Homeless advocate named Washougal’s volunteer of the year

Pastor Robert Barber is longtime volunteer for Refuel Washougal

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A Washougal church pastor who has been heavily involved in making sure people do not go hungry on Friday afternoons has been honored for his efforts.

Robert Barber, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, was named the “Washougal Volunteer of the Year” in December 2017 by then-Mayor Sean Guard.

The award is named in honor of Rose Jewell, the assistant to the Mayor and the city administrator. Jewell helped with the formation of the Refuel Washougal free dinners effort, as well as other community outreach programs.

Barber is currently spearheading efforts to coordinate volunteers for a potential severe weather shelter in the Washougal Community Shelter.

“I believe that being willing to give back to the community is important for all of us to do, and there are so many people in Washougal who are willing to give their time, help out and lend a hand from our schools to community events,” Barber said. “It is what makes Washougal such a great community and an amazing place to live.”

Jewell has worked for the City of Washougal for more than 20 years.

“Every day I am humbly blessed to serve the citizens of Washougal and consider myself a public servant, so I am overwhelmed to be honored in such an extraordinary manner,” Jewell said.

Refuel Washougal volunteers provide free dinners to anyone from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Fridays, in the Washougal Community Center, 1681 “C” St.

To volunteer for Refuel Washougal or the potential severe weather overnight shelter, contact Barber at 360-835-5533 or