Sterling, VA (September 8, 2015) – What’s with the PVC pipe, old tables and chairs and a Belgian waffle-maker in the hallway at Potomac Falls High School?
They’re donations delivered to Loudoun County’s Habitat for Humanity chapter by the school’s faculty during an unusual fundraiser for the organization.
During the summer, Potomac Falls Principal Dr. Elizabeth Noto contacted Habitat for Humanity Development Manager Kari Murphy to identify a volunteer/team building opportunity for the 175 members of the school’s faculty. Murphy enlisted the help of Habitat’s summer intern, Erin Azie, for some creativity. Azie, who is a senior at Tuscarora High School, said, “I came up with the original idea for a trade-up program so that everyone starts with the same amount of money and tries to trade up either for an item to donate to the Re-Store (Habitat’s sales outlet) or more money to donate to Habitat. They (school administration) worked this really cool ‘Amazing Race’ aspect into it, and I think it turned out pretty cool.”
Each team member was given a quarter to turn into a larger donation for Habitat for Humanity. Those quarters then turned into the PVC pipe, old tables and chairs and Belgian waffle-maker. Habitat for Humanity staff members met with the staff on August 19th, their first day back from summer vacation, to present information on how the organization finds partner families, how the partner families qualify for housing and the group’s goals for the upcoming year. Habitat staff returned on Friday, August 28th, with the Re-Store truck to accept donations to their organization and watch the Amazing Race.
Each five-member team wrote down their donations on a sheet of paper to start the process. Then, they exchanged their donation list for an envelope containing their first clue. Each clue involved a task staff members needed to have done for the opening of school, things like checking out the textbooks needed for their students or signing off on forms. All five members of the team needed to complete that task in order for the team to move on to the next task. Teams also were able to get “fast forward” cards. Team members who had attended special trainings or completed extra duty assignments were able to reduce their team’s completion time based on minutes assigned to the task. The team that completed all of the tasks in the least amount of time was declared the winner—but perhaps Habitat for Humanity was the day’s biggest winner.