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By GALEN HOLLEY
Staff Writer

   Christmas will come early for some residents of the Lake City, as it’s done for 20 years, thanks to the hard work of local volunteers.
   Workers with Christmas in April are set to paint, hammer and clean their way to another season of good deeds.
   “It’s a privilege to offer this service to the community each year, and the value we add, and the good will we spread, goes beyond paint and porches and roofs,” said Christmas in April Treasurer Kim McRee.
   Eight to 10 houses are set to get some sprucing up this go round. Volunteers will don their tool belts April. 26,
   Christmas in April is an initiative supported by local churches and other people of good will that brings together volunteers to help the less fortunate. The clients who receive help are chosen by a 13 member board representing churches, businesses and civic clubs from throughout the city.
   “We’ve got lots of folks signed up to help, including AmeriCorps, kids from Grenada High School and the Gore, Kilpatrick and Dambrino Law Firm, to name a few,” said McRee.
Professionals are encouraged to lend a hand, McRee said, like plumbers, electricians
and construction workers, but anyone who can swing a hammer or pull a paint brush is more
than welcome.
   “No special skills are required,” said McRee, “just a willingness to help.”
   Last year Christmas in April volunteers made improvements to 13 houses, totalling $23,000 in renovations.
   Christmas in April is a national, philanthropic movement that started in Midland, Texas, in 1972. Stewart Thomas, who was the mill manager at Newsprint South, got the Grenada organization started in 1994. Since then, good-hearted Grenadians have spruced up more than 190 homes. They’ve invested some $434,000 in the repairs.
   Volunteers are still in the process of making visits to prospective houses to be repaired.
   They’ll gather outside Coldwell Banker, in the Village Creek Mall, at 8 a.m. on the 26th, to get their marching orders.
   Professionals should call ahead to make sure coordinators can best delegate their expertise.
   Those interested can call (662) 809-2280 or (662) 417-6210. They may also email at christmasinaprilgrenada@yahoo.com or visit the movement’s Facebook page.


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