Hundreds of volunteers will be building, cleaning, painting and completing community service projects Saturday throughout the Tri-Cities during Sharefest Tri-Cities.
It's a one-day community project blitz involving members from more than 30 Tri-City area churches.
"Check it out, sign up and get out into the community and show Christians have heart and care for others," said Jan Sederberg, who organizes events and conventions at Bethel Church in Richland.
"This is my favorite one to work on. It's an exciting project," she said.
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Almost 500 projects are listed on the Sharefest website at sharefesttricities.com, and not all require tools or physical agility.
There will be food drives to benefit Second Harvest Tri-Cities, quilt-making for Pregnancy Network and casserole assembling for Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery.
The churches also collect donations, usually the Sunday after Sharefest, and split the money among one or more nonprofit organizations.
This year the money will go to military veterans. Half will go to the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition Wagenaar-Pfister house in Kennewick, a place where homeless veterans can live for up to two years while they get back on their feet.
The rest will be split 50-50 and given to each of the veterans' programs at Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Some of the Sharefest projects are those the schools and cities simply don't have the money to do.
"Like the George Washington Way project, the city has pulled the ugly old arborvitae out (in the Newton Street area) and we'll plant trees and reroute the irrigation. They provide the materials; we provide the free labor," said Jeff Dihel, a volunteer from Central United Protestant Church in Richland.
Other tasks the volunteers will be doing are for individuals.
"We do a lot of yard cleanup work for the elderly and disabled and can always use more people. It's the old more hands, less work," Dihel said.
They also will be building wheelchair ramps. One, in West Richland, will be for an 84-year-old Vietnam veteran and his wife, who is recovering from surgery.
"He called and told me things have been tough for them. He was able to buy a used mobile home ... and the people they bought it from patched the holes in the Sheetrock and put up the skirting," Sederberg said.
But the man the veteran hired to put in a wheelchair ramp and sidewalk reportedly took the money he was given to buy cement and disappeared.
"I felt so bad for him. You could hear the despair in his voice," she said. Volunteers from Bethel will re-do their yard, put in the sidewalk and build the ramp.
If you're not a member of a participating church and want to volunteer, contact the churches -- they're listed on the website. Or give Sederberg a call at 628-0150.
"I'll be happy to put them on a project," she said.