Christmas in October, Kansas City

Kansas City, MO   |  www.christmasinoctober.org

Mission

The mission of Christmas in October (CIO) is to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income families, older adults, disabled, and Veteran homeowners.

Ruling year info

1987

Executive Director

Mr. Steve Alley

Main address

3261 Roanoke

Kansas City, MO 64111 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

43-1431964

NTEE code info

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Urban, Community (S31)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Christmas in October is the leading volunteer organization in Kansas City focused on rehabilitating homes in Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City Kansas so residents are able to age in place. The scale of economic insecurity among older adults in the U.S. often goes unnoticed, while millions spend 30% of their income on housing costs including home repairs. In 2000, there were just over 35 million American citizens aged 65 or older. By 2030, according to the US Census Board, there will be about 70 million Americans aged 65 or older which would make this age group almost 20% of the total US population. As the coronavirus spreads through American communities, older adults are at heightened risk from COVID-19. The message is clear: stay home, stock up on food and supplies, and avoid group activities. However, these recommendations fail to address the struggle of millions of low-income older adults who face unhealthy living conditions threatening their ability to stay in their homes.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Home Repair Services

CIO believes residents should age in place and remain in their homes whenever possible to live in warmth, safety and dignity. Many of these homeowners are living with no running water, no heat, a leaky roof, or dealing with other conditions that render their home unsafe and unlivable. CIO works with social workers, neighborhood councils, city departments, faith groups to target the most critical needs. Almost 90% of people over 65 want to live in their homes and familiar communities as long as possible. People prefer to “age in place” because it enables them to maintain independence, autonomy, and connection to social support, including friends and family. For low income adults, particularly in urban neighborhoods, home modifications are critical to this process. But, the costs can be prohibitive. The CIO repairs are completed at no cost to the homeowner, and there is no requirement to participate in the repairs. Applicants must own their own home; must own only one home; and have incomes approximately 75% below the national poverty level. Tax records are used to verify eligibility information. Top priority is given to older adults and those with disabilities including veterans.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Economically disadvantaged people

The Wheelchair Ramp Program provides ramps to older adults and disabled to enable safe access to their homes.  The Roof Program is an ongoing effort to fix or replace as many roofs as possible.  Our volunteers tend to choose homes that do not require roof repair due to the complexities of these repairs and the reoccurring damage they cause to updates inside the homes. By fixing the roofs we help the homeowner and the volunteers have a maintainable home to repair. Also, the men working on roofing repairs obtain a skill they can use going forward.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

Where we work

Awards

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CIO measures success based on the number of homes restored and lives impacted. At the same time achievement is gauged in terms of increasing volunteer participation.
Roof Program:
• Number of new roofers recruited and trained.
• Number of full roof replacement projects (compared 2019 and 2020).
• Number of roofs repaired (compared to 2019 and 2020).
Restoration/Renovation:
• Number of homes with priority renovations.
• Amount of new investment in the program.
• Add 25 new volunteer groups and teams.
• Increase funding by 20% for roof program.
• Add to list of vendors and suppliers.

Christmas in October assists homeowners in metropolitan Kansas City, including Jackson County in Kansas City Missouri and Wyandotte County in Kansas City Kansas. The average age is 70; average income $17,500; 58% are disabled; 83% reside in Missouri. All applicants must own their own home; must own only one home; and have incomes approximately 75% below the national poverty level. Priority is given to older adults and those with disabilities, as they have limited resources, live on a fixed income and cannot physically manage repairs. Over 85% of homeowners served are older women. The majority of homeowners are Black or African American. CIO selects neighborhoods where there is the opportunity for greatest impact. During the past three decades, Christmas in October has strengthened these urban neighborhoods: Ivanhoe, Blue Hills Blue Valley, Town Fork Creek, Scarritt/Old Northeast, Washington, Wheatley, and Wendell Phillips.

