“Welcome to Service Sunday!” exclaimed Dan Vaughn, as he corralled the 28 Harbor Covenant Church members into Camp Stand By Me’s arts & crafts room on January 28. Dan has been serving as the volunteer facilities manager at the Easterseals camp, and he was ready with projects and tools to get the eager volunteers started.
Cathy Bisaillon, Easterseals Washington’s President & CEO, was on hand to show her appreciation and to share the impact that the group’s work has on the families served. “This magical place allows children and adults with disabilities to feel included and valued, and their families to get a significant break from caregiving to recharge their batteries,” Cathy explained. She went on to credit volunteers and donors for sustaining the 17 acre facility year after year, noting that the program, which includes a therapeutic pool and hot tub, is extremely costly to maintain. After a brief Q & A and some donuts and coffee, the teams hit the ground running.
In less than four hours, Camp Stand By Me got a facelift like never before! The individual projects are too numerous to mention; and, the highlights are impressive. The pressure wash team powered through a year’s worth of moss, bringing a shine to the picnic tables and slick-free surfaces to the cabins’ stairs and accessible pathways. The landscape crew raked, shoveled, clipped and whacked away berry bushes and weeds, exposing the naturally beautiful flower beds and hillsides. In the storage areas, strong backs cleaned out cabinets and disposed of old materials, making room for freshly organized and labeled tools and equipment. Meanwhile, a few energized ladies headed for the camp office to rejuvenate the worn walls with a bright coat of fresh paint.
Cathy made the rounds, thanking everyone and pitching in where needed. “What a difference a half of day makes!” she remarked. “I so enjoyed my interactions with each and every volunteer. I l earned that several were at our camp for the first time; that many have leads for other volunteers and donors that may want to support the program; and, that one couple was excited to finally find a program that could make a difference for a family member that has Down Syndrome.”
While everyone in the group worked tirelessly and accomplished amazing results, a tip of the hat goes out to Dan Vaughn. He has been instrumental in Camp Stand By Me’s designation as a Signature Ministry for Harbor Covenant Church, and he devotes many hours to ensure that the camp is ready to properly serve more than 400 people each year.
Thank you, Dan, and your hard-working team. Camp Stand By Me and its campers definitely feel the love.