We have great news in the Grays Harbor world of beautifying our community and involving citizen volunteers to make it happen.
The three volunteer teams that are finishing up the last three houses this summer of Paint the Corridor are all well on their way to completing the project. This beautiful weather has certainly been a bonus!
The large youth group and adult volunteers from the Aberdeen Church of Christ, are all done with the house at 717 Simpson in Aberdeen, behind the new Weatherwax statue of waves. We love it that the combination of some public art and some private sweat have made that intersection shine!
The team from Aiken and Sanders Inc., P.S., led by Terry Sodders, have done a beautiful job with their house at K Street and Emerson in Hoquiam. Last we checked they were about two-thirds done.
Then there’s Tammy Heth, and her Aberdeen Bobcats who are about half way done with their home at 203 West Emerson in Hoquiam. We’re certainly grateful to Tammy and all those students who learn about community service as they work on helping beautify or area.
AS YOU MAY RECALL
As you may recall, Paint the Corridor was first envisioned and funded by the Paul Stritmatter family in 2010. Paint the Corridor aimed to have volunteers prep and paint owner-occupied homes needing paint that were situated along the state highway corridors through Aberdeen and Hoquiam.
This idea became an immediate action plan for Grays Harbor Vision 2020. We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, with our more than 30 years of creating housing opportunities and managing construction projects, partnered to organize the event.
With its generous donation of paint and supplies, the Stritmatter family, as well as the law offices of Stritmatter, Kessler, Whelan, Coluccio, supported this project every step of the way.
Now, when these last three houses are complete, hundreds of volunteers will have donated a total of thousands of hours to paint 69 houses.
SALUTING MORE VOLUNTEERS
If you’ve been reading this column the last few weeks you’ll know that we’ve been highlighting many of the folks that put their paint brush where their mouth is and helped strengthen our community by helping their neighbors and transforming our town.
Today we want to particularly thank Terry Fultz and the folks at Newrizons Federal Credit, Brandon Barnes and the folks at Anchor Bank and Steven Puvogel and the folks at Walmart.
NEWRIZONS FEDERAL CREDIT
Newrizons Federal Credit Union is a low-income, community development charter that encompasses all of Grays Harbor County.
Helping with Paint the Corridor “is only one way that we demonstrate our commitment to this mission,” explained Terry Fultz.
While Terry said that honestly, it was harder than she expected to recruit volunteers that had painting experience, she was very relieved that when they tackled their house in 2011 that they were partnered with another group, Stump Busters.
“I take pride in the small part that Newrizons played in making a major street look so much better,” Fultz said. “A little bit of paint and effort really gives anyone passing through Aberdeen and Hoquiam a much better impression. And, for people who live here it helps motivate them to keep their places looking good too,” she said.
“I drive by the house we helped paint daily and it has really improved the look of my hometown area,” she said.
ANCHOR BANK EMPLOYEES
Brandon Barnes of Anchor Bank, which had a team for two years, led the team one of those years and still remembers how “positive, thankful and upbeat about the whole thing” the Hoquiam homeowner was about having her home transformed.
“This project was much needed,” Barnes said.
“It’s very visual and has both an immediate “Wow” factor and a lasting effect. As a volunteer, the instant gratification is huge. You’ve done something that you can see. It’s very visible. And, we know there is a strong need for upgrading the looks of our housing and this allows us to do it on a big scale,” he said.
WALMART GIVES SUPPORT
The employees at Walmart, led by Steven Puvogel (who now works for the state in Olympia) adopted houses in 2010 and 2011.
In addition to having large teams of volunteers who helped their community by prepping and painting, the store itself also generously donated key things such as 30 Second Cleaner (a great prep product to help you wash before painting) as well as lots of beverages and sundries.
The first year the team had a smaller house, but the second year, it was a much more challenging project, Puvogel said.
Even when volunteering isn’t easy, it’s worthwhile, he noted, adding that Walmart gives to a number of community events including Relay for Life.
We’ve always thought that Harborites were especially giving and we’re so grateful to all of them who give of their time, talents, money and resources to make our area better.
Next week we’ll talk about a few more of our great volunteers. In the meantime, remember this is a great time to paint your house or have it painted by one of our local professionals.
A good coat of paint not only makes the whole neighborhood look better, it protects the biggest investment you’ll likely have and where you’ll likely spend the most time.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.
Do you have questions about home repair, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, or 1-866-533-7828, or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.