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Two homes remade with paint and love

SUQUAMISH — Volunteers in Kitsap County came together Saturday morning to help families in need by swinging hammers, pushing lawn mowers and hauling trash.

At the end of the day, their labors paid off at six homes in Kitsap, two of which were in the North End, as part of the Rebuilding Together*Kitsap event (formerly known as Christmas in April).

The activity was part of National Rebuilding Day, in which 8,700 homes all over the country were repaired, painted and/or landscaped. But the work of volunteers at homes in Hansville and Suquamish had a major impact on the homeowners’ own worlds.

Suquamish resident Marie Tiry applied for the program because of needed repairs she could not afford, primarily in the bathroom. The toilet was cracked and the flooring, walls and tub were rotting. As the biggest project home in all of Kitsap, volunteers, led by project foreman John Schoendorf, gutted the bathroom down to its studs and built a new one from the ground up Saturday.

New bedroom doors were also hung and new French doors were installed in the back of the house, plus the lawn was mowed and garbage was removed. All the labor and materials were donated for the project.

“It’s rewarding to everyone here who is doing something,” Schoendorf said.

Tiry’s daughter, April Leigh, who lives in Shelton, had heard about the program through school and encouraged her mother to apply.

“They’ve done a lot that’s more than they normally do — they don’t normally rip out a bathroom,” Leigh said.

It was “extreme relief” to see all these volunteers come and spend their Saturday helping out her mother, she added.

“It’s really hard to go to work and come home and know your mom is living with a shower with rotting flooring and no heat,” she said.

Mark Schroder, a volunteer at the Suquamish home, said there were about 30 people from his church New Life Church of Klahowya, who showed up to help.

“We figured this was a good way to get into the community,” he said. “Get in and do some stuff that can impact the community.”

In Driftwood Key, another group volunteers, including members of the New Life Church and the Kingston Kiwanis, were doing exterior work on an elderly woman’s home. They painted the entire exterior of the garage, pulled weeds, chopped wood and painted the back fence and rebuilt a new front fence as well.

“The church wanted to find a practical way to show love to the community,” said volunteer and New Life member Amy Moorhead, who was repainting the back fence.

House captain Dan Cave was impressed with the amount of people who converged on the Hansville home.

“They actually had to turn away (volunteers),” he said. “More people came than we expected. I’m so pleased with the work attitude to get it done and let’s make it nice.”

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