Packing and Departing

The success of the ASP trip is highly dependent on proper preparation, and that is true for packing. Every participant should download the packing list and follow the instructions carefully.

We will pack the vans on Friday, June 24, at 6:30 PM. We will gather for departure at 7:30 AM on Saturday, June 25. Be sure to bring a lunch.

Do not bring laptops, tablets or lots of money, If you bring cell phones you may not use them at the work site other than to take occasional pictures. Although we do the best we can, we cannot ensure the security of any valuable items at the center.

Laundry facilities are NOT available so bring enough clothes for the entire week. Expect a week of dirt, sweat, paint and tar. Do not pack your favorite shirt or best jeans for work.

Sweatpants, shorts, half shirts, halter tops are not allowed at the work site. All clothing worn at the center must be modest (i.e., no short shorts, halters). Apparel may not display beer/alcohol slogans or obscenities.

Be sure to mark the tools that you bring, because they will tend to look a lot like somebody else’s. The same consideration might be given to your work boots.

How to Pack

Pack two bags: a bag for the week, and an overnight bag for the trip down Saturday and Sunday.

Use a soft duffle bag for your week-bag–no hard-sided suitcases. You will bring your week-bag to Jesse Lee Friday evening before the trip. Make sure that you check in with your crew leader and place your week-bag in your crew’s van. If your bag goes to the wrong county, it cannot be retrieved.

Be sure you have everything in your overnight bag that you will need for Saturday night and Sunday–sleeping clothes, fresh clothes for the morning, tooth brush, deodorant, medications,  and so forth. You will not have access to your week-bag until you arrive at the center on Sunday afternoon.

Bring a Lunch

Be sure to bring a lunch that you can eat on the way down Saturday. We stop at a rest stop for lunch, where there is no place to buy food.

Download the Packing List

Stock Sales

Everyone participating in ASP is expected to sell at least 25 shares of $10 “ASP Stock.”

Contact: Karen Doman, 630-251-4320

Here is how you sell ASP stock:

1. Reach Out & Contact People.
Reach out and contact people who might be able to support you for $10. Checks should be made out to “Jesse Lee ASP Group.”

2. Stock Sales Report Form.
Keep track of everybody to whom you sell stock. Record their names and mailing addresses on the form. This form must accompany every check. It’s how we send them the thank you notes, so write legibly.

Download the ASP Stock Sales Report Form

3. Stock Prospectus and Certificate.
Make sure the each person receives a copy of the Stock Certificate.Print the prospectus double-sided and fold it in half for the best presentation.

Download the ASP Stock Certificate
Download the ASP Stock Prospectus

4. People Can Also Buy Stock Online.
People can also buy stock on your behalf online with a credit card. Anybody who uses this option will be able to download the prospectus and certificate themselves. You will not need to record their information on the report form because the online form will capture all the information we will need.


If you would like a sample letter/Email that you can send to friends and relatives, feel free to use this text:

Dear Aunt Mable (obviously, change this if your aunt’s name isn’t Mable),

I’m writing to let you know that I will be participating in the Appalachia Service Project this summer. We will be going into the Appalachian region for a week to work on homes and help make them warmer, safer, and drier. We will stay in a center, probably a school, with volunteers from other parts of the U.S. and we will work along side the families who live there.

We’ll be doing stuff like repairing roofs, fixing or replacing floors, installing sheet rock and insulation, painting, digging drainage ditches, building room additions or porches, siding the exterior or perhaps some simple plumbing and electrical work.

To get ready for this trip, each one of us has to spend at least eight hours learning carpentry skills; at least eight hours learning about the people in Appalachia and about living in the center; and at least eight hours fund raising. We have two main fund raising efforts: car washes and stock sales.

You probably guessed that that’s the reason for my letter.

I need to sell at least twenty-five shares of stock in our Project at $10 per share. I’d like you to consider investing in our Project. It is a great way for me to learn and to serve! And, it’s also a way for us to help people who need it. I think that you will find being a part of our Project is a great return on your investment!

Although the Appalachia Service Project volunteers from Ridgefield are from many denominations and faiths, our Project is sponsored by Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. This means that all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to invest in our Project by buying one or more shares of stock, please send me $10 for each share you would like to buy. Checks should be made payable to “Jesse Lee ASP Group.” Or, you can go online to and purchase the stock there.

I really appreciate your help because we couldn’t do it without the support of our friends and families.

