Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Bright Christmas Requests Arrive

In last week’s column, I announced a new system for distributing Bright Christmas grants.  Some pastors have told me that they don’t really need help at Christmas because of the extraordinary assistance from other sources.

So, they suggested that I send the money where it is better needed.

This year, we are asking parishes and diocesan affiliates to request Bright Christmas help.  Simply send me an e-mail (ewilkinson@diobrook.org) or write a letter (1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, 11215) explaining your need and how the funds will be used.

Naturally, the response to my outreach was immediate and the requests began.

Msgr. Joe Malagreca, pastor of Holy Cross parish on Church Ave. in Flatbush, wrote, “Upon receiving the money, I immediately cash the check, and divide the funds among five different youth groups in our parish — Hispanic, Haitian and Caribbean.  All of them use it for their needs at the Christmas season.”

Angela Lewis, on behalf of Father Gordon Kusi, pastor of St. Bonaventure-St. Benedict the Moor, Jamaica, said the parish relies on Bright Christmas to finance its Breakfast with Santa program on the day before Christmas.
Sister Janet Kinney, C.S.J., director of the Providence House network in Brooklyn, explains, “Providence House has been most grateful for the assistance of this program, which has provided for gifts for both the children and their mothers.  Donations of Christmas gifts for the children are not as plentiful as in years past. We serve approximately 60 children in all our various Providence Houses.  While the Sisters who live in our congregate-style Providence Houses are able to provide appropriate Christmas celebrations,  the assistance from Bright Christmas would help us finance a special Christmas party for the children who live in our transitional apartments (35 children). If monies are available for us to get a few gifts for the mothers (who oftentimes people forget need a little lift too!) that would be great too.”

Father Luiz Diaz, pastor of St. Joseph Patron parish, Bushwick, also outlined his need: “We will buy gifts for children from the poorest families of our community. We already have a list of more than 400 kids, from three to 12 years old. We are counting on 150 gifts promised from a partner- parish and the parish will provide for other 100 children, but we still have many left without. The idea is to give them an average gift of $20 (clothing only) to each child.”

For more than 40 years, The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Appeal has been helping parishes and diocesan agencies make Christmas brighter throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

I know that many people are struggling this year, perhaps more so than ever in our lifetime. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening. At Christmas, no kid should go without a gift, especially from the Church which proclaims that Jesus was the greatest gift anyone could give.

Give Jesus this year in the form of a Bright Christmas donation.  Your gift will be used well, as you can see from the requests we already have received.

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