Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg Academy and alumnus provide free van for Steelton mother of five

Jessica and her five children receive a free van from Harrisburg Academy and Wheels from the Heart.

This weekend, Harrisburg Academy helped a Steelton family accelerate towards success.

Steve Muschlitz (Class of ’82) and his nonprofit, Wheels from the Heart, joined with the school to provide a free van to a single mother of five, Jessica, on Saturday.

“Owning a car is often the first step to financial independence for single mothers and their families,” Muschlitz, owner of Country Club Auto in Delray Beach, Florida, said in a statement. “These vehicles give them an opportunity for career advancement and better-paying positions to drive their lives to success.”

Jessica’s children range in age from 4 to 12. According to a spokesperson for the school, Jessica has struggled to provide for her family during the pandemic and needed a vehicle to secure a better job opportunity.

Harrisburg Academy also partnered with Muschlitz to provide the family with free summer school enrollment at the Academy, gas gift cards, several free auto maintenance services from local businesses and gift cards to neighborhood grocery stores and restaurants.

Each of the five children also received a goodie bag donated by Academy students and their families, along with food boxes from Midwest Food Bank. PennDOT District 8 and its grant office, Southcentral PA Highway Safety, provided car seats.

Harrisburg Academy middle and upper school students held a “Denim Day” where students paid $1 to dress casually to raise money for the gift cards. The Parent Association also contributed to the fundraising efforts. Sam Kinback, owner of Callen Kinback Inc. in Lemoyne, pledged a free oil change, fluid refills and a tire-rotation service. Gunn-Mowery Insurance, also in Lemoyne, helped facilitate insuring the van.

“We are extremely grateful for these generous gifts that Harrisburg Academy, Wheels from the Heart and the local community have given to our family,” Jessica said. “They will bring us joy and this van will make life a bit easier for us every day.”

To learn more about Wheels from the Heart, visit their website. For more information on Harrisburg Academy, visit their website.

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