In addition to studying for their next test, attending after school athletics practices, and making plans for the weekend, high school students at Asheville Christian Academy and Christ School have figured out how they can help a local family purchase an affordable home. Affordable housing is not on your average high school student’s radar, but next Friday, April 5th at 3:30PM these students will raise the first wall of the Habitat Student Build, the house they are sponsoring in Swannanoa.
Led by members of the Swannanoa Fire Department, at 3:15PM on April 5th, 180 enthusiastic and supportive students and faculty will march from the parking area at the intersection of Railroad and Dennis Streets to the Habitat construction site off Dennis Street in the old Nolan ball field. Upon their arrival, Habitat will host a short ceremony during which the future homeowner, Tammy Haynie and her children, will speak. Then the students will raise the first wall.
The hard part is over; the students have raised over $36,000 in total – each school committed to $18,333. Starting last year, students organized fundraising events such as pumpkin sales for Halloween, ticketed basketball games and raffles, a chili cook-off, a school dance, and more. They’ve reached their monetary goal; now it’s time to begin building. Students who are 16 years and older, along with faculty and staff from the schools, will volunteer their time to help build the house.
Adding to the uniqueness of the event is the fact that this house will be in the first Habitat neighborhood in Swannanoa. These 17 houses will have a variety of sponsors, from homes sponsored by a coalition of lawyers to a variety of faith groups to a house called Dave’s House, built in memory of the man who urged Habitat to seek out land in the East Valley. Before this community is even built, it’s pulling together various fibers of the communities found in Buncombe County.