If you’re a little sad that the holidays are nearly over, we’ve got good news for you: All three Southern Maryland counties celebrate Christmas In April!
What is Christmas In April? Well, Santa stays home, but his elves in Southern Maryland go to work for a day of rebuilding and renovation to homes belonging to the elderly and disabled. And you don’t need to be a skilled handyman to help out; there’s a job for every volunteer, whether you have a lot of home repair experience or none at all.
Southern Maryland’s Christmas In April events are part of a larger national organization founded in Midland, Texas, in 1973. When the founders of the organization – now called Rebuilding Together – saw that their neighbors’ homes were falling into disrepair. The homeowners weren’t able to afford the repairs, which made their homes unsafe or unhealthy. A band of volunteers got to work, and a movement was born.
News of Christmas In April spread, and in 1993, the organization opened a nationwide office. Today, more than 100,000 volunteers across the country participate in Christmas in April, working on more than 10,000 service projects.
In Southern Maryland, the Christmas In April chapters began working locally in 1991. Homeowners apply for repairs, and after site visits and an application process, homes are selected for each year’s work day, which is always the last Saturday in April. All three organizations work on smaller projects and fundraisers throughout the year while planning the annual event.
Repairs made to homes include safety and accessibility features like ramps, handrails, or widened doorways; wall and ceiling repairs; window and door replacement; roof repair; lighting and electrical work; faucets; and other tasks needed in each home. Exterior work such as siding, painting, and landscaping can also be done.
Want to get involved? From hammering nails to planting flowers to providing lunch, Christmas In April is an all-hands-on-deck opportunity for volunteers. Each chapter has volunteer information and applications on their websites (see links below); apply soon because 2018’s homes will be chosen in the coming weeks, and volunteers will be matched with an appropriate work site.
And if you’ve got home renovation and repair skills, Christmas In April needs you, too! Skilled workers can lead teams or be house captains.
Local Christmas In April chapters also accept donations of materials and supplies or money. Find out more at their websites.
To learn more about Southern Maryland’s Christmas In April chapters, visit their websites and Facebook pages:
St. Mary’s County
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