PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Christmas in April Calvert County celebrated its 32nd anniversary April 2023. Christmas in April’s mission is “in partnership with community, repairs and improves houses and their physical structures to ensure that low-income homeowners live in warmth, safety and independence.”
Christmas in April accomplishes this mission utilizing an all-volunteer Board of Directors and workforce which mirrors the makeup of our community. In excess of 100 applications are received annually and work is completed on the number of homes that funds and volunteers can support.
This year Christmas in April will complete needed repairs on 40 homes and assist 4 other 501(C)(3) agencies in improving their facilities with the help of approximately 600 volunteers donating in excess of 8000 hours of labor. These volunteers come from large and small businesses, faith based/civic/fraternal organizations, and schools. Christmas in April is funded solely by donations from the community with about 96 percent of all money received spent on the actual home repairs and the remaining money spent on overhead (workday insurance, post office box and telephone).
While the majority of the work takes place in April (National Volunteer Month), emergency type repairs start in September the previous year. These repairs typically involve HVAC systems maintenance, repairing leaky roofs, repairing/replacing broken windows/doors and constructing wheelchair accessible ramps.
Utilizing these teams of hard-working dedicated volunteers, Christmas in April can stop the rain from leaking in and let the sunshine in for many low-income homeowners. Make no mistake, what is done is not magic, just a lot of planning followed by many hours of hard work.
Many homeowners are able to work alongside the team to complete the tasks. On one recent project, a 92-year-old man worked with the team as they cleaned up his yard after replacing his roof.
Some of the feedback and quotes we receive as part of our efforts are: “My mom has been crying tears of joy all morning she is so happy. Volunteers are replacing a leaky window, another group is making repairs in the bathroom, a handrail is being installed on the steps and an army of volunteers is outside doing yard work. It’s like poetry in motion. So many happy people smiling and laughing while they work.” Comments from a job at Project Echo earlier this year: “it was like a swarm of bees hit that place, focused on their goals for the day and ready to go to work. Truly a joy to behold when the dust settled.”
As stated earlier, the work that Christmas in April Calvert County performs is not magic but it is indeed magical. Christmas in April exists solely due to our donors and volunteers. Christmas in April Calvert County is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization. Applications for assistance are accepted year-round (https://www.christmasinaprilcalvertcounty.org/), with house selection taking place in the Fall.
Thank you to all sponsors, donors and volunteers for all their contributions and efforts. Christmas in April looks forward to assisting our neighbors again next year.