When 25 Labconco associates and family members converged on our adopted home just a few miles from Labconco corporate headquarters on Saturday, October 1, 2016, the sunny, warm weather, could not have been a more appropriate metaphor for the feeling of doing something good for our community. We came together to help Ron, a 74-year old veteran who was living alone when he broke his ankle and required prolonged hospital care. His home needed help he couldn’t physically accomplish nor financially afford.
Labconco people care. We volunteer and give back to our hometown because we know being good neighbors makes a difference in our community. Christmas in October is just one heartwarming example. Since 1991 and every year since, Labconco associates have participated in this worthy cause.
This Kansas City volunteer organization, started 33 years ago, has allowed needy families, the elderly, the disabled and veterans live in safety, warmth and dignity. Through its Adopt-A-House program, Christmas in October rehabilitates 350-400 homes every year.
Mark Schmitz, our Christmas in October leader for several years, made all the preparations before the big day. Throughout the summer while Ron was hospitalized, Mark put his engineering expertise to work as he inspected the home for needed repairs. A new ramp to the front door, yard clean up, rotted trim replacement and house painting topped the list. Mark and his son Matthew spent a day building a ramp to Ron’s front door. Then the home was now ready for us to do the rest.
Many hands make light work. Our team cleaned the gutters, repaired the back stoop, scraped and painted the faded house, and removed excess foliage. Labconco associate Lesley McMillin commented, “It’s fun getting to know my co-workers better. And with such a big group working, it is great to see such a huge improvement in a short period of time for a person who needs it.”
Kevin Conley agreed. “Doing something good for our neighbors and being with my colleagues outside of work are what keeps me coming back every year.”
After his first year working at Christmas in October, Scott Hamm added, “It was well organized and supported. I had a blast working on the house knowing that we were helping someone who truly needed it. When we finished, you could clearly see the results. It had a huge impact on the structure and surrounding environment.”
In the end, we provided an attractive home for the neighborhood and a safer home for Ron, while we left with a feeling of accomplishment and happy hearts. I’m ready for next year.
Thank you to our Labconco 2016 Christmas in October Participants:
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