Community is one of Kirkland's greatest hallmarks

[scrollGallery id=186] Sometimes it is difficult to step outside of the busy schedules we have created for ourselves and really appreciate the important things in life -- our family and friends. How we work together to achieve common goals is one way to build a sense of community.

In the past, the sense of community was strengthened by the raising of a barn or communal help during times of sickness or loss in a family. Today, many find community through service organizations, churches and volunteering to help others.

When the idea of Kudos Kirkland first blossomed, we were just trying to recognize the good deeds of stewardship witnessed by those in our community. We noticed that the many in town had lost their sense of pride and community. We witnessed garbage on our streets, litter in our parks and on sidewalks downtown. It was sad to see. Michelle Sailor and I wanted things to change so we started picking up garbage and cigarette butts on the sidewalks. We swept up leaves and weeded flower beds. We recognized the merchants who were already being good stewards of our community and we encouraged others to pledge to join us. Michelle organized power washing of downtown sidewalks and to this day continues to organize the help of dozens of volunteers.

The Kudos effort is strictly voluntary and it never ceases to amaze me at the incredible things a handful of dedicate folks can accomplish. Typically we see one to two dozen volunteers participating on our Thursday morning Kudos efforts (more info available here if you'd like to join us! hint, hint). Businesses in town have also stepped up and gave of their time and generosity. In particular, we want to thank Zoka Coffee, The Heathman Hotel, The Kirkland Downtown Association, SpaKrista, The Grape Choice, The Wilde Rover, Gallery Wine Art, Linda Westlund Realty, and Sasi's Cafe.

[box type="tick" style="rounded" border="full"]On November 3rd, Sasi's Cafe made 18 special sack lunches for Kudos Kirkland volunteers. Each bag included a delicious sandwich, soup, chips and a cookie. The gesture was greatly appreciated by all and we look forward to Sasi's opening soon (target: January) in the Kirkland Market in downtown Kirkland![/box]

It didn't take long for Kudos Kirkland to branch out beyond the downtown core as we sought to spread the effort throughout the city. The grounds at City Hall, 132nd Square Park and Juanita Bay Park were a few areas in need of some clean up which we were proud to support. Recently, the Kudos Kirkland group has been tackling the Market Street medians, a mile long stretch leading from Juanita into downtown Kirkland.

The Market Street medians has been a particularly rewarding project because of the outstanding work and cooperation of Kudos Kirkland volunteers, local businesses and the City of Kirkland Public Works Department. Seeing volunteers working side by side with Public Works, is building community at its core. Kirkland City Hall is changing... for the better.

Some of the frustrating barriers separating city employees and citizen volunteers are being relaxed. It is refreshing to see and we welcome the change. Citizen volunteers working side by side with city employees is the new way to manage resources in the era of tight budgets. Our fervent hope is that this new spirit of cooperation and openness spreads to other departments in City Hall. Well done, Public Works, and thank you!

So on this day we say Kudos to Kirkland Public Works and to Sasi's Cafe for helping to build our community. Thank you!

[box type="tick" style="rounded" border="full"]Would you like to see a volunteer effort to spruce up your block or in your neighborhood? We're here to help. Join us at one of our weekly cleanup events. Contact us by email or learn more about stewards of our community at http://kudoskirkland.com[/box]