Category Archives: Smith Village In The Community

If I Had a Hammer…

L-R  Dallas, Susie, Mark, Ellen, Jim, Mary, Bill, Anna Mae
L-R Dallas, Susie, Mark, Ellen, Jim, Mary, Bill, Anna Mae


Tuesday, October 22, 2013 was an overcast day with a spattering of rain now and then.  It might have started as a quiet morning in Jacobus, most are; but by 8:30 there was enough sawing, nailing and drilling to wake up even the drowsiest of sleepers.  It was another workday on Laurie Hanline and her family’s Habitat for Humanity home, and today the volunteers were from Smith Village, right up the street.  Because the home is in Jacobus makes it natural that our store would get involved, but it was made even more so as the building lot was a donation from the Smith family.  Because of that, all of us at the store kind of look at it as “our” house.  We can walk across the street at any time to check on the progress, which has been impressive.

The Smith family (Dale, Anna Mae, Susie and Dallas) all turned out to help; and Bill, Mary, Mark, Jim and I rounded out the team.  Our supervisor was Bob, who wasted no time assigning jobs to all of us.  He singled out Susie and Mary to be our “cutters.”  We were going to be working on the home’s siding and soffit, so their work was crucial.  Susie was a little nervous about it.  I think her exact words were, “Don’t look at me! I’m not using a saw!”  But Bob wasn’t at all put off by her reluctance, and within 15 minutes she and Mary were old pros.  Bob chose well – these two were efficient and precise, and kept us supplied with siding and soffit cut to measure for the rest of the day.

Bob demonstrates the saw for Mary & Susie.
Bob demonstrates the saw for Mary & Susie.

Habitat was very lucky to have Jim on the job site that day.  With years of building experience, he was able to take over the bending, cutting and installing of aluminum fascia, which freed the Habitat employees to accomplish other jobs too complicated for us volunteers.  Jim knew exactly what to do, and I’m sure this allowed our team to complete far more that day than we would have otherwise.  In his typical contrary manner, however, he refused to take any credit and just said, “I did whatever needed to be done.”  I would have to add that he did it all very well.

Jim on the roof peak installing J channel. I wish this picture had come out clearer... he was hanging out over the top of the roof!
Jim on the roof peak installing J channel. I wish this picture had come out clearer… he was hanging out over the top of the roof!

Anna Mae, Dale, Bill and I worked on the siding to the left and right of the garage door.  When we reached the top of the door, we realized that the two sides did not line up, and Dale and Anna Mae had to pull off the one side and redo it.  Now at this point I was recruited by Bob for a different area, and I didn’t get back around the front until about a half hour later.  By then, Bill had managed to unite the two sides seamlessly, and it looked great.  I was impressed.  Bill was modest.  (Like, “aw shucks, me?” modest.)

It made me think how tough it must be for the Habitat for Humanity supervisors to be leading a crew of rank amateurs every day with the good humor and grace that they continually demonstrate.  After all, it is up to them to make sure that the work they do is up to code, as well as suitable to the homeowner.  They deserve a lot of credit.

Dale and Anna Mae work on siding while Jim takes measurements.
Dale and Anna Mae work on siding while Jim takes a measurement.


After the masterminding of the garage problem; Bob realized that Bill has had some building experience,  and he pulled him off siding to do some of the trickier soffit work.  He and a Habitat employee installed soffit all across the front of the house, then Bill moved on to installing J channel, assembling scaffolding and installing nailer boards for drywall inside the house.  He made it all look easy.

Hanline Home 015
Bill finishes up the last few pieces of siding on the garage bump out.

Meanwhile, around the side of the garage, the rest of us were putting up siding, from the bottom to the top.  The project was a team effort: measuring, cutting, and nailing.  Dallas, Mark and I, and another volunteer named Stephanie hammered away all day; and once we got into the roof peak, Jim came to our rescue and cut all the angle pieces.  We never could have finished that side in one day without Jim.  Mark says he can now pass for a skilled craftsman, as he didn’t hammer his finger even once, which is more than I can say for myself.

Hanline Home 014
Dallas, Stephanie and Mark fit siding.


Mark and I almost to the top.
Mark and I almost to the top.




I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the behind the scenes players involved with the house.  Lance Beard from Beard’s Towing in Jacobus, and Brad Douts of Douts’s Excavating in Loganville did the site work and excavation required to build the foundation of the home, long before the house was anything more than a blueprint.  Without their dual effort, there would have been no house for us to work on.  Their work is just one example of how the community here in the Jacobus/Loganville area has rallied around Laurie Hanline and her family.  Southern York Countians are often characterized as reserved, old fashioned, stick in the muds.   Ok, sometimes we are.  But we’re always here for our neighbors when they need a hand.  Welcome to Jacobus, Laurie.  You’re one of us now!

