In the spirit of an old-fashioned barn-raising, Grays Harborites are organizing to see just how much difference a day can make when it comes to beautifying their community.
Thanks to a $20,000 donation from a generous Hoquiam family, as well as the gift of very low-cost paint from Kelly-Moore Paint, NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor is partnering with Grays Harbor’s “Vision 2020” Team to turn this wonderful gift into a one-day painting event.
The event, “Paint the Corridor,” is set for Saturday, June 19. Volunteers are signing up, but more are needed.
“We’re hoping to paint at least 15 houses – maybe as many as 40 – along the Highway 101 corridor running through Aberdeen and Hoquiam,” said David Murnen, Executive Director of NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, which is helping to coordinate the event. “So far, 18 of the 52 homeowners contacted have given permission to have the exterior of their homes considered for this event,” he said.
To make the event a success, volunteers, donors and sponsors are needed, he said.
“We need people to paint, but we also need people and businesses to sponsor or create things like signs, T- shirts with logos, banners, food for the volunteer crews and even a few portable toilets.”
“Please call if you can help prep a house before the event or paint a house with others on the third Saturday in June,” Murnen said. “Or, better yet, gather five to 25 coworkers or friends from your business, neighborhood, organization, club or church and then give us a call with your ready-made team. We’ll supply you with a foreman if you need one, a prepped house ready to paint and all the paint and supplies you’ll need.”
To volunteer or donate to the event, call NeighborWorks at 533-7828.
“We want to create a spark and get people excited again,” said Ron Pinnick, community director of Vision 2020. “We want it to become a contagious thing to help improve our area.”
The Grays Harbor Vision 2020 group is hoping to make this the first annual community paint party with subsequent ones to hit other areas of the county, Pinnick said.
“There are places in our community now that have that deferred maintenance first impression,” said Murnen. “At NeighborWorks we’re always talking about how important a good coat of paint is to protect your home, but also how nicely painted houses are so valuable in terms of a community’s image and attractiveness to visitors and investment. The corridors are our shared community face and we need to pay attention to it,” he said.
“We can wring our hands in despair and hopelessness or shake our fists in anger that ‘somebody’ isn’t fixing it. Or we can use those same two hands, roll up our sleeves and get to work! That’s what we’re going to do, but we need the community’s help,” Murnen said.