‘Tis still the giving season in North Kitsap

POULSBO — Christmas comes but twice a year.

This is what a jubilant Francis and Rosie Nacinovich discovered last weekend at their Sawdust Hill home. On Saturday, the couple learned that the season of giving isn’t limited to December.

Volunteers from the Christmas in April program made sure of it.

“This is like hitting the lottery as far as I’m concerned,” Francis said, breaking into a wide smile as his residence of 27 years received a much-needed overhaul.

“We can’t do this kind of thing ourselves,” he explained, noting that both he and his wife were disabled. “It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to us.”

Capt. Dan Cave, owner of Northwest by Northwest Construction in Silverdale, headed up the large crew that descended on the home for the seven-hour session. The 25-member group was comprised of volunteers from Highly Exemplary Youth, a carpenter from Poulsbo’s Drury Construction and numerous individuals, who dropped in to lend a helping hand.

“This is an exciting process,” Cave said, assessing the progress as hammers pounded in the background. “Everyone who showed up has just been doing excellent work. This is just a wonderful group to work with.”

The Nacinovich house was selected for Christmas in April as one of four Kitsap County residences that would receive the volunteer effort. Each year, the Home Builders Association and other sponsors gather requests before selecting a worthy project. The event takes place the last Saturday of the month each year, Cave said, adding that the Sawdust Hill home was his second as captain.

“I want to keep doing it,” he said with a smile.

The Kitsap County houses, Cave said, are just a small part of the hundreds of other projects that Christmas in April volunteers tackled throughout the nation. The organization repairs and rehabilitates the homes of the elderly, disabled or low-income people on an annual basis but even with all the good intentions, Rosie was still a little worried about how things would turn out at her own home.

“I makes me nervous that they’re tearing apart my kitchen — I didn’t realize it was that bad,” she said, a look of mixed relief and angst on her face. The Nacinovichs actually have a long history of getting by with a little help from their friends, Francis explained, “We built this house in 1975 as a part of the self-help housing program.”

But neighbors helping neighbors is what the program is all about.

“It helps give something back to the community,” Cave remarked.

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