UW Tacoma students aid Serenity House over break
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
eninsula Daily News University of Washington Tacoma students — from left, Lori Christmas of McCleary, Jessica Bolich of Tacoma, Inteus Taylor of Spanaway and Ciara Swann of San Francisco — pull weeds from a community garden at the Evergreen Family Village housing complex in Port Angeles last week.

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PORT ANGELES — Eight University of Washington Tacoma students spent their spring break working on community service projects at various Serenity House of Clallam County sites and learning more about homelessness in rural communities.

“We're excited about what we're getting to do,” team leader Lori Christmas said last week. “This doesn't just help others; it helps us, too.”

When a young woman with a 1-year-old child arrived to move into a family shelter apartment the team was cleaning Monday, “it was a life-changing moment,” Christmas said.

“We're college students with many years ahead of us and many decisions to make about our careers. This [experience] will make a difference.”

In Port Angeles, the volunteers put in time at Serenity House's family and women's shelters and permanent supportive housing units on C Street; homeless youth service's Dream Center, Irvine House and Vine Street Cottage; and at the Serenity thrift store in the historic church building at First and Vine.

They also helped with landscaping at the Sequim-area home partially bequeathed to Serenity House by Bruce Davidson, a regular donor to the agency who died Jan. 14.

Proceeds from the sale of the home will go toward homeless programs, Serenity House officials said.

Kim Leach, Serenity House director of family services, arranged for Serenity House to host the social services students, who arrived last Monday and worked through Friday.

The team of five women and three men “paid $125 each to be here,” said Christmas, a senior.

They rented a university van and stayed in a Serenity House facility.

“We are fortunate to have housing provided,” she said.

For more information about Serenity House, visit serenityhouseclallam.org, email serenity@olypen.com or phone 360-452-7224.

Last modified: March 31. 2013 6:19PM
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