In McLean, VA there is a need for the repair and maintenance of the houses of low-income families. Daniel Flavin and many of his high school peers were looking for a way to give back to their community and were interested in construction and renovation.
In 1996, Daniel Flavin established Hearts and Hammers, a Robert Pierre Johnson Housing Development Corporation program, at his high school. The program serves low-income homeowners, particularly people with disabilities and the elderly in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Flavin was the first person to form a Hearts and Hammers high school club. He also motivated another area high school to form a Hearts and Hammers club and hopes to have clubs at two additional area schools this year.
Daniel and his 10-15 fellow Hearts and Hammers friends fixed up two houses this year. Their goal for 1999 is to fix up three houses. It costs about $500 for supplies to renovate and refurbish each house. The students spend countless hours doing fundraising to pay for supplies and have raised more than $3,000.
Due to safety and insurance concerns that the school had about the Hearts and Hammers club, Dan restricted the students' volunteer activity to cleaning, painting, and lawn work. He also produced certificates of insurance so school officials would approve his club charter. To expand his program to other high schools, Dan has documented the application process and placed the required forms on computer disks to make it easier to replicate the club.