With sizable projects ready in-waiting, organizers of Sequim’s Service Fest look to continue building community support for the two-week volunteer effort this June.
As a collaboration between the City of Sequim, Habitat for Humanity, and First Federal, organizers say the event on June 4-15 is the first of its kind and largest effort Habitat’s Care-A-Vanners program has participated in. These volunteers, 24 skilled laborers in 17 RVs, will travel across the country to help with projects in Sequim.
Julie Eckert, Habitat’s family service coordinator, said the Care-A-Vanners will join community volunteers to work on at least four homes in Sequim city limits with projects ranging from cleaning up yards to painting homes.
“It’s really about beautification for the entire city,” she said. “It also helps bring back the good old days of knowing and supporting your neighbors.”
Eckert said each of the homes is diverse in its needs and their homeowners reached out to either the city or Habitat for support.
Interest was high, she said, with more than 30 different people reaching out to her in recent months. To be considered though, homeowners needed to meet certain criteria, such as living within Sequim city limits, show a need for support, be willing to partner with Habitat volunteers in some capacity, and be within specific guidelines per household depending on the number of people and the annual income, i.e. a family of four cannot exceed $39,180 per year.
Community members can learn more about Service Fest at the city’s “Coffee with the Mayor” where Service Fest organizers will speak at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 24, in Black Bear Diner, 1471 E. Washington St. All events are free and open to the public.
Schedule of events
• The official kick-off for Service Fest begins at 4 p.m. Monday, June 4, at the Guy Cole Event Center in Carrie Blake Community Park with author Peter Kageyama. City staff brought him to speak about community engagement in May 2016 for a workshop, which Barbara Hanna, Sequim communications and marketing director, said was a success and she still hears people reference the event and its impact.
• The next morning, Tuesday, June 5, nicknamed Sequim Day of Color, residents can pick up a free quart of paint at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., to decorate your home in Sequim’s logo colors.
“We hope people will stop by to spruce up and brighten up something in their home, such as a door or mailbox, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.,” Hanna said.
Painted examples will be on-hand at the Civic Center, and volunteers with Sequim Beautiful Day painted the building on the northeast corner of Sequim Avenue and Spruce Street with the various colors available to the public.
• That night, Joy in Mudville performs at 6 p.m. at the James Center for the Performing Arts in Carrie Blake Community Park. This is a separate event from the city’s weekly Music in the Park series, which starts later in the month.
• On Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., the city continues its Rally in the Alley program placing dumpsters for free use at three locations at the City Shop, 169 W. Hemlock St., Carrie Blake Community Park, and Blue Sky Real Estate, 190 N. Priest Road. Dumpsters will be available until they are full, city staff said.
Hanna said this will be the sixth Rally in the Alley since the program started about two years ago to help neighbors clean out trash. So far, 400 volunteers from 15 organizations helped bring in nearly 48 tons of trash.
June 6-8, 11-15
• Volunteers will work on neighborhood revitalization projects and if time allows, some public projects may become available later in Service Fest, Hanna said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can sign-up for one day or come everyday starting at 9 a.m. at the Guy Cole Event Center in Carrie Blake Community Park from June 5-8, and 11-15.
Hanna said volunteers won’t work on weekends.
• 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.
Hanna said the city plans to establish its Emergency Operations Center in the Sequim Transit Center as its headquarters during Service Fest with staff sharing shifts to manage events.
Sequim’s vision meeting last September in the Guy Cole Event Center served as a foundation for Service Fest, organizers said, with residents helping identify potential projects. One of the projects includes building informational kiosks and placing them in the city’s seven recently designated neighborhoods.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Service Fest, you can sign-up in advance by contacting 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.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.