Micah & Michelle Sawyer

October 1, 2021

Micah and Michelle Sawyer
Micah & Michelle Sawyer
Micah and Michelle Sawyer are active members of the Sebastopol community who volunteer for many different organizations within Sebastopol and Sonoma County.

Micah was born in Sausalito and lived in Muir Beach and San Francisco before his family moved to Sebastopol when he was 14.  Michelle is a Marin County native who was born in Petaluma and grew up in her great grandfather’s house in Tomales which she owns today.  Michelle grew up as a 4-H and FFA member and giving back was instilled in her at a very young age.  Micah has been active in any organization that his family partakes in and has volunteered countless hours helping all around.

Together Micah and Michelle have a blended family of four children who all graduated from high school in Sebastopol.  Micah is the father to his late son Micah Hamlow-Sawyer who passed away June 21, 2019, at the age of 22 and his daughter Kody Hamlow-Sawyer, 21.  Michelle’s daughters are Gianna Pendleton, 25 and Missy Pendleton, 21.  Micah and his father Ken Sawyer have been partners in their construction business, Sawyer Construction, here in Sebastopol for 32 years.  Michelle joined the business in 2014 as the Accounting and Business Manager.

Micah has been a big supporter of the sports programs in Sebastopol and was a member of the committee that helped raise funding for the new field at Analy High School.  Michelle was a founding member of the Sebastopol Ag Boosters that supports the Sebastopol FFA and has remained an active board member well after her kids graduated.  This past year she was presented with the Honorary Chapter FFA Degree which is given out to a select few who have rendered outstanding service. Michelle continues to lead the Gold Ridge 4-H club and serves as a project leader.  Micah and Michelle are huge supporters of the Junior Livestock auction at the Sonoma County Fair and help purchase animals.  Each year you will find them at the annual 4-H Chicken-que event volunteering.  A few years ago, Missy suffered a life-threatening injury, the community came in groves to help the family out with expenses and set up fundraisers.  As a way to give back, the family makes sure to help out any way they can.  Michelle didn’t think twice when Carson Pforsich, Missy’s classmate, was injured.  The family assisted with getting donations and helped with the silent auction.

Ever since the 2015 fire in Lake County, Michelle and Micah have been helping with rescuing livestock, transporting donated supplies, tending to animals displaced by the fires, and helping feed first responders.  They are currently involved with Sonoma Community Animal Response Team that works in collaboration with local agencies to aid in animal evacuation, transport, sheltering and re-unification during and immediately after an emergency, accident, or disaster.

Last year at the beginning of the pandemic, Micah shut his business down as he did not feel that it was "essential" when nurses and front-line essential workers were unable to protect themselves because of the shortage of PPE.  He and Michelle devoted themselves to making masks and donating them to hospice nurses. Once supplies started becoming available to the nurses, they continued making masks for anyone who needed them.  In addition, hand sanitizer was hard to get so Micah started distilling alcohol to 190 proof and adding lavender-infused aloe to make "Sawyer Sanitizer" that he gave away.  He sent many masks and gallon jugs of sanitizer to the Navajo Nation in Arizona because they were in desperate need of supplies.  Micah purchased a 3D printer and began making 3D masks and mask straps that nurses picked up and distributed to their coworkers.  The Press Democrat heard about their good deeds and posted an article informing others where they could get free masks.  They worked through the night at times to keep up with the demand.  Over the past year they estimate they made over 700 cloth masks, about 200 mask straps, and sent out countless gallons of sanitizer. Because of COVID, the Class of 2020 graduating classes of Analy, El Molino and Laguna were stripped of so many activities and the community thought lawn signs for each graduate might be a nice gesture. Sawyer Construction helped sponsor the lawn signs for the Laguna students.  

Micah lost his 22-year-old son (Micah Jr) June 21, 2019, to a Fentanyl overdose and prior to his passing, for a time he was homeless.  Micah and Michelle have made helping the homeless a priority.  They purchase and distribute warm clothing items and food to homeless encampments during the cold, wet months. In honor of Micah’s son and the huge bear hugs that he gave everyone, the couple started a nonprofit organization called "Micah's Hugs” https://www.micahshugs.org/.  The mission of the nonprofit is to educate youth and parents on the dangers of drugs. Additionally, they work to bring awareness of the disease in hopes of breaking the stigma so those struggling might be more apt to get help.  Another segment of their mission is to help those who are struggling with addiction.  During the holidays they raised money for the Micah Hamlow-Sawyer Memorial Scholarship fund for sober living, they granted 17 people scholarships for 6 weeks in a sober living environment through Pura Vida Recovery Services. https://www.pvrecovery.com/memorial-scholarships.  In October 2021 Micah’s Hugs is hosting a virtual “Run for Hugs” event and all money raised from this event will go towards the detox center at Pura Vida.

Micah has currently been taking flying lessons and is working on getting his license.  Micah and Michelle have recently completed the pilot ground school so they can enjoy flying together.  Both enjoy outdoor adventurous activities, boating, hiking, biking, and snorkeling.  Micah enjoys free diving and scuba diving in the ocean and Michelle has been training for Spartan races and runs the roads of west Sebastopol regularly as part of her training.