In Washington, D.C., "Christmas" arrives on the last Saturday of April. In fact, "Rebuilding Together" used to be called Christmas in April. Each year some 15 to 40 members of Reformation Lutheran Church gather to revitalize low-income homes in the nation's capital.
They've been doing this for 20 years through Rebuilding Together, which has affiliates all over the country. Nationwide, the organization repairs 10,000 homes a year. In D.C., about 100 houses are repaired annually. To be eligible for the "Safe at Home" program, homeowners must be low income and elderly and/or disabled, veterans or families with young children.
Repairs are free to the homeowners but not "free" to accomplish, said Janice T. Stango, executive director of Rebuilding Together of Washington, D.C. Not only are thousands of hours in donated labor necessary, but significant monetary donations are needed to purchase building supplies and hire professionals for roofing, electrical and serious plumbing repairs.
"The team from Reformation Lutheran is among our most enthusiastic supporters," Stango said. "With their spirit of volunteerism and their financial support we are able to change the lives of a Capitol Hill family each year. Many other churches around our city, too, support us annually. We have a dream that every church in D.C. would do the same — what miracles we could accomplish if that happened."
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