Born in a tiny NE Washington town called Metaline Falls, Barbara Wade started her journey when she married and moved to the Richland Washington area as a young bride. Her life took her to sunny California, where she continued her career as a teacher for twenty five years. She also did five years as a part-time (1/2 time and we joked about teachers doing anything half time) stint as a school librarian. Barbara’s, (not Barb), clear eyes sparkled as she discussed those days and how she would come for vacation to ski in Sunriver. By the time she retired in 1989, she and her husband, Gentry, moved to Sunriver and has been here for the past twenty-four years!
Ms. Wade, like any good teacher, stayed active in the community. Her community was governed by the SROA and she became involved with the owner’s association, serving as President, volunteering as a coordinator and serving on the nominating committee. Any person who lives in the area knows how important SROA has been to the development of Sunriver through the years and also how its impact on the residents can be traced through a line of activities, events and most importantly, the new SHARC aquatic facility during the past few years. Barbara Wade, certainly got her chops working with the association of homeowners, but, as that phased out of her life, a new opportunity unveiled itself.
The local affiliate for Habitat for Humanity needed a grant writer, and that was perfect for Ms. Wade. Through her friend’s recommendation to get involved with NHFH, she took on writing grants, the same as she does today; to get Newberry Habitat some needed funds. Before too long, she was on a committee with other friends, like John Salzer and Mark Baldwin (and others) that were trying to solve the problem of how to start a ReStore. The committee researched all of southern Deschutes County and looked at available properties and considered what would be best for the South County area. They came up with the best location for a ReStore. It was in La Pine. A donor gave a gift of $8K to begin the process and the rest is La Pine history. After a preparation time of about four months, the ReStore was open. That was in March 2010.
During the time they were formulating their ideas for establishing a retail outlet for the affiliate, she served as President of the NHFH Board. The terms are one year long- just right for the busy Barbara and after her term; she slipped back into grant writing again. Recently she was able to secure a $5,000 grant from US Bank and another $10K grant from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund for hiring a volunteer coordinator for the affiliate. The new coordinator will work to get the needed volunteers for the store and the local build projects that are ongoing in South County.
Ms. Wade is currently applying for funds from the newly opened Washington Federal Bank and she will apply for funding from the Meyer Memorial Trust in the winter.
But grant writing is not all she does. Barbara gives two half days (remember the comment about nothing is ever ½) a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at the local ReStore where she is delighted by the response of the community because they are using their purchasing power to support the retail operations. (ReStore raises funds from the sales of donations to support the Newberry Habitat homes being built.) She also wants to thanks the generous donors from Sunriver and La Pine for the items that go on sale inside the store.
When Ms. Wade is done with her part time job as a ReStore volunteer, and her board work, she also works as a volunteer in the Sunriver Library. (Keeping those librarian skills alive!) She sorts the donations for the Book Nook at Sunriver library and loves doing it!
At 83 years young, Barbara Wade is the epitome of what volunteering is all about! “I get so much out of what I do. I love the people and the thrill of reaching the goals to support new homes. This is about as exciting as it gets!”
Get involved with great people like Barbara Wade by expressing your interest to volunteer at Newberry Habitat for Humanity. Just stop by the ReStore or call 541-593-5005 to get information on how you can make a difference.