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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ACCA volunteers will spend Saturday fixing up homes for needy seniors

ACCA volunteers work on a house during the 2013 Rebuilding Together event. [All photos on this page are  from ACCA.]
The Annandale Christian Community for Action, a coalition of 27 churches that join forces to help the disadvantaged, will be fixing up two houses on Saturday, April 26, as part of the Rebuilding Together program.

“We’re trying to help people in need be able to stay in their homes,” says Marie Monsen of John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale and a former president of ACCA.


Since Monsen started ACCA’s involvement with Rebuilding Together 25 years ago, members of Annandale area churches have worked on 113 houses, most of them occupied by seniors living on fixed incomes. Rebuilding Together is a national program formerly known as Christmas in April, and ACCA partners with its local affiliate, Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church.

ACCA’s dedication to Rebuilding Together will be recognized at its June 3 meeting at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Patti Klein, executive director of the local Rebuilding Together organization, will present a plaque honoring ACCA for its 25 years in the program and for fixing up more houses than any other group.

One of the houses ACCA volunteers will work on this weekend is in the Westlawn area in Mason District and is occupied by a widow in her 70s.

Volunteers plan to repair the front concrete steps, replace broken windows, paint the window frames, fix the lock on the front door, repair the rear deck, replace the gutters and drainage pipes, repair the leaky roof on a backyard shed, and install a doggy door.

People from St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, both in Annandale, will work on this house. Lincolnia United Methodist Church will provide lunch and snacks for the volunteers.

The other house, in the Pimmit Hills neighborhood between Falls Church and Tysons Corner, is occupied by a 75-year-old widow who uses a scooter to get around.

The plans for this house include installation of a ramp to provide access to the back deck, fence repair, gutter work, a grab bar in the bathroom, and electrical upgrades. Volunteers will also remove a backyard shed and lots of debris in the yard, including old motors her late husband worked on.

Members of John Calvin, Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale United Methodist Church, Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale and Providence Presbyterian Church in Fairfax will work on this house. Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Lincolnia will provide food for the volunteers.

“Many selfless volunteers have been taking part in this project year after year,” Monsen says. Several churches have made Rebuilding Together a major priority and allocate money for home improvement supplies and materials.

One or two house captains are assigned to each house. They work with the homeowner to figure out what needs to be done and recruit people with the necessary skills, although volunteers without handy-man expertise are needed, too.

Anyone willing to work is welcome to participate, Monsen says. High school students can volunteer if they are at least 16 and have their parents’ permission.

People interested in working on the house in Westlawn are invited to meet at a staging session 7:30 a.m., April 26, at John Calvin Presbyterian Church. For more information on volunteering, contact Monsen at

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