Christmas in October operates year round, providing emergency repairs. Special emphasis is placed on roofing, plumbing, ramp installation and other problems that may threaten the health and safety of the occupants. The Wheelchair Ramp Program provides ramps to older adults and adults with disabilities. The Roof Program is an ongoing effort to fix or replace as many roofs as possible for low-income families and older adults.

CIO is committed to sustaining the organization through strategic long-range planning, capacity building throughout the organization, collaborations with community partners to share resources and continuing to build fund development efforts, including diversifying contributed sources of revenue.

Christmas in October manages a budget of over $400,000 and volunteers exceeding 4,000 each year with a paid staff of only two individuals. 96% of CIO funding is allocated to direct services.

Steve Alley, CIO Executive Director, implements and supervises CIO’s projects and volunteers. Before coming to CIO, Steve worked at Microsoft, managing teams of technical presenters across the U.S. and Canada. Responsibilities included presenter’s content, budgets, logistics and customer experience for events ranging from five to five thousand attendees. Some key product launch events were coordinated in as many as twelve cities with three other groups simultaneously. Prior volunteer leadership includes Habitat for Humanity and United Way.

Randy Herr, Chair, CIO Board of Directors, provides oversight and leadership for CIO.
Randy is Controller at Andrews McMeel Universal, founded by CIO’s founder John McMeel. Andrews McMeel Universal is a global, independent and integrated media partner and home to some of the most unique and powerful voices of the 20th and 21st centuries.

None of the work CIO does could be done without the support of all the thousands of volunteers, unions, civic groups, corporations, businesses and other organizations who provide financial contributions and teams of volunteers. Although the bulk of the CIO projects take place in October, CIO works year-round to provide emergency assistance with the safety of the resident is at stake. In 2019 CIO repaired 307 homes with the help of 4,000+ volunteers from 70+ local organizations. Over 350 skilled union workers (plumbers, pipe fitters and electricians), corporate, nonprofit and faith-based teams, and others from across the metropolitan area—contribute thousands of hours annually.

Accomplishments:
• In 2019 CIO completed work on its 9,652nd home.
• Developed significant foundation partners, including Hall Family Foundation, W.T. Kemper Foundation and Sunderland Foundation. Major corporate support from Black & Veatch, locally and nationally, has totaled more than $450,000 in the last four years.
• Volunteers and house captains, many of them veterans of over 12 years, continue to provide experienced team work on homes each October.
• Strengthened relationship with unions.
• Increased funding from private sector and built broader awareness of CIO and programs.
• Built a board of directors from public and private sector.
• Expanded projects to include more complex renovations.

CIO is committed to expanding the Roof Program.
• Increase funding to meet the need and demand for roof repair and replacement.
• Interior van retrofit to facilitate increased numbers of homes selected for renovation/repair. (Van funded by Hall Family Foundation.)
• Recruitment strategies and technology to build volunteer support.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    1. Updated website to make it more user friendly and inclusive. 2. Organized warehouse to volunteers and team captains can easily access tools and supplies. 3. for selecting homes has been streamlined. 4. Increased use of social media.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Christmas in October, Kansas City
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Christmas in October, Kansas City

Board of directors
as of 3/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Randy Herr

Andrews McMeel Universal

Term: 2011 - 2021


Board co-chair

Mr. John McMeel

Andrews McMeel Universal

Term: 2012 - 2025

John McMeel

Andrews McMeel Universal

Randy Herr

Andrews McMeel Universal

Doug Welch

Kansas City Kansas Community College

Marlon Hammons

Washington Wheatley Neighborhood

Maureen Maureen McMeel Carroll

McMeel Foundation

Paul Miller

AxentAdvance Capital, LLC

Brent Burger

Black & Veatch

Mike Gude

Sosland Publishing Company

Michael McCann

Spencer Fane LLC

Joshua Fink

Academy Bank

Julie Lushbough

Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Elaine Moore

KCD Police Department

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/12/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/11/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.