The Volunteer: Joanne Jackson is founder and vice...

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

April 30, 1995|By Kevin Harrison

The Volunteer: Joanne Jackson is founder and vice president of Christmas in April for Anne Arundel County.

The Prince George's County resident has worked for Anne Arundel County as the minority business coordinator for eight years and helped start the local Christmas In April program four years ago.

About the program: Christmas in April is a nationwide program that gathers volunteers on the last Saturday in April to repair, renovate and clean the homes of low-income, elderly and disabled people.

About 1,200 county volunteers were scheduled to work at about 30 sites in the county yesterday.

Volunteer's comment: "Four years ago I just thought it would be nice to see if I could get it [Christmas in April] going here in the county because I've always been a community-minded individual. It's really amazing to see how it's grown.

"We're doing houses that go from Hanover and Glen Burnie, down the Route 2 corridor to Severna Park, to six or seven houses in Annapolis, two or three in Edgewater and farther south to Shady Side.

"We get more volunteers and more sponsors every year. It's really moving very nicely when it comes to what the business community is doing to help this effort.

"Just about everybody that's affiliated with Christmas in April is part of another organization, like the Junior League, the Jaycees, the banks, the Rotary Clubs. . . . It brings groups closer to each other.

"We raised about $50,000 this year. That's kind of an indication of the giving spirit of people.

"The house captains are really the key to getting the job done. We've been lucky every year. Our house captains have been contractors or affiliated with contractors. . . . We're working with some very competent people.

"Jim Thomassen is our president and president of Brookfield Builders. Jim has contact with suppliers that have helped by donating material. His input has been crucial.

"Our plans are to do a lot more networking to promote Christmas in April . . . in getting the word out to homeowners.

"You have to keep it going and keep it alive, and that's basically what I do."

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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