Designed For Kids: We Furnish A Room At Leg Up Farm

leg up
Leg Up Farm

Leg Up Farm is a non-profit therapy center in York County, Pennsylvania, for children with disabilities and developmental delays.  They offer many services to their clients, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, animal assisted programs and much more.  This year, Leg Up began construction of a new Wellness and Education Center addition to their current facility, which will allow them to expand their services to include aquatic therapy, art therapy, and dance/music therapy.  When we were contacted to see if we were interested  in furnishing their new Daily Living Skills Area, where clients would learn how to care for themselves in a home environment, we jumped at the chance.  We met with Melissa Maley and Tom O’Connor from Leg Up in June to learn what they were looking for and what sort of space we had to work with.

As with most design projects, your plans are usually much grander then the size of the space in which you have to fit them, and this was no exception.  They were hoping to fit a single bed and dresser, love seat, end tables and a dinette in the 16′ x 20′ space… and a third of the area was already designated for a kitchen.  No problem!  We had the rest of the summer to work on the project; completion of the wing wasn’t scheduled until the end of September, at the earliest.

Leg Up
Our inspiration piece.


We needed a jumping off place for the design, and found it in a colorful picture of a tree in a field, with blues and oranges.  With lots of emails back and forth from Melissa and Tom, we gradually came up with a design that would be accessible, easy to clean,  sturdy, and- oh yeah!- attractive! We chose a recycled leather sofa in a cool gray, dark toned wood pieces, and accented it all with blues and bright greens.



In September we got the word that the room was finished enough for us to go and have a first hand look, and off we went to see what we were getting into.  Melissa and Tom gave us a tour of the entire facility and WOW! It’s amazing.

Leg Up Farm is the brainchild of Louie Castriota Jr.  When his young daughter was diagnosed with a disease causing cognitive and motor function delays, he came to realize that there was no one place dedicated to address the multiple issues of children with special needs.  Leg Up offers physical, cognitive, emotional and social support all in one location to help children become better able to function in the community.  A look around the facility quickly makes it clear that Louie takes this mission very seriously… virtually everything is interactive and accessible to children with various disabilities.  Take a look:


Leg Up Aerial
Aerial view of the rear gardens/fully accessible play area/koi pond.
leg up 060
View across koi pond to play area.


leg up 045
Tree house with tiny loft play area inside.



leg up 047
Amazing hallway. Children work on their coordination walking on the lily pads across the stream.
leg up 044
Interactive Rutters facade.













leg up 048

Aquatic therapy pool.



These few photos are, quite simply, not enough to give an adequate idea of what they have to offer here… I didn’t even take a picture of the stable and indoor riding ring!  This is a state of the art facility, and operates strictly as a non-profit organization.

Their mission statement:

…to enrich the lives of families with special needs children 
through an effective combination of therapeutic programs and services, education, and advocacy.

In addition:

We believe every child is special and deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

leg up 039
Daily Living Skills Room… under construction

Getting back to our room…  it was, well, small.  But the windows had a beautiful view of the fields and woods behind the farm.  We went back to work energized and awed at the scope of the facility, and our small part in this remarkable place.  Everything fell into line, and by the end of September the room was ready, and so were we.

2013-09-27 001
Starting to bring in the furniture.
2013-09-27 008
Steve and Randy assemble the dinette.
2013-09-27 003
Randy and Steve assemble the bed.
2013-09-27 009
Colleen gets the wall art ready to hang.


Hopefully bigger panoramic
Panoramic shot of the finished room.

September 26, 2013: one day, 4 people, some nuts and bolts, and voila!  We had a newly furnished Daily Living Skills Area for some very deserving young people.  We were thrilled at how it all came together, and the Leg Up staff seemed to be pleased as well; which, of course, was the more important part.  By the time I write this, children will be getting a chance to use the room, learning all those things they will need to know in order to take care of some of their own needs: cooking, cleaning up, making a bed, doing laundry… those things most of us don’t need to think twice about.

The project was an eye opening one for us.  We were filled with admiration for this organization’s effort to provide these kids with the skills and therapy they need to have the best possible chance of living life to the fullest.  We’re glad we got to play a part.

Leg Up Farm will be holding an Open House on Saturday, October 19th, 11 am – 2 pm.

 For more information go to, or call 717-266-9264.





We Welcome Habitat For Humanity’s Hanline Family Build to Jacobus


L-R Debbie Krout-Althoff – York Habitat for Humanity; the Hanline Family – grandmother Christine, Allen, Jacob & mom Laurie; Jacobus Borough President, Brian Dell.

