Special people at a special place

The {un}Commons is in jeopardy of closing due to lack of funds.  This bothers me on so many levels.  It’s this great little coffeehouse/bookstore, and has definitely become my new safe place.  Even though I live 25 miles away, I’m here 7 days a week.  Because I love the atmosphere, I love the people, I love the opportunity it gives this community.  It’s a place where all generations are not only welcome, but where they work together and learn from each other.  As I sit here writing this, there is an SAT tutoring session going on behind me, a nanny and her client are fiddling around on a laptop, and a gentleman is enjoying a cup of something & reading the paper.  Outside a few different couples are enjoying the sun.  Last night, new artwork was hung by a local artist.  Tomorrow night, we will welcome a local musician to Friday Night Live.   The South Whidbey Commons is truly a place for community – this community.  And it would be a shame to lose it.

But it’s so much more than just a place to get an espresso or a used book.  Aside from 2-3 administrative people and 2 Americorps members, the Commons is completely staffed by volunteers.  It’s a place where local teens can gain invaluable workplace training, where people needing to fulfill community service hours can complete them, where retirees can get out and stay active.

As if this weren’t enough, Gena Kraha, our Operations Director, recently left us to pursue a degree in nursing.  She started out as an AmeriCorps member here in 2006!  They’re having a going away celebration for her later this month, and asked me to take a photo of her for something they’re planning.  So yesterday morning, she and I took a stroll around downtown Langley and I took a couple of portraits.  The one I like the best… it’s so Gena.  It captures her genuine bubbly cheerfulness – I love it.

So, if you’re interested in helping to save this amazing, amazing place, click here!

Click on a thumbnail to view the full-sized image

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