PORT TOWNSEND — United Good Neighbors in Port Townsend has rallied local volunteers to help with service projects in Jefferson County for the sixth annual Day of Caring today.
With roughly 100 volunteers, the event is expected to be slightly smaller than last year’s Day of Caring, which brought in about 150 people, unless more show up, according to Nikki Russell, UGN director of community engagement.
“It’s grown every year, but we’ve seen less early registration this year,” Russell said. “It’s a tough time to be doing a Day of Caring event since we’re squished between two big events.”
The Wooden Boat Festival was Sept. 9-11 and the Port Townsend Film Festival will be Sept. 23-25.
However, Russell said she hopes people will come out because this event is important as a kickoff of the nonprofit’s fall fund drive, which raises money shared with a variety of charities in Jefferson County.
“At the Day of Caring, we’re looking to connect people directly with the organizations UGN funds,” Russell said.
The day will jump-start with a celebration at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St. in downtown Port Townsend, at 8:30 a.m.
At 9:30 a.m., volunteers will disperse to work on 18 projects for two to three hours of community service. The majority of the projects are in Port Townsend, but there are a few in other locations in East Jefferson County.
“A lot of our local nonprofits rely on volunteers,” Russell said. “This is really about celebrating service and our caring community.”
Many of the projects will be outside, but there are projects for volunteers of all ages and all physical abilities.
Here is a list of projects for volunteers:
• Kul Kah Han Native Plant Demonstration Garden at H.J. Carroll — Native plant garden maintenance.
• Camp Beausite — Sprucing up the camp.
• Jefferson County Fairground — Painting the fairgrounds.
• Habitat for Humanity — Beautifying a park in a habitat neighborhood.
• Quimper Grange Food Bank Garden — Prepping gardens.
• Humane Society of Jefferson County — Clearing trails around animal shelter.
• Disability Awareness Starts Here — Evaluating Fort Worden trails for varying disabilities.
• The ReCyclery — Building a shed and beautification.
• Backpack for Kids — Packing weekend food for students in Quilcene, Brinnon, Port Townsend and Chimacum.
• The Boiler Room — Gardening and other chores.
• Port Townsend Library — Gardening.
• Port Townsend and Chimacum farmers markets — Organize and repair equipment.
• COAST — Assembling care bags for guests at the Jefferson County Winter Shelter, and supply drive for shelter personal care products.
• Olympic Community Action Programs — “Let the Sun Shine In” at South Seven Senior Living
• The Teen Center — Painting the ramp.
• Discovery Behavioral Healthcare — Beautification.
• Main Street Program — Painting projects around town.
Some groups already have adopted projects.
Students from the Swan School will be creating care packages for the winter homeless shelter, which will open in November.
“There are a lot of people who come to the shelter without basic things like toothbrushes,” Russell said. “The students will be packaging these care packages with a note for the shelter guest. I think it’s a really sweet project.”
The Young Professionals Network of Jefferson County will head to Fort Worden to test out the park’s trails to rate them for their level of difficulty and recreational value for visitors with disabilities.
The information collected will be used by Disability Awareness Starts Here (DASH), an inclusive recreation program, to inform visitors of the opportunities available to them at Fort Worden.
UGN is a member of the United Way of Washington and is dedicated to helping nonprofits in Jefferson County that provide emergency, youth, senior and community services in Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Chimacum, Port Ludlow and the surrounding areas.
For more information, see www.weareugn.org.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at [email protected].