History of Christmas in Action

Christmas in Action * Wichita County, TX, Inc. is the leading local volunteer organization that, in partnership with the community, rehabilitates the homes of low-income elderly and low-income disabled homeowners, so that they may continue to live in warmth, safety and independence.

The program "Christmas in April" was started in 1973 in Midland, TX by an oil scout named Bobby Trimble and a group of friends. When looking around their community, they saw a huge problem. A growing number of their neighbors needed help maintaining their homes.  Low-income disabled and low-income elderly homeowners in particular, could no longer financially afford to pay for the work themselves or were physically unable to repair leaks, defective wiring, replace rotting steps and install handrails.  Trimble and his friends decided to do something about it.  They reasoned that the old idea of a “barn-raising” could be revived and applied to modern cities.  They began recruiting skilled and unskilled volunteers, and now each year thousands of volunteers work together for one Saturday each spring, paint and repair hundreds of their neighbors’ homes to make them warm, safe and dry once again.

This project acquired a name when one beneficiary exclaimed: “Why, this is just like Christmas…in April!”  From those early days, the idea has spread across the country, coming to Wichita County in 1983 with Mary Ward being the first executive director. In 2004, the name was changed to “Christmas in Action” so that work could be completed all throughout the year but the main project day remaining the last Saturday in April each year.

Since its inception in Wichita County 3025 homes have been rehabilitated, using a work force of 60,562 volunteers over the years.

The purpose of the program has remained the same over the years, which is to allow the homeowners to continue to live in their homes for as long as they can but now in a warmer, safer and more decent environment.  The population that is targeted is residents that live in Wichita County TX who are low income elderly and/or low income disabled homeowners.  Christmas in Action helps put life back into the homes and families of Wichita County.