For years I have wistfully missed the Christmas in April program. Now it seems to have appeared in another form in Cleveland! I'm gleeful, yet sad that I had to find out about it after the fact.
I don't know if this was the first time this event was held in Cleveland, but The Sun News and Ken Prendergast reported about last Saturday's Rebuilding Day 2007. The local organization is called Rebuilding Together Cleveland and it's an arm of a National Umbrella Group of the same name. (Minus the Cleveland part of course). The focus is to help low income homeowners with home repairs, painting, carpentry work, sprucing up of the yard. There were eight homes/homeowners who received volunteer assistance this year to the tune of about $50k worth of supplies and $20k worth of labor.
When I lived in Montgomery County Maryland I was active in the Rockville Kiwanis and we participated in a program called Christmas In April. Every year trades people and others volunteered their time and labor....every year I participated, the home picked belonged to a long time, elderly homeowner who was just not able physically or financially to keep up a home anymore. It was always a very gratifying experience and to this day I still wear my Christmas in April shirts when I work out in the yard. It always brings back good memories.
When I tried to Google Christmas in April tonight, it seems as if it might have become Rebuilding Together. I can't find any mention of C I April past 2001. In any event, this seems like an outstanding program. Now that I know it exists, I will be looking to get involved myself next year!
When I explored the Rebuilding Together website, I saw that they have rebuilt over 2000 homes Nationally. They sponsor the National Rebuilding Day I mentioned above; and they have worked to rebuild 1000 homes in the Gulf after Katrina (Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction). They also have initiatives to assist Veterans who have housing issues. Locally, a mortgage lending company was involved as one of the co-sponsors of the event. I see on the National site that Fannie Mae is well represented. Where have I been to not know about this program!
I can't wait to talk to Manager Mark and others in my Company and anyone else I can get involved to start preparing for next year! Peace Out - 3C