters were installed around the house and new tile placed in the bathroom.
“They found the bathroom heater was not working well and replaced it,” Audrey said, explaining that more work was done than the couple expected, including a cleanup outside with all the debris hauled away.
“Marcia knows what she’s doing,” Audrey said. “I couldn’t believe the amount of things she could do. And the crew really respected her.”
Wiley has been a house captain since the first Hearts & Hammers workday in 1994.
“Every year I feel like I’ve been given a big gift to go out in the community to help.” Wiley said. “We’re all neighbors showing up to help each other.”
H&H is looking for homes for the May 3 workday. The deadline is Jan. 31 to be considered for help this year. To sign up for help or to donate to this cause, go to the web site at www.heartsandhammers.com or call 360-221-6063.
For those needing help, Bob’s advice is, “Get her done, don’t delay.”