Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Bright Christmas Peaks at Right Time

I’ve never seen the economy so bad.  And yet, the average donation to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Appeal has never been so high.

So far, we have recorded $65,632 in contributions from 1,631 donors. That’s an average of $40.24 for each envelope we open. Of course, that’s the median amount. There are some checks for $1,000 and then there are some for $1 and $2.  Every one counts and we’re grateful for every dollar we collect.

Many people take the opportunity to say hello with their donation. People will tell us where the money came from, or how long they’ve been giving to Bright Christmas, or even how much they enjoy receiving The Tablet. My favorite Bright Christmas letter of all time appears above in our Readers’ Forum. It’s from Bessie Alessi of Brooklyn who recently turned 105 years old and has been contributing to Bright Christmas for years.  Her $3 donation touches the heart of us all. And she was kind enough to mention how much she loves The Tablet, even though her eyesight has become somewhat diminished. We all love you, Bessie, and we’re grateful for your loyalty and generosity.

Old friends stay in touch. Bishop John J. Snyder, the retired bishop of St. Augustine, Fla., and a former auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, sent us a check with some words of encouragement.

Closer to home, we received many donations from parishes, like St. Frances Cabrini in Bensonhurst, which sent a generous check.  That’s actually no surprise, due to the leadership of its pastor, Father Guy Sbordone, whose family has been a big supporter of Bright Christmas over the years. And yes, we heard from the Sbordones again this year. Thanks so much.

Our hospitable friends at Archbishop John Hughes Knights of Columbus help us with special projects all year round and it should have been no surprise that the Council pitched in for Bright Christmas.
In North Floral Park, the Our Lady of the Snows School Student Council has once again raised money for the Bright Christmas Fund.

Students conducted their annual contest by selling paper ornaments for 25 cents apiece. The children color in the ornaments and then they place them on the school Christmas tree. The class that bought the most ornaments has their class picture placed on the star of the tree.

So far, the Queens kids have raised a little over $500!

Their generosity is a year-round affair. During “crazy sock day,” the children could wear crazy socks with their uniforms if they brought in a pair of new socks. They collected almost 800 pairs of socks that were donated to Providence House.

I also heard from an old friend, Bob Atkinson, who a “few” years ago starred with the Diocesan Theatre Guild. His portrayal of Captain Andy in Show Boat was a classic and many of us thought it was better than the film version.

We continue to send out Bright Christmas checks to those in need. We are ever mindful that none of this good work would be possible if not for our wonderfully generous readers. We’re grateful to you all. You may not see the good work you’ve done, but be assured that love is happening all around because of what you have given.

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