WENATCHEE — Calvary Crossroads Church on Maple Street was a one-stop shop for clothing, food, manicures, flu shots, dental work, face painting and bouncy-house jumping on Saturday during Pay It Forward Day.
It was the third time the event has occurred in Wenatchee and it focuses on giving back to those in the community who are in need, said Sherrell Fields, one of the event’s organizers.
The event provides free services to anyone who needs them. The highlight of the day is the winter clothes and food, but volunteers and vendors from across the Wenatchee Valley stopped in to provide a variety of services.
“It started that we were going to do it just for a day for people who were in need of things, people who were struggling to get by,” Fields said. “To give people a fun, uplifting day.”
The idea generated from when Sherrell and her husband, Dale Fields, used to give blankets and other winter items to the homeless on the streets of Seattle, she said. Then the couple started thinking about how they could reach more people in need.
“Instead of going out into the community or the streets, now we have everybody coming to us,” Dale Fields said. “So instead of reaching 30 or 40 people, we are reaching 600 to 1,000 people. So, it has just been incredible.”
Washington Valley Pharmacy provided flu shots and Medical Teams International had a dental bus, where people could get extractions and fillings by appointment. Various sponsors donate about $10,000 a year toward the dental work, Dale Fields said. More than 100 people volunteered to help make the day happen.
It has been a huge success, Dale Fields said. There were 100 to 200 people lined up around the church before the doors even opened Saturday morning. Within a little over an hour, the seven racks of free clothing were whittled down to just three.
Antonio Bañuelos of East Wenatchee attended with his partner, Heather Goodman, and their three children — Santana, 3 months, Antonio Jr., 1, and Mateo, 2.
Bañuelos said the event helped his family stock up on winter clothes and food.
“We actually got a couple of coats for our kids, our babies and our toddlers, winter clothes, coats,” he said. “Now one of my kids is in the (bouncy house) right now having fun. So it is actually a pretty cool event. It helped us out.”
Nancy Johnson of Entiat and her son Charles, 6, both got haircuts as part of Pay It Forward Day. Johnson usually cuts her son’s hair herself, but Pay It Forward Day was a special treat.
“It really means a lot,” she said. “I couldn’t have given Charlie a haircut in a salon anytime in the near future, so it is really great. He was actually like, ‘Why can’t you do it mom?’ I was like, ‘No, it’s gift I’m giving myself.’”