Christmas in April
St. Mary's County, Inc.
What is Christmas in April?
What are the Levels of Giving?
How does it work?
Homes are chosen for Christmas in April repairs from applications received prior October 15th deadline. Volunteers serving on the House Selection Committee visit each applicant (during the months of October, November, and December); they interview each homeowner; inspect the home; ask for written proof of home ownership and income; and complete a report form. Then the entire committee discusses and prioritizes all applications and makes recommendations to the Christmas in April Advisory Board. A vote is taken by the Advisory Board in late December or early January to accept or reject the recommendations of the Committee.
How can I help?
Christmas in April St. Mary's County is seeking volunteers to assist as:
Fundraising Chairperson: An individual who can lead the general fundraising committee, whereby we contact the prior year's financial donors to thank them for their financial assist, and request their assistance for the upcoming year. This individual's suggestions would be welcome in strengthening this committee's work and furthering the outreach to the community.
Serving on Committees such as Fundraising, Grant Writing, Material, Publicity, and Skilled Trades to give an hour or more a month to helping in promoting the mission and goals of Christmas in April St. Mary's County.
All monetary donations are accepted. Click here to read more about ways to donate. Please see Contact us at 301-884-2905, firstname.lastname@example.org or 28231 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville, Md 20659.
What are Our Commitees?
Awards and Thank You’s: Whereby we acknowledge the contributions and/or donations given to Christmas in April St. Mary's through thank you notes and presentations. This committee ranges from one person to a few individuals helping with thank you notes and presentations to thank them for their support. The work of this committee is done “as needed”, with the majority of the thank you notes being typed and mailed in May.
Feed a Crew: Searches for groups to provide food for volunteers at one of the sites on Christmas in April day. This is another committee that could have one or two people making telephone calls, “touching base” with groups that have participated in the past, and when necessary, looking for additional groups or individuals to provide meals and/or refreshments at one of the home repair sites.
Financial: Members of the Board of Directors who focus on financial planning; setting up and reviewing the Board of Director's long-term accounts: (a) Emergency Fund, and (b) Training Fund. Members of this committee also review the financial statements and annual audit, and make recommendations to the entire Board of Directors. Members of this committee meet on a quarterly basis.
Fundraising: This committee contacts prior year's financial donors to request financial assistance for upcoming year's project, and outreach to prospective contributors.
Grants: Researches prospective grant opportunities; assists in the completion of grant applications. For an individual who is self-reliant and enjoys searching community resources, including the Internet, for grant opportunities, work on this aspect of Christmas in April * St. Mary's County, Inc., is done when anyone has the time to do so.
House Selection: Distributes applications; reviews applications; visits and inspects homes of applications; makes recommendations to the Board.
Volunteers are always needed to help “copy/xerox” copies of Christmas in April's Application for Assistance; also assistance is needed between late April through early October in distributing copies of this free application throughout St. Mary's County.
Individuals willing to visit homes as part of our House Selection Committee meet in mid-October to divide up the applications, contact the homeowners who applied for assistance, and visit homes. A follow-up meeting of the House Selection Committee is held in December to discuss the selection process and arrive at recommendations to present to the Christmas in April St. Mary's County Advisory Board.
Logistics & Materials: These two committees go hand-in-hand working closely together.
Picnic: Plans, orders and/or organizes the food, beverages, and accompaniments for the conclusion of Christmas in April day when the volunteers and the homeowners share an end-of-the-day meal together. The majority of this committee's work is done between February and April each year.
Publicity: Committee responsible for the marketing of program's activities. Opportunities to assist with publicity varies from: marketing the mission and needs of Christmas in April through local media to assisting with publicity for various fundraising events. Volunteers are always welcome to provide suggestions in improving our publicity and outreach to the community. We also need help in taking photos on our National Rebuilding Day (last Saturday in April).
Schools: Outreach for county's public, parochial, and private schools; assists in answering their concerns and in inviting their participation. Since Christmas in April St. Mary's County, Inc., welcomes the participation of any youth, ages 14 and above, assisting on our home repair projects, we need volunteers to help us with outreach to youth and schools in our community.
Also, there are schools and various youth groups, with students under the age of 14 that help us behind the scenes, providing meals and refreshments for our volunteers, assisting with fundraising, i.e., “penny drives,” “auctions,” and various other fundraising avenues. Numerous times schools and youth groups have assisted our program in publicizing our needs (skilled trade assistance) and distributing our free Applications for Assistance.
Skilled Trades: Invites participation from skilled trades organizations, companies, and individuals in the community; works alongside the Logistics and Materials Committee. We welcome the support of any volunteer who wants to help us through phone calls, personal visits, or written correspondence in encouraging further participation of skilled trade volunteers with our program. Special emphasis is given during the months of February, March, and April in reaching out to our skilled trade community.
Volunteers: Outreach to individuals and organizations interested in participating through various aspects of our Christmas in April program. Volunteers with computer skills, computer graphic skills, and office skills are also needed.