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Fourth-grader gives back to the community for her birthday

By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

A group of volunteers

Northborough – Lincoln Street School fourth-grader Hannah Donley decided that instead of the usual 10th birthday party celebration and gifts, she wanted to gather 10 of her friends to celebrate while giving back to the community. On Sept. 30, Donley brought her party to the Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester’s Northborough build site at 33-39 Main St. to prime wood, which will be used for future Operation Playhouse projects.

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator Molly Pietrantonio, Marketing and Development Associate Grace Warwick, and volunteer Nancy Melton coordinated the activities for the afternoon, which included a tour of the two buildings currently being converted to condo units that will house four local families needing affordable housing.

Warwick said she thought this was the first birthday party like this to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers need to be 16 years old to work onsite, but when Hannah’s mother Kelley reached out to see how younger kids could help, the idea of them prepping kits to be used for Operation Playhouse builds was set into motion.

“We drive by the site every day,” said Kelley. “We didn’t know in what capacity kids could help.”

Forty wooden panels were primed at the party, which will eventually become the sides of 10 personalized and themed playhouses built and painted by a group of volunteers. The finished playhouses are donated to children of veteran families as a way of saying “thank you” for their service and sacrifices.

Instead of gifts, party guests had the opportunity to make a donation toward Habitat’s mission to build homes, community and hope.

Lowe’s Home Improvement store donated work aprons and paintbrushes and Habitat for Humanity had goody bags for the workers including a hard hat and t-shirt.

The kids were eager to get to work with their paint rollers and excited to be working together for a great cause.

“It feels really good to give back to the community,” said Hannah. “I am having fun and glad a lot of my friends volunteered to help.”

Warwick said the kids were doing such a great job that they will surely be great volunteer recruits when they turn 16 and can work on an actual building project.

Interested community groups can raise a donation of $2,500 per playhouse and commit 10-12 volunteers to spend a day to build, design and decorate the playhouses. Donations are used to cover the cost of supervision and materials and to further Habitat’s mission. The playhouses are picked up at the end of the day by the recipient family and volunteers can see firsthand the impact of their efforts.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that exists in every state and in 70 countries, which helps to build affordable housing and help families have home ownership opportunities.

Additional information on the Northborough project can be found at www.habitatmwgw.org/builds/northborough.

(Photos/Liz Nolan)

Hannah Donley celebrated with friends while helping Habitat for Humanity.

Grace Hadley takes a second to look through the window while busy priming one side of the playhouse.

Birthday party guests Kiernan Reeze and Abby Wood are busy priming a side of what will be a playhouse.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=94985

Posted by on Oct 18 2017. Filed under Neighbors helping neighbors, Neighbors in the news, Northborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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