Fight the Inflation Grinch: Donate to Bright Christmas

One of the things we are blessed to run each year at The Tablet is the Bright Christmas Fund. Autumn’s arrival is our cue to get to work and start planning. Time flies, and now this week marks the launch of the 2022 campaign. 

The history of the fund goes back decades. In the 1960s, then-editor Don Zirkle saw the struggle that many families faced — and the Bright Christmas Fund was born. 

Nearly 60 years later, while we would be thrilled to report that the need has diminished, it has not. 

Families continue to struggle in 2022. Society is trying to move past the pandemic, but its effects are lingering. While COVID cases remain low and the job market is slowly recovering, record inflation is now eating away at incomes. 

The rising cost of essentials like shelter, food, and energy are the biggest contributors. October prices compared to the same time last year show the contrast: food is up 12.4%, energy has risen 17.6%, and health insurance is 20.6% more expensive. 

Mothers and fathers are praying for relief so that they can put food on the table and provide for their children. Oftentimes, all their kids want for Christmas is a warm coat, shoes, or a small toy. 

For six decades, readers of The Tablet have opened up their hearts and wallets to meet this need. Some readers send in a few dollars, while others make much larger contributions. What matters is that we have readers who joyfully contribute whatever they can afford. It all adds up! 

Last year, we heard from many of the parishes and ministries that received funds. They were extremely grateful for the support they received to run their Christmas programs. You may remember reading their thank you letters published in the Readers’ Forum. 

For example, Vanessa Garcia, director of religious education at St. Michael-St. Malachy Parish, said that Bright Christmas made a world of difference in the lives of the families in her parish. 

“We have been able to buy gifts for the children during the Christmas season and have family dinners and shows,” Garcia said. 

The fund does much more than provide gifts for children. In 2021, a portion of readers’ donations went to food pantries like Brooklyn’s Reaching-Out Community Services and St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters. 

Donors get a lot of bang for their buck when choosing to give to the Bright Christmas Fund, as 100% of the money raised goes to parishes and Catholic ministries in our community. 

If you’re a long-time donor, the staff at The Tablet is grateful for your support. If you haven’t contributed before, as Advent approaches, please keep us in mind. 

Our goal this year is to raise $125,000. 

Keep reading The Tablet to learn how the campaign is progressing and discover the wonderful things that happen throughout Brooklyn and Queens because of your generosity. 

May the light of Jesus shine upon you this Christmas season. 

Click here for more details on the campaign and how to donate.