A priest-friend writes requesting a grant from The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund. He wants to buy Christmas gifts “for people with special needs, including but not limited to the homeless, poor people who ‘fall thought the cracks,’ and seminarians with financial difficulties.”
Of course, I’ll send him a check from Bright Christmas because I know that it will go to good use. I’ve helped him in previous years because I know the need is real.
I should say that “you’ve” helped in prior years because it is your money from The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund that assists our priests, religious and directors of religious institutions at Christmas time.
This year, there is a special need in our diocese and that is the many children who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Many of those kids are not back in their homes yet. Or they still do not have heat.
So, we have added the victims of Sandy to our list of people who will get Christmas gifts this year.
Checks began going out this week to help caretakers buy gifts at Christmas. No child should go without a Christmas present. Bright Christmas is the way Tablet readers have been making sure of that for the more than 40 years.
Our program is simple. The Tablet receives requests from priests, parishes and religious asking for financial aid to help with specific Christmas gift-giving programs. I ask our readers for donations through this column and also through a letter of solicitation to our subscribers. As the money comes in, we send out checks to meet the requests.
Last year, you responded with more than $100,000. Some send us $1, others send $10, and still others $100 or more. They all require some sacrifice, and we’re aware of that and grateful to one and all for their contributions. Many contain a note that says “I wish I could send more.”
Christmas is almost here. By the time our next edition is published, it will be too late to contribute to Bright Christmas. So, this is our last formal plea to send a Bright Christmas donation today.
It won’t be long before the thank-you notes start arriving, as parish leaders describe how many gifts were able to be given at a specific Christmas party, or how many children attended a special Christmas party. We love receiving those notes (and photos) and will print them in our Readers’ Forum as they arrive.
This past week, as Tablet employees and all members of the DeSales Media Group, our parent organization, gathered for our own Christmas party, we were remindful of those less fortunate. Staff members were asked to make donations to Bright Christmas just as I am asking you.
To respond with your gift, simply send a check to Bright Christmas, The Tablet, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.