The Christmas season tends to bring out the philanthropist in all of us. But what if that same selfless attitude carried over into the spring? For a local, Cleburne nonprofit, Christmas is in action and in April.
Christmas in Action was founded in 1972 in Midland, Texas. The founder, Bobby Trimble, discovered a lack of federal government programming to assist elderly and disabled adults living on fixed incomes. $500 – $800 a month would be considered slim-pickings for most. Now throw in prescriptions, wheelchair ramps, food, and house repairs.
Fast forward to 2016, and you will see CIA performing annual Community Work Day projects the first weekend in April and helping countless households in Cleburne and surrounding cities. Of course, such a grand venture as this could not be executed without the help of dedicated volunteers. We (1stel) banded together with other local businesses recently on April 2 to assist a Joshua-based household.
We had a great time getting our hands dirty with
- The Cleburne Chamber of Commerce
- The Cleburne Fire Department
- Bob King Realty
- Re/Max Real Estate
- the House Captain Clint Ishmael
- WalMart Distribution Center
- Westhill Church of Christ
- Nolan River Road Baptist
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Boyscout Troop 598
- Johnson County Veterans Coalition
- Johnson County Association of Realtors
- Leadership Cleburne
… and a number of others. In fact, CIA saw about 270 volunteers this month.
Cathy Marchel, Cleburne Chamber of Commerce President says, ”I have been volunteering with CIA for years. We had an awesome time this year especially. We completely repainted the whole house! I am part of a Veterans Coalition group so we jumped on the opportunity help a veteran. On top of that, it was absolutely beautiful weather! We couldn’t have asked for a better day!”
Here’s what some of the 1stel Team had to say about the experience.
“It is an honor to work with the many humanitarians of Christmas in Action. I don’t know who receives a bigger blessing from the event, the homeowner or the volunteers.” – Douglas Bowyer, 1stel President.
“I didn’t even get tired because I felt so passionate about the project and what we were doing. The day really flew by. Knowing that you are doing something good for someone else with like-minded people… It’s amazing.” – Randall Smith, 1stel Project Manager.
“This was my first volunteer opportunity with Christmas in Action. It was very rewarding to join a group and to make a difference. The family could not have been more hospitable. I can’t wait to do this again.” – Matthane Kahla, 1stel Communications Consultant.
Although the official event takes place once a year, Marchel says that there is still plenty of work to do, “They will periodically have days where we repair more odds and ends. I try to always make it to those too. Just being able to help those people and make a difference in their lives, especially veterans… It’s definitely worth the hard work. These people are so appreciative and and see everyone come together and turn their house around in such a short amount of time is so rewarding to see!”
The additional workdays are scheduled for April 10th at the Country Life Seventh Day Adventist Church and April 16th at the Cleburne Bible Church.
Jaime Baldwin- 1stel Digital Marketing Specialist