Habitat needs volunteers for local expo show

Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County is looking for volunteers to do more than just build houses.

The nonprofit, which builds homes for low-income families, will be part of the Peninsula Home & Garden Expo March 14-16.

The show will be held in three buildings on the fairgrounds, which will include a Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County shop.

The shop will include “nicer” donations that are dropped off at the Bremerton Habitat for Humanity store, including chandeliers, furniture, appliances and other items, said Adam Simmons, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County.

“It’s absolute insanity in the best way possible” said Simmons, who noted that the line of customers is usually long on the first day. “The flood of customers is insane.”

In order to ensure the event goes smoothly, volunteers are needed to help setup, man booths and pack everything up at the end of the three-day event.

“We will use any number of volunteers we can get,” said Simmons. “It’s a lot of hard work.”

For the nonprofit, the expo is the organization’s biggest fundraiser, usually bringing in enough profit to cover one-third of a home build.

During the expo last year, the organization raised $15,000 from sales of donations, which is lower than average for the show, Simmons said.

It generally costs Habitat $60,000 to $70,000 to build a home.

Most of the land that Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County builds on is either partially or fully donated, which allows store profits and fundraiser monies to go toward building supplies.

On average, six to eight homes are built per year in Kitsap County.

The current active build site is called Whittle Place in Bremerton. Build days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Volunteers go through an orientation to learn about the varied ways their services can be used at the organization.

Another build site that is expected to be completed in five to six years is a 32-home development in Port Orchard that’s all solar-powered, Simmons said.

When finished, the development will be the second largest all-solar neighborhood in Washington.

Additionally, the Peninsula Home & Garden Expo is held each year at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and includes a variety of vendors.

Seminars will also be available and included with the $6 paid admission. Teens, active duty military and seniors pay $5.

There is also an all-access pass for $10, which allows attendees to come and go all three days.

Children ages 5 through 12 can be registered for a free Lego Building Challenge. Landscape displays and chainsaw carvers will also be present during the event.

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