By Bella McCarey
In a closing ceremony in honor of the homeowner Ashley Moffitt and her daughter Shaelynn, the year long Habitat for Humanity project came to a conclusion on Mar. 23.
The school district has been heavily involved and invested in this project for the last 12 months and that dedication was well represented at the ceremony.
With an estimated attendance of over 500 district and community members, the night began with the students from the District Choir singing “Voices of Pride”, a song composed for the Red Lion Area School District and the inspiration for the song comes from Red Lion’s longstanding ability to join together to change the community for the better. The Habitat for Humanity house is sound structural evidence of this comradery.
Some of the lyrics of the piece include: “If your world is shaken and torn apart, a helping hand is not so far away. We can make a house, a home. A shelter away from the storm and see you through another day.”
Ringing true to the Habitat build, it’s laid the foundation for Red Lion to achieve more in the future, possibly even another project.
“Who knows, we might do another one,” Assistant Principal and leader of the RLASD Build Planning Team Mr. Grant
Gouker. “You don’t realize it’s [the opportunity] out there, people building people houses. It’s amazing how it all comes together.”
The rest of the night was “tearful, happy tears of course” commented Gouker. Rev. Dr. Brad Dayett lead the audience in an opening prayer and benediction.
“It was an overall simple presentation and dedication,” Gouker said.
“There was a formal ribbon cutting, the minister blessed the home, and they had special keys made.”
Included in the presentation of the house was a slide show put together by Mr. Keith Blackwell and some of his students showcasing the project from start to finish with a compilation of pictures and numbers showing what materials and manpower went into building the home.
From the first piece of trash picked up off the yard to the first nailed hammer into the walls to the last drop of wet paint on the walls, the Moffitt family was able to see their new home start to finish.
Dr. Scott Deisley, whose dream was to partake in a Habitat for Humanity project since coming to the district, made a speech and presented the family with gifts on behalf of himself and the district. Included was $100 towards the school store so “they could get rid of that Rocket Clothing,” referring to the fact Shaelynn Moffitt will be transferring from Spring Grove School District to Red Lion next year.
The second gift was $1000 to Target so they can buy the things they need to truly make it feel like a home.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Gouker said. “It’s not 100 percent. There’s still a lot of landscaping to be done, the FFA kids are in charge of that once it’s warmer outside.”
One of the most memorable moments of the night was the unveiling of the plaque nailed to the concrete in front of the house that reads “York Habitat home built in partnership with Red Lion Area School District.”
“It’s nothing big,” Gouker said. “It’s just something that says we’ll always be a part of you, like a cornerstone.”
While the settlement of the home takes place April 1, the Moffitt family won’t officially move in until this summer.
By Bella McCarey
For the last 12 months, the Red Lion community has been surrounding the efforts of Habitat for Humanity to build a home for Ashley Moffitt and her daughter Shaelynn. Superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley and Assistant Principal Mr. Grant Gouker teamed up to bring the dream of participating in Habitat for Humanity to the school district.
The house is in the final stretch, with the ending date rapidly approaching. March 23, 2015 is the date that Mr. Gouker has in mind and would like to continue working to meet the deadline.
“The interior is about 98% finished. There is still a little bit of painting to do, electrical fixtures to install, and window treatments to do, “ Mr. Gouker said. “There are also some exterior things to do all of which will have to be completed when the weather gets warm.”
As of now, the itinerary or location of the closing ceremony isn’t absolute. The one thing that Mr. Gouker is aware of is creating a “special project” to create for the homeowner, which will be a gift highlighting the building process.
The house was made possible mainly based on fundraising efforts by the community itself as well as the school districts, including staff, administration and students, participating in the building process.
The fundraising goal for the project was met, a $90,000 figure necessary for finishing the home.
By Bella McCarey
As Habitat house begins to come together, other schools districts show interest in participating in the cause.
The Red Lion Area School District’s home page states its mission is to prepare students to reach their highest potential while also helping them become productive citizens. Through academics, athletics and community projects, students are able to actively improve as people in and out of the classroom.
Habitat for Humanity is one venue for which students are gaining community service hours and partaking in something bigger than themselves. Students are volunteering individually and in groups within the school, such as FFA, the Executive Council of 2015 and Choir.
The hard work students have put in is shown through the house itself, which is in the final home stretch.
“The building itself is complete in structure and walls are currently primed and being painted,” Assistant Principal Mr. Grant Gouker said.
The end of March is still the completion date for the project, weather permitting.
“It depends on how bad this winter is this year, if it’s anything like it was last year,” Mr. Gouker said, “But it’s looking positive as of right now.”
While the house’s foundation is settling, another foundation is in works in other school districts. Spring Grove, Central York and York County School of Technology are all looking to begin their own Habitat projects.
“Spring Grove and other districts [Central and YCST] have asked to be a part of things, sort of following in our footsteps,”
Mr. Gouker said, “It’s always nice to be first for once.”
As the house begins to feel more like a home, the works of planning a “handover ceremony for the homeowners” is on the table.
“There’s not much detail on it yet, but if March stays as our ending date, the idea of the ceremony will be more clear,” Mr. Gouker said.
To sign up to volunteer, go to http://tinyurl/rlhabitat to sign up today!
In an effort to partner with the community, the school district recently joined Habitat for Humanity of York to build a house for a family in need as part of a
project to be completed in June 2015.
