Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Bright Christmas Donation Is Gift That Keeps on Giving

Last week, I invited those parishes and diocesan agencies that need help this Christmas to apply here for a Bright Christmas grant. For more than 50 years, The Tablet’s readers have been donating to our Bright Christmas Campaign that assures that no child goes without a gift this Christmas.

Right on schedule, parishes and other church-related groups have been writing to ask for assistance.

Mother Maryja Wspomozycielka, S.S.V.M., director of religious education at SS. Peter and Paul and Epiphany parish in South Williamsburg, explains how the neighborhood there has been changing. There has been an influx of artists and gentrified young people moving into what has become a very chic neighborhood.

“The majority of our parishioners come from low-income housing and we have a growing art and movie industry community,” says Mother Maryja. “It is our mission to gather both these communities to share in the Christ story of hope.”

The Sisters, who are members of the Sister Servants of the Divine Word, do so by sponsoring an annual Christmas play that highlights the talents of the youngsters in the religious education program. Afterwards, everyone gets together for a party with food and gifts. The donation from Bright Christmas helps makes it all happen.

“Last year, we were able to improve our Christmas Play that our parishioners look forward to,” she explained. “Bright Christmas can once again be instrumental in helping us improve this event, and will allow us to give to the community as we gather together, and to help families that are in great financial need.”

Not far away, yet in another borough, we also hope to help the children at St. Rita’s parish in Long Island City.

Helen Foster, the director of religious education in that Queens parish, explains that the program has scheduled its Christmas Breakfast for Sunday, Dec. 17.

“The older children help set up and decorate for the breakfast and serve the younger students,” says Helen. “All students will decorate the Christmas tree with ‘baby socks’ that will be donated to Bridge for Life.” Helen further states that because Tablet readers have been so generous in the past, “St. Rita’s children have benefitted from many parties and gifts.”

Back in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Anthony Butler, executive director of Bread and Life, one of the largest daily food programs in the city, will sponsor its annual Adopt-a-Family program that purchases new age-appropriate gifts for more than 5,000 boys and girls.

“Thanks to you, our homeless guests will receive wool hats and gloves to keep them warm in the winter months,” says Butler. “All families go home with a delicious, traditional holiday meal, bountiful enough to feed a family for several days.”

The requests are only beginning. But the needs are not only great but also immediate. So, please do not delay making your donation to Bright Christmas. Simply send your check to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.