By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFRO
At one time Elizabeth Hamilton would come home from her job at the Census Bureau in Suitland, fix dinner for her child and still have enough energy to paint or climb up on her roof to inspect the shingles or make minor repairs to her home in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
At the age 96, Hamilton can’t move like she once did, but last Saturday she had plenty of energy to give out hugs and “thank yous” to an army of volunteers from the Mona Electric Group, who cleared shrubs, painted walls and made critical electrical repairs to her home. These major repairs were all part of the 2018 Christmas in April program.
Elizabeth Hamilton, 96, received major renovations at her Upper Marlboro home as part of the Christmas in April program.
“It’s amazing how the Lord will provide,” said Hamilton as she greeted Cap Mona, 75. Mona is owner of the Clinton based electric firm that he started 52 years ago that now has more than 700 employees, some of whom are his grand children who are among the company’s senior managers and were all part of a large work detail last Saturday.
Mona, who spends part of the year on his island in Maine, said he has been part of the Christmas in April effort since its inception and said he is proud of the effort to make a difference in the life of Prince Georgians. “We have been doing this for 30 years and with more than 90,000 volunteers we have made repairs to 2,652 homes.”
A group photo with Elizabeth Hamilton, Cap Mona, and some of the volunteers with Mona Electric Group.
Mary Kucharski, Executive Director of Christmas in April Prince George’s County, said the organization came to the county in 1989 and since that time volunteers have made more than $47 million in repairs. She said this year her organization repaired 79 homes with 3,200 volunteers who rebuilt wheel chair ramps, made home improvements and fixed a range of electric and plumbing issues at the residences for people who are less fortunate.
For renovations like Hamilton’s, homeowners, or people on their behalf, must request an application and apply through the organization in order to be considered for Christmas in April.
“We get applications from homeowners themselves, we get them from elected officials, people’s families. So anyone can apply on someone’s behalf, the homeowner does need to be aware of the application. Our emphasis is on elderly or disabled people and they must own their home,” Kucharski told the AFRO. Hamilton, who lives alone, applied herself. She said her daughter died four years ago and while she knew that she needed to make repairs to her home she didn’t how that would happen with a shortage of funds. But then she got a call from someone with Christmas in April and things started to happen.
“This is a surprise to me. Sometimes surprises are very good,” Hamilton told the AFRO. “I learned that all things are possible if you believe. Some of us don’t believe that God is on the throne but he is working miracles every day because this is a miracle for me.”