Volunteers bring Christmas in April 1,000 donate labor, fixing homes of 65 aged, needy residents of city, county

April 28, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Sun Staff

Paint brushes, chisels and hammers in hand, about 1,000 volunteers gathered yesterday for Baltimore's seventh annual Christmas in April project, repairing the homes of 65 low-income, elderly and disabled residents.

This year's program targeted Baltimore City homes in the Palmer, Oakley, Park Heights and Marble Hill neighborhoods as well as the St. Helena community in Baltimore County. The work included roof repairs, electrical and plumbing restoration and yard cleanup.

"Our mission is to make the homes safe and comfortable so that the elderly and disabled homeowners can remain in their homes," Celene Toth, a spokeswoman for Christmas in April, Baltimore, said yesterday.

The program has saved homeowners and local government about $3.5 million in repairs in the past seven years. About 400 Baltimore homes have been repaired since the program began.

Organizers said the project grows each year.

"It's unbelievable," said Barry Klingenberg, president of Christmas in April in Baltimore. "We had beautiful weather and a tremendous turnout of volunteers. It went very, very well."

Also yesterday, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' department of community services and members of the physicians for Social Responsibility at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine sponsored a community cleanup project in East Baltimore.

The cleanup included eight square blocks from Monument to Jefferson streets and from Washington Street to Milton Avenue.

Pub Date: 4/28/96

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