Ronald Reagan Sailors Bring 'Christmas in July' to National City Families


Story Number: NNS070801-14Release Date: 8/1/2007 3:10:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Amanda Williams, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) rolled up their sleeves and put their home improvement skills to the test, July 28, by helping renovate and repair homes for needy families in the San Diego area.

Working alongside other volunteers from the "Christmas in July" organization, more than 30 Ronald Reagan Sailors and even a few of their family members donated their Saturday to help those in need.

The "Christmas in July" organization helps repair homes by performing carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical services, trash removal and general cleaning. According to organization officials, all of the recipients are homeowners who are physically or financially unable to perform these types of home repairs themselves.

The team of Ronald Reagan Sailors helped repair and renovate two houses in the National City area, just south of San Diego.

"Initially everyone was supposed to be at one house but 'Christmas in July' needed more volunteers to cover more houses so we divided into two groups," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Frederick Mejos, who organized the event for Ronald Reagan personnel.

"If we didn't share our strength then we wouldn't have been able to finish the two houses and help two different families," added Mejos.

Mejos also said "Christmas in July" is a good opportunity for Sailors to give back to the San Diego community that has always supported local Sailors.

At one of the sites Ronald Reagan Sailors removed an awning and swing set that had been declared unsafe. They also trimmed tree limbs and removed debris from the yard. The exterior of the house was washed, boards were replaced, and a fresh coat of paint was applied.

"It's good to be out here, because we go into all these foreign ports and do all those community relations projects," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Adonica Johnson, a Ronald Reagan Sailor who volunteered to participate in the project.

"It's great to be able to do something in your own city that is this close to homeport," added Johnson.

Ronald Reagan is currently undergoing a planned incremental availability in her homeport of San Diego following a three-month surge deployment in support of operations in the Western Pacific.

For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.

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