Day of Service project still waiting to be completed

From left, Vivian Wright, Joel Woodson, and Lori Packard prepare the Arlington Heights fence to paint, for the Arlington and Darrington food banks, on Sept. 11. - Courtesy Photo
From left, Vivian Wright, Joel Woodson, and Lori Packard prepare the Arlington Heights fence to paint, for the Arlington and Darrington food banks, on Sept. 11.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — Even though this year’s National Day of Service and Remembrance projects were meant to conclude on the weekend after Sept. 11, an inhospitable drizzle on Saturday, Sept. 14, postponed at least one project until it can be completed when both the skies and the volunteers’ schedules are clear.

From Wednesday, Sept. 11, through Friday, Sept. 13, the Arlington and Darrington food banks recruited 30 volunteers to conduct preparation work to paint a fence in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. Anya Zolotusky and Kim Robinson, the owners of the fence, have pledged to donate $500 to the food banks, since that’s the value of refurbishing the fence.

“We put in 53 man-hours of scraping, brushing and pressure-washing that wood fence,” said Dawn Dickson, one of the coordinators of the project. “When the weather permits, we will finish the job and paint the fence.”

The fence is approximately 1,200 feet long, with four boards for each 8-foot by 10-foot section, adding up to 4,800 feet of boards that were last painted in August of 2009. Of the 30 volunteers, 25 came from Arlington and five came from Darrington, while an additional 14 volunteers collected 345 pounds of food and $1,519 at the Darrington IGA, which the Darrington and Oso food banks will share between them.

“We’re going to need at least four fairly warm, dry days to finish the job — two to let the fence dry out, one to paint, and one more to let the paint dry,” Dickson said. “This is a weather-dependent project, and we hope to complete it soon.”

Dickson acknowledged the challenge of coordinating an outdoor weather-dependent project in the rainy Pacific Northwest, but hopes the temporary disappointment that the volunteers felt, after the event was called off from its original date due to the boards being too wet to paint, will lead to long-term benefits.

“This may be a blessing in disguise, as the response may be greater, as more people become aware of this service on behalf of the food banks,” Dickson said. “There’s nothing better than gathering together for a win/win of serving the common good.”

Dickson encouraged anyone who’s interested in contributing their time, efforts or money to email or log onto

“This is a chance to meet members of your community, provide a service, and benefit others in a big way,” Dickson said. “Initially, this project looked overwhelming, but we have seen that, by gathering together, the work moves along quickly, and more can be accomplished then originally thought possible. This is a great way to get a labor-intensive project completed, and the reward is knowing you have helped those most in need.”


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