Charity hopes to stay in its home

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT — An Everett service group will continue raising money for a new building, which will house a program giving clothes to school kids, even while the site is being eyed by the city.

City leaders are looking at five downtown sites as the possible location for a special-events center that could attract trade shows, performers and a minor league sports team.

One of the sites is a city block at Hewitt and Lombard avenues. A portion of the block is occupied by The Assistance League of Everett. It’s where the League operates a thrift store and several programs, including Operation School Bell.

The service group will not abandon expansion plans intended to relieve pressures from cramped quarters.

"We’re continuing because nothing has been finalized," said Sally Joy, spokeswoman for the organization. "We’re assuming that we are where we are. The city could change its mind."

About a year ago, the League announced it would expand its building at 1619 Hewitt Ave. and also build a new building for the School Bell program. The League, with a membership of 315 people, has been at its current site for 25 years.

The all-volunteer group has already raised $800,000 toward its $1.5 million goal for the project.

The group hopes to build a 7,750-square-foot brick home for Operation School Bell as well as office space. The organization has bought property adjacent the current site and hired an architect.

The plan also includes a 500-square-foot remodel of the group’s existing building to increase the size of the thrift shop, a major source of income for the group.

Some of those plans could change if the organization moves to a new location.

The city’s news came as a surprise, Joy said. The League will continue its community service efforts regardless of location.

"We could have a totally brand new facility," Joy said, adding that service efforts will increase in coming years because of the need out there.

The League works on seven projects aimed to promote the well-being and self-esteem of children, teens and adults in Snohomish County. Operation School Bell is the organization’s primary project.

Fourteen school districts throughout the county refer children to Operation School Bell to receive clothing. Children and teen-agers choose their own clothing from the program’s store.

Operation School Bell has served more than 36,500 children since the Assistance League organized here in 1965.

The League began as a women’s organization and now also has about 15 male members, most of whom are husbands of members, Joy said.

City leaders recently met with League volunteers to let them know of interest for the site. City administrator Don Hale has said the $40 million to $50 million special-events center would be a great feature for downtown. Locations of the four other possible sites were not released.

Hale has said, however, that each location is within blocks of the city’s new transportation center, Everett Station, under construction along Pacific Avenue.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

A wall diagram shows the “journey of the ballot” at the new Elections Center on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County primary election ballots shipped to registered voters

This year’s primary election will feature races in every corner of the county. Turn in a ballot by Aug. 6 to ensure your vote is counted.

A skeletonized cranium found at Scriber Lake Park in Lynnwood, WA on March 24, 2024. The remains are likely a black male estimated to be over 25 years of age and unknown height and weight. He is estimated to have been deceased at least one year. (Provided by Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office)
Authorities seek help identifying partial skull found in Lynnwood park

A homeless man discovered the skull at Scriber Lake Park. Forensic scientists hope to connect the remains to a missing person.

Guests enjoy the sunset and wind Friday afternoon at Cama Beach Historical State Park on Camano Island on October 25, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
State commission weighs permanent closure of Cama Beach cabins

The Washington State Parks Commission said the park’s native history, sea level rise and septic issues will figure in its decision.

Animal Chaplain Shel Graves has her dog Lily pose for a photo in her home office on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is your dog or cat grieving? There’s an animal chaplain for that

Chaplains offer spiritual care for beings of all species: “Absolutely, animals do feel grief and loss.”

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains on Wednesday. (Provided by the National Weather Service)
Red flag warning issued for eastern Snohomish County through Wednesday

The National Weather Service says critical fire conditions are either imminent or occurring now.

Traffic camera shows Everett and Marysville firefighters on the scene of a crane accident along northbound I-5 near milepost 198 Tuesday evening. (Provided photo)
Two workers fall from I-5 bridge Tuesday evening

The workers were in a “cherry picker” type bucket when it tipped over. One man fell 60 feet into the water and was taken to the hospital.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.