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Maryland Volunteers Refurbish Local Woman's Home

Riverdale Resident Receives Early Present Through Christmas in April Event

Volunteers from the University of Maryland, College Park braved persistent rain the morning of Saturday, April 16 to refurbish a 67th Avenue, Riverdale home.

But they provided much more than household improvements. The homeowner, Bernedette Wiggins, 62, said she now has her zest back. “It gave me that spark I lost when my husband passed,” in October 2009, Wiggins said.

About 65 student and staff volunteers from the University of Maryland joined the Christmas in April – Prince George’s County service project for the first time. The nonprofit program restores houses throughout the county on the last Saturday of April. Because campus resources will be used up for the Maryland Day celebration that day, the University had a two-week jumpstart.

The main coordinator for the University of Maryland estimates the project value at almost $10,000, but through donations, the volunteers completed renovations at no cost. They painted walls, remodeled the kitchen and provided landscaping, among other renovations. They also cleaned up a nearby park.

Wiggins said she is now inspired by her revamped home—inspired to decorate; to use her kitchen; to “get back to myself,” she said.

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