Pa. girl going to bat for Habitat

August 25, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Lorraine Armstrong said she is shy, so it took her a while to suggest the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser she had in mind.

But now, the 11-year-old Greencastle, Pa., girl has recruited 30 volunteers to work at the car wash, collected supplies and is working on the publicity for the Saturday, Sept. 9 event.

"We have to raise enough money to get the stuff to build," Lorraine said. "To go get gutters and little things you don't think of."

Lorraine and her mother, Felicia Hollingshead, started attending committee meetings for the Habitat for Humanity Women Build in February.

Lorraine said she didn't want to go to the first meeting, because she thought people would just be sitting around talking about building a house. She decided it was "kind of fun" and callled Women Build director Pam Meredith "hilarious."


Once Lorraine proposed her idea of a car wash fundraiser, Meredith gave the idea her approval.

"She said, 'Yes, as long as you organize it,'" Lorraine said.

Because of her age, Lorraine can't work on site when the build starts. Habitat for Humanity volunteers must be 14 before they may use the tools involved with home-building.

Lorraine said that when she is old enough, she wants to work on a Habitat house.

"I'd like to know the experience of building a house for when I'm older," she said.

This year, Lorraine decided to contribute by fundraising. The Women Build needs to raise $65,000 before it can start the build, which is scheduled for 2007, Hollingshead said.

Since she's been attending the Women Build meetings and organizing the car wash, Lorraine said she has learned to help others.

"I see advantages we have, to actually buy our own house," she said.

Lorraine fits in the monthly Women Build meetings around an already packed schedule.

She swims on the YMCA team Hagerstown Gators, plays Little League softball, enjoys golf and reads. She prefers nonfiction books, especially historical subjects, she said.

Lorraine starts sixth grade Monday at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School. Her favorite subjects are language arts and social studies. She wants to be a lawyer or a massage therapist, she said.

"I know, they're two totally different things," Lorraine said.

For now, Lorraine said she needs to call a few more people to schedule shifts for the car wash, make signs and get more supplies for the 100 cars she's expecting to wash.

If you go

What: Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity organized by Lorraine Armstrong

Where: Sears parking lot, Valley Mall in Halfway

When: Saturday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to noon.

What else: Donations accepted

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