Christmas In October
This year, Christmas in October, which leads the field in rehabbing homes in Kansas City, celebrates its 30th year of charitable works. The idea for Christmas in October began with two local members of the Order of Malta, Dick Miller and John McMeel. Back in 1993, both men traveled to Washington, D.C., where the popular Cardinal James Hickey invested them into the Order. The Cardinal’s words, that they were becoming knights not for what they had done, but for what they were going to do, resonated with both Miller and McMeel.
The two friends participated in a home renovation project in Washington, D.C. with other members of the Order of Malta. Going home, they decided to start something similar in Kansas City.
Now, thirty years later, thousands of volunteers spend two Saturdays every October to repair the homes of the elderly, the disabled, and people who could not afford to do necessary repairs themselves. Christmas in October staff perform a needs assessment and interview the home owners prior to their selection for participation in the program.
8,000 homes have been renovated over the years, with a supporting grant provided by the Federal Association of the Order of Malta.