Songwriter Without His Words Called ‘Volunteer Extraordinaire’

Steve Israel, accepts a plaque as a thank you for his volunteer work at Tiny House. The plaque depicts coal mining history, song writing, and home construction.
Steve Israel, accepts a plaque as a thank you for his volunteer work at Tiny House. The plaque depicts coal mining history, song writing, and home construction.

“I am without words,” said Steve Israel when accepting expressions of thanks at an evening dedicated to dining, music and construction work. The evening was called “Celebration of Success” for a Tiny House nearing completion. Tiny House is an 8’x12’ room designed for a bed, storage and a door that locks. For the last month and a half Steve has been team leader for the work crew at the local Tiny House project, Homes for the Homeless.

Steve is a musician, not at a loss for words when writing spreadsheets full of lyrics about coal mining history, enough lyrics to fill a 12-song CD.  He’s been called “volunteer extraordinaire” and his life was depicted on a plaque made of reclaimed wood. With craft and artwork by Anne Clayton, the graphics encompassed “Steve’s Life.” A pickaxe and Black Diamond coal cart referenced Steve’s decade of volunteerism at Black Diamond Historical Museum. His business (Home Care Construction) and his volunteer work-crew leadership for Tiny House were represented with hammer and saw. Also included were musical notes and a guitar held by a caricature of a coal miner. The miner is standing alongside the title of Steve’s CD, “Echoes from the Mine.”

”This will hang above my piano,” Steve said in wordless gratitude about the plaque. Steve was also given recognition with notes of thanks on a card from the Tiny House support staff and crew. It too had graphics depicting Steve’s life along with several gift cards announcing “thanks from your neighbors” that were purchased from businesses in the Black Diamond and Maple Valley areas.

The neighborhood project on behalf of Homes for the Homeless in Puget Sound currently awaits completion. It is undergoing interior and exterior painting. That will be followed by transportation of the Tiny House to Seattle by Low Income Housing Institute. Tiny House can be viewed in the parking lot at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church on SE 216thStreet.