This year marks the 10th anniversary of Christmas in Action of Somervell County, which has made a positive impact on many people in need.
The 501c(3) nonprofit agency has partnered with the community to repair homes of low-income elderly and/or disabled homeowners, putting Christian values and principles “in action.”
Deedee Jones, fundraising chair of the local Christmas in Action group’s executive committee, said the group’s 2017 project day is set for Saturday, April 1. Volunteers will gather at 7 a.m. that day at the Family Center of First United Methodist Church to get their work group assignments. The church is at 411 NE Barnard street, just off the square in downtown Glen Rose.
Jones, whose husband Hank Jones is chairman of the Christmas in Action of Somervell County, said she has seen some emotional reactions from those helped over the years. One was an older lady who was handicapped, living in a mobile home that had no working air conditioner. They provided her with a new window unit, and also made badly needed repairs to her ceiling fan.
“She was literally crying,” Deedee Jones said. “She was overwhelmed that people she didn’t know were helping.”
Another example was a a disabled military veteran who struggled getting in and out of his mobile home in his wheelchair. Christmas in Action built a ramp, and installed a cover over it and his home’s porch.
The idea for the non-denominational Christmas in Action began at a Baptist church in Midland in 1972. A former pastor at First United Methodist Church of Glen Rose, David Leach, first suggested about 11 years ago that Somervell County should put together a group that is independent, yet affiliated with the nationwide organization.
The Somervell County group’s board members are from all denominations, Jones noted.
The first Somervell County projects were completed 10 years ago, and the work has included renovation, repair and cleanup of more than 40 local homes. Nationwide, Christmas in Action has repaired more than 10,000 homes using more than 50,000 volunteers.
Jones said “It’s an incredible thing” that people are willing to volunteer to help those in need.
The majority of those who receive the help are over 50 years old and have limited financial resources, Jones noted. Some, but not all, are handicapped.
Jones stated, “Christmas in Action of Somervell County could not do its work without the generosity of many local businesses and individuals. A very special thank you goes to Staples Construction, Roffino Custom Homes, Higginbothams, CENTURY 21 Quad J Realty, Pie Peddlers, Hammonds BBQ, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Luminant Power, Glen Rose Lions Club, Glen Rose Optimist Club, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, GRHS National Honor Society, and hundreds of individual volunteers.”
This year there are three projects selected by the local committee, to be performed on Saturday, April 1, Jones said. She said one of the projects, for a woman living in a substandard structure, will be expensive.
Board member Luis Cossio stated, “the project is one that touched my heart – the client has had a rough life and is in great need, but has such a sweet and positive attitude about life.”
While some of the volunteers bring special skills to the table, many others simply make themselves available to help any way they can, including cleanup duties. Every year, National Honor Society students from Glen Rose High School serve as volunteers.
Board member Darrell Best has agreed to coordinate the efforts for raising funds this year and can be contacted at (214) 517-7789.
To find out more about volunteering or donating to Christmas in Action of Somervell County, call Deedee Jones at 254-396-1145, or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org).