Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Community members provide hours of service to new Granite Falls Outreach Center


October 1, 2012

Contributed Photo

On the warm and sunny morning of Saturday, September 8, dozens of members of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Days Saints Granite Falls Ward showed up to the new Granite Falls Outreach Center on Portage Ave. to help prepare the building for the many families in Granite Falls that may be in need of its services.

The Outreach Center is an extension of the Lake Stevens Family Center, which helps families in need with everything from finding a job to getting help filling out paperwork for state and other social services.

The building, which is in an old abandoned house behind McDonalds, needed both interior and exterior work and the many hands of this local church were able and willing to help paint, pull weeds, trim bushes, clean and even create a new sign.

The work also needed to be completed before their Grand Opening on Saturday, Sept. 15.

“Our staff has been cleaning bit by bit throughout our facility and really needed more time and more help to get our site spruced up,” Tiffany Wyatt, Granite Falls Outreach Coordinator said. “Many hands make work light! The Day of Service blessed our staff as well as our entire community by reducing the amount of cleaning needed to be done before officially opening our doors this September.”

There was a lot of work to do but the church members were excited to be able to help in their own community.

“Families are important to us. If you can get the family connected to the community or the community connected to the family, then the community flourishes. This is about making sure families have resources and have a place to go and have a place to get away from struggle. So for us it is all about families,” Sariah Stillwell, one of the many church members who helped out said. “Every year we have a Day of Service and because this was so close to our hearts we chose this project for it. Our city is Granite Falls, and because the center had a need, as their grand opening is next week, today was selected for the work. This is a great thing.”

The work not only brings a fresh new look to the Center, but it will also make the experience for families who come to the center a calming one.

“This service helped us jump start our September 15 Grand Opening by creating an inviting atmosphere for all of our community members who will be utilizing our services,” Wyatt said. “Instead of dust and cobwebs, our visitors will be greeted by fresh plants, soothing wall colors and a friendly family support facility that will serve families and individuals of all ages.”

Kids of all ages also helped out that day, each of them learning what it means to serve others and make your community better.

“We do all the service that we can, whenever there is an opportunity. It gives my kids a chance to see how exciting it is to give back to other people. My kids were so excited last night when going to bed because they knew that we were going to come and do this today,” Kristina Fife, mother of five said. “My oldest helped make the sign for it and she knows all the services they are going to offer. They are so excited to help do whatever they can. Obviously they are little, but they know they are here to help a community and not just to help a single family.”

All of those who came out to work on the Outreach Center were in good spirits, music playing in the background and snacks and water available. Mostly, though, they want to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.

“I believe that service is one of the tenets of our church and I believe in being part of the tenet. It was time to serve and so I’m serving,” church member Ron Kelley said.

Even teenagers know that serving others brings happiness. Just ask 13-year-old Hunter Johnson who said, “I came willingly. I feel good after doing service and that’s what I like about it. It’s a good feeling.”

Contributed Photo

The great thing about this project is that many other families will be able to feel good about all that was done as well as they enter an inviting and beautiful space where they will hopefully be able to find the help they need to lighten their burdens.

“We greatly appreciate every individual, family members and businesses that volunteered and made donations that Saturday.

Your time and hard work has not gone unnoticed,” Wyatt said. “Every day that we serve in this facility, we continue our gratitude to you for stepping up beside us and working to create an aesthetically pleasing environment for each individual that will walk through our doors. What a blessing you are to our wonderful community of Granite Falls!”

To contact the Granite Falls Outreach Center call 360-386-9282.


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