Why are Christmas in April services needed?
Five and a half million low-income homeowners in America are elderly, and the vast majority are women. Over one-third live alone, and 43% spend over 40% of their income on housing expenditures. 22% of all Americans are shelter poor – they cannot afford basic necessities after paying housing costs. Christmas in April fills this need, rehabilitating homes and revitalizing neighborhoods. In addition, handicapped homeowners will receive ramps, assistance handgrips, and other equipment designed to help them in their homes.
How extensive are the repairs and how many homes are done?
Last year 20 homes were rehabilitated by over 800 volunteers. Most homes were repaired in a one-day blitz, while some were done in two or more consecutive weekends. Skilled trades people joined with other volunteers to paint, clean, weatherize, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. Average cost per house is $1,163 for a total cost of $23,264. This figure represents 63% of our annual expenses. This year our goal is to complete 25 homes.
Do homeowners pay?
No. All repairs are free for the homeowners. Labor and supplies are donated and/or purchased by Christmas in April. But homeowners and family are asked to join in the spirit of neighbor-helping-neighbor.
How much can we do in one day?
More than you can guess! Volunteers paint, caulk, clean and remove trash, make repairs, do carpentry work, plumbing, electrical work and roofing. A team of thirty to forty volunteers can transform a worn-down house into a comfortable home that benefits our entire community.
How are homes selected?
The house selection committee accepts applications from homeowners who are unable to do the work themselves. Referrals come from non-profit agencies, churches, and individuals. The amount of work and the type of work and total funds needed dictate the criteria for approval. Once reviewed, the house selection committee submits the home to the Christmas in April board of directors for approval. A house captain is selected to supervise the work to be done, coordinate the work project and report to the board of directors the materials required and number of volunteers needed.