By Adrianna Clinton
When the Red Lion school district first met superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley three years ago, he proposed an unprecedented idea to the district faculty, which happened to be one of his life goals: to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
No school district in York County history has ever partnered with Habitat to construct a house for a family in need until Deisley’s proposal in the summer of 2011.
His life goal led to the fulfillment of a dream for the Moffitt family, a single mother and her daughter, who were on a waiting list for a Habitat house for about three years.
Ashley Moffitt, 30, and her daughter Shaelynn, 9, currently live with two other families in the Spring Grove school district and have a living space mostly consisting of a bedroom with a bed that they both share.
In order for a family to qualify for a Habitat house, they must meet a specific financial criteria and serve 250 hours of community service by helping build other Habitat houses in the area. Her hours have consisted of doing drywall, painting and gutting houses, insulation, and even building closets. Additionally, they must attend budgeting counseling to prove that they can afford the house.
For the Moffitt family, the $90,000 cost of the home is being funded by students,
faculty, and the community and will be paid back in a 30-year mortgage. No tax dollars are being utilized for this project, according to the York Habitat website.
After moving from house to house each time her lease term ended, Moffitt is excited to finally be a homeowner and have her daughter in a stable school.
Shaelynn is currently in third grade and can’t wait to come to Red Lion. “She wants to go to Red Lion right now,” Moffitt said. She hopes to play basketball when she moves into the district and she is excited to have her own pink bedroom, decorated with peace signs and moustaches. Moffitt’s daughter also hopes to have a window bench seat, where she can do homework and read.
The 2002 York County School of Technology graduate grew up in Seven Valleys, a small town in rural southern York County, where she had a yard, dog and lived in a little community, an experience she wants for her daughter.
In addition to making a stable home for her daughter in a district that will give her daughter the best education possible, the Habitat volunteers are “making a future” for Moffitt and her daughter.
She describes the Red Lion community as being so supportive and that she hopes her own daughter will understand that “giving back to the community is a wonderful feeling” and will be “appreciative of little things” in her own life through the Habitat build project.
As she was a teenager herself once, Moffitt says that it is “awesome” to see the community come out and help build the house: “I’m not sure you would have gotten me out there on a Saturday morning to help volunteer.”
Even after the house is complete, Moffitt wants to stay involved with the Habitat program.
“I am so honored to be a part of Habitat,” Moffitt said.
As fundraising efforts continue, the York Revolution baseball team will be partnering with the district on Saturday June 7 as they take on the Sugar Land Skeeters from Texas, giving back 50 percent of each ticket to the York Habitat for Humanity and the Red Lion Community Build project. Tickets must be purchased by Monday, Jun. 2 as the offer will not be available on the day of the game.
Construction began in early April at 101 Schoolhouse Lane in Windsor for the Moffitt family, who will move in the house around June of 2015. The walls and roof of the house will be raised during Blitz Build week, from May 20-24.
Sign Up: To help with the project, log on to tinyurl.com/rlhabitat. Students must attend a safety presentation and complete a waiver form in order to participate.
By Chanel Boyce
Homerooms have raised $550 to Sponsor A Square Foot, a fundraiser to benefit Habit for Humanity.
Several years ago, a home at 101 Schoolhouse Lane in Windsor was engulfed in the flames of a house fire, leaving behind the charred remains of what was a former home. Left abandoned and uninhabited for a number of years, the foundation truly was left in the dust.
Meanwhile, there are numerous families in need of a forever shelter to call their own, but are unable to afford the costs and upkeep of a house. That is where York’s own Habitat For Humanity comes to the rescue with the help of the Red Lion Area school district.
For the first time ever, York Habitat For Humanity has made the decision to partner with a single school district. Although the family has yet to be announced, the combined efforts of Red Lion and York Habitat are for a good cause with what will hopefully result in a great home.
Signed on April 15, 2013, The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has bound York Habitat and Red Lion Area School District, allowing the two to work together on the project.
The plan is to use the existing structure as a basement and build the new foundation on top of that. The upcoming home is planned to contain three bedrooms and one bathroom, and the construction is expected to start in June of 2014.
York Habitat and Red Lion have set a goal to reach $90,000 to go towards the building of the new home. $26,534 of that amount has already been raised since the signing of the MOU in April of 2013.
To put the minds of all taxpayers at ease, none of the money that is raised for the construction of the home will be collected from taxes. In fact, all of money will be raised from fundraising events or donations.
There are a number of events planned for later this year, but only a few that are currently happening. One of the events for the last month is “Sponsor a Square Foot.”
The purpose of this fundraiser was to raise money in order to buy some of the necessary supplies for the new house. The money for this event was collected in a small brown box located in every classroom in the school, along with a 12 x 12 grid to track the progress.
Any time a student or faculty member dropped a quarter into one of the brown boxes, a check mark will be placed in one of the 144 squares on the grid. This allows those who wish to help with the project take part in doing so and every little bit helps.
Every chart is worth $36 which can buy a variety of items such as bathroom fixtures, four tubes of caulking, 12 feet of wall, two gallons of paint, 30 pounds of nails, one bundle of shingles, and one roll of insulation. When it comes to helping out for a cause, 25 cents can make a world of a difference
The overall goal for York Habitat and Red Lion is to have the project completed by June of 2015. The more help they receive, the more effective the building progress will be.
Learn more about the district's project here.