Master Organizer Puts Tools Into the Hands of Thousands of Volunteers


Get ready Silicon Valley. You’re about to get a makeover, thanks to more than 100 gallons of paint, 441 pieces of lumber, 113 pounds of nails, and a lot of sweat and elbow grease from thousands of volunteers.

It’s all a part of the large-scale April 21-29 service project called Beautiful Day, coordinated by the nonprofit group that goes by the same name. Organizers are working to recruit up to 6,000 volunteers to refurbish homes, neighborhoods, parks, creeks, freeways, an elementary school, and much more. Most of the projects will take place the final weekend, April 28 and 29.

As the recruitment effort goes on, one team within Beautiful Day is working to put the materials and tools into the hands of the volunteers. The Acquisitions Team is lead by a volunteer affectionately known as the “Master Shopper”, Wendy Laugesen.

Laugesen laughs at the reference, and adds that she likes to call herself the “Master Organizer”.

Master Organizer, indeed, as she and her team pull together more than 600 items on a master inventory list. Each line item may have multiples of each item, translating into thousands of materials and tools needed during the week.

From nametags to napkins, to tanbark and tetherballs, Laugesen has it on her list.

Some of the items needed include a parachute that will be hung from the ceiling at a carnival and dance for special needs students, a shower stall for a woman who needs a new one installed in her home, and furniture and drapes for the staff lounge at Pomeroy Elementary School in Santa Clara.

“The two biggest ticket items are the paint and the lumber, Laugesen said. “We have an amazing relationship with Pine Cone Lumber, which donated all the lumber.”

The lumber includes redwood, Douglas fir, pressure treated plywood, and more, depending on what types of jobs are planned. The company also donated nails of various types, nuts, washers and bolts, seven concrete pier blocks and 15 yards of tanbark.

The Acquisitions Team started working in February to find all the necessary materials. Not all vendors are able to give away products, but some do offer discounts. The team is always looking for the best prices they can find on goods and services need to make the event a success.

Kelly Moore gave discounts on the large amount of paint needed for Beautiful Day. Laugesen said the team also gathered more than 400 paintbrushes and rollers that will be “in action” the weekend of April 28.

As of this week, they’ve acquired about 70 percent of what they need for the service week, now only two weeks away, she said. They are trying to get their hands on dumpsters to rent, along with other rentals for things like Rototillers and scaffolding.

“We’ve pretty much got every available dumpster in the valley for that weekend,” Laugesen said.

“The biggest thing we need are ladders. Every project needs multiple ladders,” she said. One project, refurbishing homes in the Gardener neighborhood of San Jose, needs 35 ladders alone, from 6 feet up to 20 feet.

She said if anyone is willing to loan them ladders for the weekend, they should contact Beautiful Day at

Volunteer sign-ups are available online. Financial donations are also welcome to help pay for materials.

See the Good Neighbor Stories Beautiful Day Page for more stories about the event, as well as last year’s event.