Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Bright Christmas Total Comes Close to Record

Well, Tablet readers have done it again! Our Bright Christmas Campaign finished with its second highest total, second only to 2012 when we were responding to Hurricane Sandy.

This year, 3,962 readers – 389 less than last year – donated $133,611 – $1,574 more than last year. That’s an average of $33.72 per donation, which also is higher than last year’s average contribution of $30.77.

Checks arrived bearing four-digit amounts as well as one-digit totals. Every one added up to making Christmas a little brighter for a lot of kids and families in Brooklyn and Queens.

The annual check from the Sbordone family came right on time. It was for $1,000 and was sent by Father Guy Sbordone, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini parish in Bensonhurst, his brother and sisters to honor their parents, Hugo and Sofia, who on Nov. 22 celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. God bless them and may God bless the Sbordones for their continued generosity.

Several years ago, the Sbordones decided to forego the traditional exchange of gifts and instead pooled what they would have spent and sent it to Bright Christmas.

The student council and students of Our Lady of the Snows School in North Floral Park raised over $600 for the Bright Christmas Fund. Members of the student council sold paper ornaments for 25 cents each and the class that buys the most ornaments had its picture on the star of the school’s tree filled with the ornaments. Usually, we send a photographer to the school to capture the presentation but this year we were shorthanded and could not do that. But we want to let the kids at Snows know that we appreciate their ongoing generosity.

Because of the good will of so many people, we have been able to respond to more than 30 requests for help this Christmas. We have been printing some of the thank-you notes in the Readers’ Forum – like the one above from Joe Campo at St. Francis House.

Sister Kay Crumlish, R.S.M., executive director of Mercy Home in Fort Greene, also sent a letter saying that “Your support enables Mercy Home to continue to serve the needs of children and adults with autism and other developmental challenges though our residential and supportive programs and services.”

Sister Janet Kinney, C.S.J., executive director of Providence House, was thankful for the Bright Christmas grant, explaining that “This donation was especially earmarked to makes the holidays brighter for children in our many locations.”

She added that she was grateful because “these contributions helped to make each of our Christmas celebrations at our ten locations so special. It helps a great deal.”

Providence House provides homes for homeless and formerly incarcerated women and their children while these families get themselves back on track.

Bright Christmas funds also were used in parishes and Catholic Charities child care centers where Christmas parties were held and gifts were given. In many cases, these were the only Christmas gifts for these children this year.

Once again, the members of The Tablet staff thank you for your generosity. I’m also grateful to our staff who provide the time and talent to make Bright Christmas a reality. Letters have to be written and printed and mailed. Envelopes must be opened and tallies have to be kept. Checks are written and mailed. All to make Christmas a little brighter for the least among us.