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Days of Caring
Volunteers remodel playground
ARLINGTON The students of Apple Preschool benefited from the United Way of Snohomish Countys Days of Caring Sept. 28, when volunteers from Agilent Technologies remodeled their playground.
Jim Litz, Agilent Technologies Everett site manager, helped supervise a crew of more than 30 volunteers from his company, as they relocated an equipment shed, placed new gravel and bark around the playground equipment, and built a retaining wall to shore up the slight incline between the playground and the tennis courts at 135 S. French Ave.
Most of our employees brought their own equipment to this job, from rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows to power tools and even a tractor, said Litz, as he pointed to Agilent employee Tony DeMartino using his rig to plow and scoop through the surrounding grounds. Weve even done some painting inside the school. This is actually the second day of work here for some of us, since we poured cement pads last week.
Litz noted that many volunteers had taken vacation days to do this work, not counting the month of preplanning that the volunteers conducted to stage the site.
I suppose we could have just shown up today and done whatever work we could, but its smarter to do what you can ahead of time, said Litz, even as his volunteers agreed to move another equipment shed from one side of the building to the other. Were here from 8 a.m. until whenever we get done.
Pam Guilford, Apple Preschools program manager, explained that the school serves a mix of poverty-level and tuition students with funds from state and school district programs, and expressed her gratitude to Agilent Technologies, the United Way of Snohomish County, the Arlington School District and the local community as a whole for their continued support.
Without them, we simply wouldnt be able to do all the things we need to get these kids ready for kindergarten, Guilford said. We already had kids outside today looking at the playground and saying that it looked so cool.
Projects like this are always a lot of fun, Litz said. Its rewarding to be able to work on behalf of a worthwhile cause, and its a great break from sitting at your desk in the office, to get out and give.
This year marked the United Way of Snohomish Countys 15th Days of Caring, as more than 1,000 volunteers worked Sept. 28-29 on projects throughout Snohomish County. Last years Day of Caring yielded $121,000 worth of donated time from its volunteers, while this year marked the first time that the Day of Caring was extended to two days.