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Yes, Veronika, there is a Santa Claus

KINGSTON — While the group is no longer called Christmas in April, the idea is the same — helping others in need. Whether it’s repairing a roof, touching up old siding or painting a few walls, the efforts of newly-named Rebuilding Together* Kitsap is to provide assistance when needed year-round.

The organization will be holding its annual “Rebuilding Day Blitz” event on April 24 when staff and local volunteers provide major home renovations to several low-income houses in the county. Veronika Rose of Kingston is one of this year’s lucky recipients.

Rose’s single-wide mobile home on Barber Cut Off Road has minimal storage space, forcing her to keep personal belongings outside in a temporary shelter, said RT*Kitsap Executive Director Monica Sorensen. This event will not only be a first for Rose but also for the group.

“Kingston is the first one (where) we are actually building a structure,” Sorensen said. “We’ve never done that before.”

To prepare Rose’s home for Saturday’s big work party, Marines from the Recapture Tactics Platoon of the U.S. Marine Corps at the Naval Sub-Base Bangor cleaned up debris April 10 and local contractors poured the foundation for the new shed April 17.

The walls of the shed are being constructed this week and will be pieced together this Saturday at the site. Members of the Kingston Kiwanis and other volunteers will then paint it and help reorganize Rose’s belongings in the new storage space. She will also have her outside staircase repaired and a bathtub insert and a new wood stove installed.

Approximately 20 local businesses and groups are volunteering their efforts to rejuvenate the property.

“We have some great groups that are just excited about this,” Sorensen said.

Kingston Kiwanis president Dave Wetter said RT*Kitsap made a presentation about its efforts at a Kiwanis meeting, giving the Kiwanians another opportunity to lend a helping hand.

“We try and work on things that are in Kingston that help kids or families or seniors,” Wetter said.

Rose said when she applied to RT*Kitsap for assistance, she had a few things in mind she needed help with, however, she was overwhelmed by all the help she actually received.

“These are the nicest people in the whole, wide world,” Rose said. “I’ve never seen so much likeness and goodness in human beings. They worked like they were being paid a million dollars day.”

Sorensen encourages the public to participate in the group. For more information, call her at (360) 308-8783.#

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