Big doings are afoot in little Jacobus PA.  A much talked about story in York County PA of late is that of Laurie Hanline, her family, and Habitat for Humanity’s search for a lot on which to build a handicapped accessible home.  They have finally found the perfect location here in Jacobus, on a lot generously donated by the Smith family of Smith Village.

Laurie is a full time student at York College, and full time mom of sons Jacob and Allen as well.  Thirteen year old Allen, the only surviving child of a set of triplets, is both physically and mentally handicapped.  The doorways in the home they are currently renting are too narrow for Allen’s wheelchair, so Laurie carries him from room to room.  Their new home will be completely handicapped accessible, with space for Laurie’s mom, who often provides childcare.  The Habitat for Humanity Women Build home will be located on a lovely, partially wooded lot on Meadow Street, with a secluded backyard that has plenty of room for kids to play.


Allen and Laurie.

The ground breaking ceremony for the home was on September 7th at 10 am, and in the short space of 3 weeks, excavation was begun and the foundation walls completed.  The walls and roof will be put up during “Blitz Week,” the week of October 8-12, and on October 22nd the seasoned crew of Habitat for Humanity volunteers from here at The Village will be back at work, this time just down the street from our store.

DSCN7404               Hanline House 003

It’s a heartwarming thought, knowing that by next year this very deserving family will have their own, fully accessible home.  I know that all of us here in Jacobus are proud to be part of such a worthwhile endeavor, and wish all the best to Laurie and her family in their beautiful new home.

A rendering of the new home on a cake made by Brown’s Orchards in Loganville.


Smith Village will be offering a discount in the amount of your sales tax to any customers who make a donation of $5 or more between October 3 and October 20.  You can also contact Habitat for Humanity at 854-6168 to donate or volunteer, or visit their website at

A Good Reason to Get Dirty: We Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

Maryellen insulating in the attic.
Brian and Bill double team the ceiling drywall.

On December 4, 2012, several of us from Smith Village  teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help remodel a duplex at 1212 – 1214 W. Poplar St. in York. None of us had much experience with remodeling, but we were willing to learn, and learn we did. The Habitat supervisor taught us on the fly, and by the end of the day we were putting in insulation, hanging drywall and painting like (semi) professionals. When we left, one family was a little closer to having a place they could call home.

Bill crawls out of the attic.

Bill and Maryellen pulled the short straw, and ended up crawling on their hands and knees in the hot and cramped eave space of the attic, putting in insulation…  As we’ve learned to expect from these two, they didn’t complain at all, just climbed right in and got to work. Later that day we found out why they were wearing masks… as  Maryellen walked across the back yard, the sun lit up a shower of insulation particles flying from her hair. It was dirty work, and not for the flexibility challenged, which left most of the rest of us out. (sorry guys!)

Colleen and I got the cushy job of painting. We took down both front doors and sanded them, then put two coats of primer on each, front and back. While they were drying we painted other odds and ends outside. Kent helped put a roof on the garage that was out back. He spent a good part of the day doing that, so I’m sure they won’t need to worry about leaks.  But there was no rest for the weary… when he finished up there, he started hanging drywall. One thing is for sure: there was no idle standing around. Brian seemed to be everywhere at once, cutting lumber, hanging drywall, making a nuisance of himself…  Steve and Mary worked on insulating the kitchen walls… better than the attic, but lots of measuring, cutting and going up and down the ladder.


Steve measures insulation for the attic.
Steve measures insulation for the attic.
Mary opens a package of insulation.


Dallas does drywall.

Our fearless leader, Dallas, kept us all well supervised, and rumor is he was helping somewhere, though we have no eyewitnesses to back this up. (just kidding, Dallas!) In reality, we all worked hard, and what a fabulous feeling it was when we dusted off to go home. We could see what a difference just 8 people and one day had done. Although the house won’t be done for the family to move in by Christmas as planned, hopefully mid January will see them warm and cozy in a place they can call home. I don’t think any of us are going to quit our day jobs just yet and go into construction, but we’re all a little handier than we were a week ago, and pretty darn proud of what we accomplished.

Colleen flips a door to paint the other side.
Kent works on the garage roof.
Me, scraping old paint.






















Habitat For Humanity helps provide simple, decent, affordable homes to families in need of shelter. They are a non profit group that relies on volunteers and donations to fund their building projects around the world. To volunteer or make a donation, contact them at

by Ellen Dougherty-Saylor

Eva Katherine

Eva Katherine is a young singer from Schuylkill County we were happy to have the opportunity to sponsor for Christmas Magic at Rocky Ridge County Park this past holiday season. Since performing in our area she has performed the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden for the Professional Bull Riders in front of a crowd of 20,000 people and on national television.  Her new band also had their first full show in New York City. Eva’s first single, entitled “You’re Not The Only One”, can be found on iTunes. Have a listen to this talented young girl.