For more than 50 years, The Tablet has been helping to assure that no child goes without a gift at Christmas. Our readers have responded year after year with donations that are given directly to priests, sisters and heads of diocesan groups that work directly with the poor and needy. Last year, we received more than $100,000 that was distributed to worthy groups in Brooklyn and Queens. The donations were used to purchase gifts, finance Christmas meals, and fund Christmas parties around the diocese.
This year, we are keenly aware that the people of Brooklyn and Queens have been asked to donate to the many relief efforts in response to the many natural disasters occurring around the world.
There have been diocesan collections to assist the people of Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean so badly ravaged by destructive hurricanes. Right now, a group of volunteers from the diocese – organized by DeSales Media Group – is in Houston helping people rebuild their homes.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio recently accompanied Cardinal Timothy Dolan on a pastoral visit to San Juan, where they presented checks to Caritas de Puerto Rico. Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens also went parish-by-parish collecting material goods like canned food and sanitary supplies, to be shipped to help those affected in Puerto Rico.
The demands have been great but we are relying on our faithful and generous readers to help us once again to help people right here at home on the streets where we live. Many Catholic Charities agencies receive help with their Christmas parties through Bright Christmas. Some parish religious education programs need extra funds at this time of the year to brighten Christmas for their children.
If your parish or agency needs assistance this Christmas, we can help. Simply send us your request with a brief explanation of how the funds will be used. We have received several requests already and we will tell you more about them next week.
Bright Christmas funds programs; we cannot respond to individuals. If you need individual help, you should appeal directly to your parish or Catholic Charities community office.
During this week, our readers will begin receiving solicitation letters and their response is always quick and immediate. If you do not get a letter in the mail, take this column as your invitation to respond. As the money comes into The Tablet office, we begin sending it right back into the community.
We cannot help unless we know about the need. So, if your group needs assistance from Bright Christmas, send your request immediately to me at email@example.com or mail it to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.