Mickey Darcy will forever be known in Wickliffe, OH as the person who brought Christmas in April to the city. After attending a seminar in Washington, DC in 1989, she realized how beneficial Christmas in April program, a volunteer home repair program that rehabilitates the house of low-income homeowner, could be to her city and embarked on a mission to start a branch of the program in her hometown for elderly and disabled residents.
The Christmas in April program of Lake County originally began in the basement of Mickey's home, operating for several years from this nerve center location. At this site, Mickey organized a board and thought of various ways to obtain necessary financial support. She eventually moved the base of operations to her business address. Things moved along quickly, propelled by Mickey's drive and desire to see the program implemented and within a year the program became a 501(c) (3) organization gaining support and credibility within the county. The expansion of the program continued until a separate program was set up in Cleveland, a direct result of Mickey's persistence.
Mickey is the director of the Christmas in April Northcoast, Inc. program that makes repairs in cities within Lake County and one city in Cuyahoga County. Day-to-day activities for Mickey include maintaining daily office tasks, assigning volunteers and house captains, soliciting donations and writing grants. Within the program, she wears many volunteer hats and even makes presentations to local businesses to inform them about Christmas in April. She and her team of volunteers provide constant service to the 2,500 city households that earn less than $5,000, most of which are residents over 60 years old who lack the resources to pay a contractor for the repairs.
The success of the Christmas in April program in Lake County has garnered Mickey several local honors and awards for her endeavors. Despite the hectic schedule she maintains with the Christmas in April program, Mickey contributes "spare" time to her community by holding active memberships in several local organizations. She plans to continue her work with her local branch of this nationwide program, offering a safe and secure environment to those could not otherwise afford to fulfill this basic need.