Occasionally I get a letter for the Readers’ Forum from Eileen Duffy Hynes, a former Brooklynite who lives in Chicago. This week, a letter came from her with a donation for The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund.
“I was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent most of my 30 years on Congress St., down the block from St. Paul’s Church on Court Street,” she writes.
“Although living in Chicago for some 46 years now, I still keep in touch with the old hometown via The Tablet.
“The Bright Christmas Fund is such a special means of bringing the joy of the season to children. I always try to donate a little something each year.”
Eileen is retired and on a fixed income, so her generous check always means something special to us. She is just one of the many faithful Tablet readers who have donated this year to bring our total thus far to slightly more than $92,000.
Our goal is to collect over $100,000 which we’ll need to meet the many requests. We’re confident we will reach that mark but we’re depending on all of you from whom we have not yet heard.
Father Tom Ahern from St. Augustine’s parish in Park Slope has asked for assistance for his Families, Fathers and Children (FFC) group that works with families whose fathers are in prison.
“We had a Halloween party in October for the children of the men in prison and there will be a Christmas party on Dec. 17,” explains Father Tom. “The leadership of FFC also teaches parenting classes to the men in prison as well as bringing families to visit their fathers in prison. This group supports those families and helps to keep them in contact with each other as much as possible.”
We’ve helped the group in the past and we’ll do so again with your help.
We also heard from Linda Britton, program director at Catholic Charities’ Brownsville Family Support Center.
“We are looking for toys and other items for the children we serve,” she explains. “Unfortunately, our funding sources don’t provide the monetary assistance we need to obtain toys during the Christmas season so we look to organizations like yours.
“Our main objective is to help to prevent child abuse and neglect and/or placement. We serve low-income families who struggle particularly during the holiday season to meet the request of their children for toys and other items.”
The Christmas party at the center is scheduled for Dec. 19 and we hope to get a check to them before that.
Our operation is a simple one. People right here in our own neighborhoods ask us for help. We tell you about it and you have responded with generous gifts. In turn, we send the money out to those in need so that no child or family goes without a celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
This will be our final request for help this season. So, please respond today. Simply send your check made out to DeSales Media Group (notation for Bright Christmas) and send it c/o The Tablet, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.