Thanks, and I’ll try to write more often…

Car Washes

ASP participants are required to work a car wash prior to the trip. Car washes are held on Saturdays in April, May and June, in the front driveway of Jesse Lee, with two shifts: 10:30 AM – 1:45 PM, and 1:30 PM – 4:45 PM.

Shorts that are not too short and sandals or flip-flops are permitted at car washes. T-shirts need to adhere to the same guidelines as work site T-shirts (long enough to tuck in, no sleeveless shirts, no low necklines).

In case of rain, you might get a message that the car wash has been canceled. If you do not receive a message, you should report at the regular time, as there may be an alternative project for you to work on.

Contact: Bill and Sharon Dornfeld, 203-241-8705

Car Wash Sign Ups


Wheelchair Ramp Building

All ASP participants are required to participate in a wheelchair ramp building session. This 5-hour session is designed to imitate a standard workday on the ASP trip. Participants will be assigned a work crew based on experience and will assist in the assembly of several segments of a wheelchair ramp.

Participants should bring their own snack and water bottle. Everyone needs to wear proper work site attire: long pants, a shirt that tucks in (no sleeveless shirts; no low necklines), work boots (no sneakers). Additionally, all volunteers must wear a face mask. Participants with improper attire will be sent home. Everyone needs to bring a 16 oz. hammer, a pair of safety glasses, a pair of work gloves, a tape measure, a speed square, and a pencil.

You will need to register and turn in your Jesse Lee ASP Waiver & ASP Volunteer forms prior to participating in Basic Skills or Ramp Building. 

Jesse Lee Waiver & ASP Forms

Ramp building sessions will be held on the following dates:

Saturday, May 14
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
1:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Sunday, May 15
12:30 PM – 5:30 PM 

Saturday, May 21
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
1:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Contact:  Andre Lerchi, 203-918-7499

Ramp Building Sign Ups

Basic Skills Training for First-Timers

Anyone who has not been on ASP before is required to attend a 2.5-hour in person session that will include brief lectures and demonstrations on work site safety. It will also include instruction and supervised individual practice on the safe use of the circular saw, power drill, and hammer. These sessions are held rain or shine in the back parking lot of Jesse Lee Church.

Everyone needs to wear proper work site attire: long pants, a shirt that tucks in (no sleeveless shirts; no low necklines), work boots (no sneakers).  Additionally, all volunteers must wear a face mask. If you have long hair, please tie it back. Participants with improper attire will be sent home.

Everyone needs to bring a 16 oz. claw hammer, a 12′ or longer retractable tape measure, pencil, speed square, wonder bar, a pair of safety glasses and a pair of work gloves. 

You will need to register and turn in your Jesse Lee ASP Waiver & ASP Volunteer forms prior to participating in Basic Skills. 

Jesse Lee Waiver & ASP Forms

Basic skills sessions will be held at Jesse Lee Church and are offered on the following dates:

Saturday, April 23
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Sunday, April 24
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Saturday, April 30
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM


Contact: Nik Parker, 203-788-6704

Basic Skills Sign Ups


Registration Fee

The actual cost of food, lodging, transportation, and building supplies is about $650 per person, but we don’t charge you that much to participate. The remainder will be realized through stock sales and car washes.

  • Payments made by February 11 will be discounted to $270.
  • Payments made between February 12 and March 4 will be charged the normal fee of $285.
  • Payments made after March 4 will incur a $15 late fee for a total of $300.

Registration fees must be paid online at the end of the registration process. Payments are fully refundable up to April 1.

Registration Forms

Registration forms will be distributed at the New Person Information Meeting and the Rally, or they can be downloaded from our website. One of these forms needs to be notarized, which can be done in advance or with our notary at the meetings. You are not registered until your forms are turned in. They are required prior signing up for any skills training and car washes.


All ASP volunteers are required to attend and participate in all of our pre-trip orientations.

To satisfy the orientation requirement, volunteers must attend all four orientation programs to learn about the Appalachian culture and local poverty as well as the “Three S’s” – safety, sensitivity and stewardship.  Each of the first three sessions will be offered twice – you only need to attend one.  The final orientation will only be offered once.  At this time, orientations are scheduled to be in-person.  Specific times are being worked out and will be posted soon. 

The dates are as follows:

    • Orientation 1 – February 9th and February 15th
    • Orientation 2 – March 23rd and March 29th
    • Orientation 3 – April 27th and May 3rd
    • Orientation 4 – June 8th – Only one date for this orienation

Contact: Deb Ahle, 203-438-6782