The spirit of giving is of course alive and well in North Central Washington. This week, I learned about two compelling efforts that impact Lighthouse Ministries, a faith-based effort to serve the homeless among us.
Lighthouse board president Kyle Hendrickson told me that they have almost matched the $150,000 challenge grant put up by Stemilt to refurbish a building at 410 S. Columbia Street. Hendrickson said about half of the amount has been raised, leaving about $75,000 to fund by the end of the year. A long list of businesses and individuals have stepped up to help match the dollars, headed by a $25,000 donation from Bethlehem Construction and a $28,000 in-kind pledge of services from Graybeal Signs.
The new property, formerly the Watson Distributing warehouse, will consolidate Lighthouse services in one location. Those services include a soup kitchen and a medical and dental services and a food distribution center.
And Lighthouse Ministries also was the recipient of a much smaller but equally heartfelt and personal donation from the kids at Joyful Scholars Montessori. The kids, as part of a new wellness education program directed by Kate Bonnett, refurbished six bicycles to donate through Lighthouse.
Last Friday afternoon, the kids delivered the bicycles adorned with red bows to the Lighthouse soup kitchen on South Wenatchee Ave.
Joyful Scholars co-founder Anni Hisey said the kids were a bit nervous before they walked in the door of the facility, but that hesitancy gave way to pride when the volunteers and guests at soup kitchen gave them a standing ovation. “It was magical,” said Hisey.
After the presentation of the bikes was made, the students burst into song, Hisey said.
After receiving a standing ovation, the students were so exuberant that after they got in their school van to return to classes, they sang all the way.
The students, who are in the 4th to 6th grades, learned basic bicycle repair skills from parents who volunteered their time. They learned to fix flat tires and perform other basic safety and maintenance checks.
Giving comes in so many forms in our community. We are truly blessed to live here.
The art of community project celebrates creative community building in North Central Washington. See all of the stories at artofcommunityncw.com.