UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A beautiful but cool sunny spring morning was the scene April 30 at the home of Alice Callaham in Upper Marlboro where repairs and renovations were well underway as part of the 23rd Annual Christmas in April – a Prince George’s County program. This was one of 83 homes receiving services this year from approximately 3,500 volunteers.
Elected officials, businesses, military, community organizations, churches, and concerned caring citizens and youth are donating their time, resources, and hard work extending a helping hand to elderly, low-income, and disabled homeowners throughout the county.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, along with his wife Christa, came early and immediately began helping to treat the newly completed ramp on the front of the home that will provide mobility to the home for a 19-year-old paraplegic injured in a tragic Jan. 24 auto accident that claimed the life of his older brother.
Commenting on the program, Baker stated, “The Christmas in April program is one of the County’s leading volunteer organizations, and it genuinely illustrates the meaning of community service and how all of us can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Officials throughout the region, including U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, stopped by to lend a hand in support of this effort. Freddi Vaughn, volunteer via Xerox’s social leave program stated: “We would like to help every elderly and/or disabled homeowner in Prince George’s County who needs our assistance, but we don’t have enough financial resources to purchase all the supplies required”.
Even with very generous in-kind contributions, the need outpaces resources as evidenced by the more than 200 applications received this year alone. In the case of the Callaham home, significant contributions were made by Timberlake Homes, Mona Electric and Air Force 11th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Andrews who deployed a team of skilled builders to make extensive renovations inside the home.
Among the 70 plus volunteers working hard to complete tasks included the Coalition of Concerned Black Men, From the Heart Church Ministry and the Office of the County Executive staff. For more information about the program and how to help continuing efforts, visit www.christmasinaprilpg.org.