Volunteers turned out in full force for Saturday’s third annual Sequim Beautiful Day effort.
Organizers estimate more than 100 volunteers from seven churches, businesses and community groups came out to help with projects across the city of Sequim ranging from painting to landscaping to general maintenance at local schools and nonprofits.
“I’m speechless at the turnout,” said homeowner Laraine Claire.
Community members banded together to paint the interior of her home on the corner of Spruce Street and Fourth Avenue, clean her yard, install a dog pen, create a prayer/meditation garden, and plant new trees on April 27. It’s all in preparation for her house to ope n up this summer as a new home for women and families, specifically single mothers and grandmothers and their children/grandchildren, facing homelessness, crisis or trauma.
New nonprofit ORCA, Our Community Resiliency Alliance, will lease her home under the name Summit House, to offer “wrap-around services” such as counseling, job training and more for families.
Claire’s home will become available to accepted women for up to two years, said ORCA Executive Director Manny Aybar, but they could transition sooner with necessary skills.
Claire said her home is a former parsonage for Sequim Bible Church dating back to the 1940s and Sequim Beautiful Day volunteers painted some parts of the home for the first time in many years.
A particularly important part of the project for Claire was that volunteers planted a tree for her grandson Isaac Stromberg whom Claire took custody of while her daughter received addiction treatment over the years.
Along with Summit House, volunteers could be seen across Sequim working at projects, including the Rally in the Alley where community members could dump unwanted items in partnership between the City of Sequim and Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County.
Volunteers also helped paint and/or clean up at Olympic Peninsula Academy’s new portables, Helen Haller Elementary, Sequim High School and the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild Thrift Shop on Bell Street.
Nancy McGovern, president of the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild, said the fresh paint and landscaping was definitely welcomed.
“After years of giving to the community, it’s moving that the community has given back to us,” she said.
One of the many volunteers painting there included Sequim Beautiful Day first-timer Rhonda Butler with Sequim Community Church who said, “It’s great to be part of a community and give back.”
The fourth Sequim Beautiful Day is set for April 18, 2020. Learn more by visiting https://sequimbeautifulday.org/.
For more information on Our Resilient Community Alliance, visit www.OlympicORCA.org.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.