nwnews-now : local news in your e-mail box as it happens

Features

Teens 'connect' with those in need

gardening

From left, Alissa Howard, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, and Chris Kattenhorn do some gardening to help out the community.

Teen Connections Summer vacation is almost here, and students all over Washington are finding ways to spend their summer. Some will vegetate until fall, some will get jobs, but one group of Kirkland teens will be spending their summer in a more charitable way.
   The members of Teen Connections are ready to lend a hand to local elderly or disabled homeowners with yard work, painting, and home maintenance.
   Last week, more than 30 members of Teen Connections helped out an elderly Kirkland couple who had lost their homeowner's insurance because conditions in their yard were considered a fire hazard. The students attacked the yard and cleared away debris. They also intend to make monthly checkup visits to keep the area clean.
   The group is receiving a lot of support. Senator Rosemary McAuliffe pitched in last week, while Key Bank provided seed money and Ernst Home and Nursery in Totem Lake has donated plants.
   Chris Kattenhorn founded Teen Connections a year ago, saying he wanted to get today's youth involved in their community.
   "We want to shatter stereotypes and show people what teens can do," Kattenhorn said.
   People who know elderly or disabled homeowners who could use extra help should call Kattenhorn at 820-1170 or leave voice mail at 287-8361. Teen Connections would also welcome donations of plants, paint, and other supplies.