United Way and Labor volunteers help Bothell resident keep his home
By SPECIAL TO THE REPORTER
Bothell Reporter Contributor
June 22, 2012 · Updated 12:07 PM
When United Way’s Labor Advisory Committee heard that Bothell resident Darold Thomas was at risk of losing his homeowner’s insurance and faced a potential foreclosure, they knew they had to help.
Thomas, a former Boeing employee and longtime member of International Association of Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 751 was in desperate need of a finished deck and stair railings. While suffering from a debilitating illness, these key elements of his home sat unfinished. Without them, he was in jeopardy of losing his home.
Stepping up to help Thomas were 25 volunteers from IAM 751, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA), Washington Education Association (NESA), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1579 and other community organizations. On a recent weekend morning, the volunteers arrived at Thomas' home and began repairing railings, chopping wood, mowing the lawn and cleaning the garden.
When Thomas saw the work unfold, he had a difficult time describing what the act of kindness meant to him.
"Now we know that there really are people in this community that care. It is a horrible feeling to wonder what will happen to our home because we haven't been able to keep up on it for so long. This work gives us the hope that we will be able to keep the home and secure insurance,” Thomas said, holding back tears.
The project was organized and funded through a relatively new partnership between United Way of Snohomish County and Snohomish County Labor Council. Formed a little less than a year ago, the Labor Advisor Committee was established to support Snohomish County residents with the help and support of the Labor Community. To date, the committee has completed several projects, including supporting the Letter Carriers Food Drive, Toys for Tots and building wheelchair ramps and other home safety and mobility improvements for community members in need.
Thanks to the Labor Advisory Committee and the dedicated group of volunteers, Darold can now obtain the critical homeowners insurance that he needs and is no longer at risk of losing his home.
When reflecting back on the experience, Darold said, “This means more than I can say. We are truly grateful for the support of all of the volunteers that are here for us. This is something we will never forget.”