WENATCHEE — Calvary Crossroads Church’s Pay it Forward Day, coming Oct. 12, is about more than providing food and clothing to those in need.
“It’s a day of love and feel-good opportunities,” said Sherrell Fields, who, with her husband Dale, is leading the charge in coordinating the event, now in its third year.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church, 1301 Maple St.
“Our goal is to assist people in our community who are struggling to get by for any reason,” she said. That assistance includes groceries, winter clothing, flu shots and dental care, along with information about how to access things like affordable healthcare, work skills and social services that can help days and weeks down the road.
It’s also about life beyond the bare necessities — offering hair cuts, manicures, family portraits and a day of fun for all ages with music, prizes, giveaways, a bounce house and family games and activities.
“We want to throw in some ‘pick-me-up’ things, to help people feel good for the day,” Sherrell Fields said, describing it as a needed boost for those struggling for all sorts of reasons. “Get your nails done. Get your hair done. Get your photos done.”
Parson’s Photography is providing family portraits this year.
“The photos are great because a lot of people haven’t been able to get family pictures done. This way, they can do portraits for their Christmas pictures. So that’s fun,” she said.
Lunch is included as well. The chef is planning to feed between 700 and 800 people — just in case.
Fields said, based on previous attendance, they are expecting 600 people this year.
More than 160 volunteers have stepped up to help, which includes about 60 from participating businesses and organizations. The other 100 are community volunteers who have been working for nearly a year on planning and coordination.
In past years, people started lining up at 8:30 a.m., Fields said. Volunteers are expecting that again this year, with plans to serve coffee and doughnuts to help with the wait.
Fields recommends people arrive early, especially if they need something specific — like groceries, hats or gloves.
“Come early and get what you need first and then have fun with the other services,” she said.
The dental services — fillings and extractions — do require appointments. People can call 470-2883 to schedule a time.
Lines for the haircuts historically have been the longest. The first year, seven stylists couldn’t get through everyone in the four hours, she said. Last year, 12 stylists were able to get through the line. This year, 14 stylists have volunteered.
“Hopefully that will be enough,” Fields said.
The support from businesses and community members has been good, she said, which is a sign of the event’s success. The bigger measure, though, comes from those who attend.
“The stories that we hear all day long are amazing,” she said, from families who lost everything in a house fire to single moms trying to make ends meet because of a change in circumstance.
“We want to help anyone who is struggling to get by for whatever reason. We don’t put a stipulation on why," she said. "We just want to help. We measure our success not by how many people come, but that those who do come get what they need that day.”