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Site Lines Newsletter | Spring 2021

Spring 2021 Edition


First place winners Remy D. and Naish L. from Barkely Elementary

Second place winners, Camden B. from Garnet Valley Elementary and Dylan W. and Bennett S. from Media Elementary

Third place winners, Chandler S. from Charlestown Elementary and Faridah I. from K D Markely Elementary

This year’s 18th Annual “Build a House … Build a Dream” contest for fifth-graders was held virtually on March 20th. In the prior 16 years, the event had been held in person, with hundreds of attendees joining the organization to celebrate the students’ creativity and hard work. This year’s virtual event hit a new record with more than 200 students registered to participate, with 108 submitting photos and videos of their 3-D dream homes.

In this competition, students from more than 200 area schools were invited to work individually or in pairs to build their own three-dimensional, model dream home. Contestants then submitted photos or videos of their projects and a description explaining their inspiration behind their design and aesthetic choices.

This year’s creations included homes made of shipping containers, homes stacked with multiple floors to take up less space on the ground, and multiple houseboats, one of which even floated. An in-house judging process selected the top 16 dream home architects to be virtually interviewed by a panel of judges. All of the participants’ submissions were displayed in an online presentation with a special welcome message from NBC10 meteorologist Bill Henley, who ordinarily emcees the event.

The contest is free for participants, but thanks to local businesses, the event is one of the main fundraisers for Habitat throughout the year. Founding sponsor Fox & Roach/Trident Charities has championed the event from the beginning. “In the past 18 years, we have helped raise over $500,000 to support Habitat’s mission to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter,” said CEO Larry Flick. “This is one of our favorite events. Over the years, more than 6,000 fifth-graders from 750 schools have used their ingenuity to build their incredible dream houses.”

Other sponsors that supported this year’s event included Bentley Systems, Eadeh Enterprises, Citadel, Martin Architectural Group, Saint-Gobain, RKL LLP, E.B. Walsh and Associates, McMahon Associates, Great Valley Racquet Club, JBC Associates, and Home Depot. Through these generous donors, the event raised more than $17,000 to support Habitat for Humanity of Chester County.

The goal of “Build A House … Build A Dream” is to introduce elementary-age students to Habitat’s crucial mission of building affordable, accessible housing. Volunteer opportunities start at age 15, making it challenging to share Habitat’s mission with younger students. This event is a fun, creative way to remind the students that Habitat doesn’t just build a home; it builds a dream for a family in need.

Visit to see all of the participants dream homes!


John Spurlino has been an active part of Habitat for Humanity of Chester County for over 19 years, joining the board in 2018. “The idea of giving people a hand up, not a hand out struck a resonant chord with me,” he said. “By involving people in the work of building a community, they learn valuable skills in home maintenance, a sense of accomplishment and evolve the spirit of community.”

When the Spurlinos moved to Chester County, they were surprised at the high cost of living. “What would be a solid middle-class income in many areas is barely enough to provide housing.” Realizing the burden this causes for so many families; he started looking for the best way to help.

“As a donor, I met with the HfHCC team and saw what a tremendous job they were doing to create affordable homeownership opportunities. Chester County’s rapid growth and commitment to preserving open space make it a wonderful place to live but also expensive. The chance to work on the board to help HfHCC deliver more homes to deserving families offered a great opportunity to do more.” 

“We need to leave the world better than we found it. My father taught me that everyone needs to work to improve the community in any way that they can. Habitat offers one of the critical necessities, affordable quality housing. Providing hope for everyones’ improved lifestyles is important because it enables people to improve lives for generations to come.”

We are incredibly fortunate to have such a caring, skilled, and dedicated director on our board. Thank you, John and the Spurlino family, for your continued support of Habitat’s mission and for all you do to make it possible.



Jack Monaghan started volunteering in 1990, helping to build HfHCC’s fourth house.  Soon after, he was recruited to chair the Building Committee to oversee construction, a position he held for five years. Jack continued to volunteer on-site as a crew leader throughout the 1990s, lending his skills and construction expertise.

In the early 2000’s Jack was subcontracted to roof several homes before joining HfHCC as a staff member in 2005. His tenure was short-lived as he moved to Florida the following year but returned to the staff in late 2009 until his retirement this past February.

As a volunteer, subcontractor, or staff member, Jack had a hand in helping more than 100 families become Habitat homeowners. We wish him and his wife, Robin, a happy retirement in Florida!


Cambria Terrace Development | Coatesville

After eleven years at this construction site, we have broken ground on the final three homes with hopes of completing the project entirely by next spring. We currently have five families helping to build their future homes.

Fuller Meadows Development | West Grove

The first five homeowners settled into their new homes in December. We have broken ground for the next five homes and have five future families accepted into the program and starting their sweat equity. We are still accepting applications for anyone interested in a West Grove home!

The world as we know it has changed over the past year, but Habitat’s resolve to continue our mission to build homes, community and hope remains steadfast.

We will be hosting virtual quarterly updates with Executive Director Chris Wiseman and members of the Habitat for Humanity of Chester County’s board of directors. Friends of Habitat are invited to join as we discuss current and future projects and new program initiatives on the horizon. 

Our first quarterly update will be on April 22nd from 6:30 pm-7:30 pm. Topics to be covered during the update include:

  1. An update on construction happening on our final homes in the Cambria Terrace Development

  2. More on our progress of the next five homes being built at the West Grove Development

  3. An in-depth look at our plans, including critical repair initiatives and renovations

Please register at to be sent a Zoom link to attend the meeting. Registration closes Sunday, April 18.


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