Christmas came nine months early for Christy Mansfield.
On Saturday, she couldn’t stop smiling as workers with the Christmas in Action program fixed her leaky roof, attached new plywood skirting and painted her mobile home a neutral gray color.
The price was right, too – free.
Volunteers, many of them from nearby Cornerstone Christian Fellowship church, worked to turn the home off State Highway 56 south of Glen Rose into a space that’s not only livable, but also attractive.
“It’s amazing that there’s a program like this for people who are on smaller incomes,” Mansfield said. “It really is worthwhile.”
A woman with a sunny personality and upbeat outlook despite her challenges, Mansfield, 57, had been living in her parent’s white frame house next door. But they had arranged a reverse mortgage and when they died, she was forced to find a new place to live.
Along with the fresh coat of paint on her new home, she’s also getting a fresh start.
“It looks so nice,” Mansfield said. “I really do appreciate it.”
Christmas in Action took place throughout Somervell County as teams of volunteers fanned out to repair eight homes. Senior citizens, disable persons and others in need either can apply to the nonprofit or, as in Mansfield’s case, be nominated by a friend or someone else.
Volunteers include members of local churches and civic organizations such as the Glen Rose Lions Club; companies such as Luminant, Town & Country Bank, which had a group of workers at a Bryan Street house; and others willing to give up a Saturday to help fix a home and lift a heart. Materials for the repairs come from donations.
Less than a mile away from Mansfield’s house, another Christmas in Action team worked on the mobile home of a woman who was injured in a car accident and confined to a motorized wheelchair. The high wooden porch needed better support and the wheelchair ramp lacked handrails.
“She’s about driven off it several times,” said Dwayne Griffin, the team captain.
Volunteer Ashileen Douglas stood ready to lend a helping hand.
“Last year was my first year to do this,” she said of Christmas in Action. “It’s fun.”
Another team converged on a house on Bryan Street in Glen Rose. They dismantled a rotting porch, rebuilt a new one and cleaned up the yard of an elderly, bedridden woman on a fixed income. Volunteers also hauled off trailer loads full of leaves, old fencing and debris.
“The difference is like night and day,” said Anthony Roffino, the team leader, as workers whipped the place into much better shape.
By mid-afternoon, Mansfield’s home makeover was almost finished and she was chatting and laughing with volunteers.
“These people are great,” Mansfield said. “I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends today.”
To donate to or volunteer for Christmas in Action, call Hank Jones at 897-9240.