It really is up to us | Everything Bremerton | Colleen Smidt


The heart of every community is its members. People that are willing to give up one or more of their Saturdays for community service are very special indeed.

During the past couple of weekends, two different work parties, on two different Bremerton projects helped to chip away at the long list of much needed repairs on these local sites that public budgets just can’t seem to cover anymore.

The first local work party site was at Naval Avenue Early Learning Center and the Boys and Girls Club located there. Comcast selected this site for its Comcast Cares Day – an annual single-day national event wherein thousands of Comcast employees, friends and family members join together in community service.

Since the Naval Avenue ELC is just a few blocks from my home, I walked down to witness the work. The Comcast employees did a fantastic job and what a fun group of people they were. They repaired, replaced, painted, raked, dug and spread for hours and the work resulted in a much improved site for neighborhood children to attend both the school and the Boys and Girls Club functions and events.

When corporations like Comcast commit to improving their community in such a way, it makes me proud to be their customer as well (not that I have an option). I personally seek out corporate community partners and make every attempt to give my business to them as a way of showing my appreciation for their volunteer and donated efforts.

The second local work party worked at Forest Ridge Park located in the Summit Avenue area of Bremerton. The site was selected by a group of citizen volunteers from various groups in and around that area.

My son Nick and I rolled out of bed earlier than usual last Saturday morning, loaded up the car and headed out to the park for a day of work. We met up with about 50 other volunteers that came and went during the day. The Bremerton parks department does as much as it can with its continually shrinking budget. My hat is off to Parks Director Wyn Birkenthal for being able to stretch the limited resources he has. It really is up to the rest of us as community members and residents to contribute our own personal amount of sweat equity by picking up the slack and assisting where we can.

The work is very basic. It is not really that hard. The work involves common tasks you already do to keep up your own home or property. It simply takes time, commitment and effort. What you get out of it is immeasurable. It is a sense of fellowship working with community members you already know and getting to meet new ones you may never have found. It makes you appreciate the city resources we have and it passes on the satisfaction of community service to the next generation.

Throughout the year, Bremerton groups will host work parties at a variety of locations all over town that will help to maintain and improve sections of our community one small piece at a time. Find a group and join the party. The city website is a great place to check out community projects and work party opportunities. Pick a project or create your own work party if you can’t find one.


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