“You wouldn’t believe how good this feels,” said Mark Powless on Tuesday afternoon in front of his Sequim home.
The retired Costco worker watched as about 20 volunteers with Habitat for Humanity’s Care-A-Vanners program filled a dumpster, sorted appliances, bicycles and more while replacing a fence and painting a new coat of Seahawks’ colors on his home. Their efforts’ in the City of Sequim helped start the two week event of Sequim’s Service Fest running through Friday, June 15.
The event kicked off Monday night with author Peter Kageyama speaking in the Guy Cole Event Center followed by Tuesday’s Sequim Day of Color.
Staff and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity provided free paint for residents to decorate mailboxes, doors and other items. They encouraged residents to use the hashtag #Sequimservicefest and post a picture of their projects on social media accounts.
Powless’ home on the 200 block of West Hammond Street is the first of four in the city to see large teams receive support from volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Sequim.
Andrea Putnam of Princeton, NJ., said this was her first clean-up effort through Habitat and that it “feels pretty satisfying” to help.
She was one of 20 Care-A-Vanners to travel to Sequim to help with projects. Some, like Putnam, have traveled cross country while others drove from Bremerton and Bellingham to support the two week event.
Rick and Paula Huls, full-time RVers, served as team leaders on Powless’ home with Rick saying they’ve previously helped with 47 other Care-A-Vanners programs with most of those building single-family homes.
Most of the volunteers learned trades from their time volunteering, Rick Huls said.
The couple, who has been on the road since 2010, said they plan to move to Sequim soon after 10 years on the road.
“For us, it’s our backyard,” Rick Huls said on why they wanted to help here.
Powless, who has owned the home with his wife Margaret since 2000, said a family member of his “used to bring in anything and everything home” and since he lost his left leg to diabetes it’s become harder to manage the debris.
He was prompted to sign up for help when he saw an announcement for Service Fest in his city utility bill about Service Fest and figured he’d apply.
More to come
Powless’ home is the first of two projects with the second home at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Spruce Street. Care-A-Vanners will move on to it this week.
From June 5-8 and 11-15, volunteers will work on neighborhood revitalization projects and potentially some public projects. Sign-ups begin daily at 8 a.m. at the Guy Cole Event Center in Carrie Blake Community Park.
Starting at 9 a.m., Wednesday, June 6, the city places two dumpsters for its Rally in the Alley program for free use at each of three locations — the City Shop, 169 W. Hemlock St., Carrie Blake Community Park by the Albert Haller Playfields, and Blue Sky Real Estate, 190 N. Priest Road.
Along with the four housing clean-ups, city staff and volunteers will work on various city projects, too, such as repairing and painting dugouts at the James Standard Little League Park
Service Fest ends with a closing ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, at the James Center for the Performing Arts followed by a concert by Black Diamond Junction. Joy in Mudville performed for the festival on June 6, too.
For more information or to volunteer for Service Fest, contact Assistant City Manager Joe Irvin at 360-582-2457 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County at email@example.com, 360-775-3742 or by visiting www.habitatclallam.org.