Parishes and diocesan agencies that need help buying gifts for children this Christmas need look no further than The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund. All they have to do is ask, and we will respond.
For more than 40 years, The Tablet’s Bright Christmas has responded to the needs of the less fortunate by providing funds to pastors and directors. Those local leaders can then purchase gifts for the children in their charge. All the money comes from donations that are provided by Tablet readers.
Last year, we collected more than $140,000 in our Bright Christmas collection, the highest amount ever achieved. This was due to our readers’ generosity and the determination to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
This is not a toys collection. We accept only money, so those on the local scene can use the funds as best they see. Most use the money to fund Bright Christmas parties at which gifts are distributed. Others use it to provide Christmas meals for families.
For years, we simply mailed out checks to those whom we felt needed the help most. But some pastors began to tell us that they received enough at Christmas and that we should send the money to places where the need was greater. So, now we require that church leaders request a grant from Bright Christmas so that we can better assist those in need.
To make that request, simply send me an e-mail or a letter, stating the need and how you propose to use the donation. My e-mail address is email@example.com, and my mailing address is The Tablet, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.
Already, those letters are arriving here on my desk. For instance, Father Claudio Antecini, who has done such a fine job as pastor helping the parishioners at Visitation B.V.M., Red Hook, recover from Sandy, reminds us that the devastation of the superstorm is still being felt in the community.
“The people of Red Hook are still feeling the effects of Sandy,” he writes. “The loss of some parishioners can be seen in the eyes of the children who suffered the most. Our church gave out over a thousand bags of clothes, food and other staples.
“We ourselves got nothing from FEMA. We will gladly use the money for the many families in Red Hook who are still in great need.”
So, if you need help, send your request as quickly as possible so that we can begin sending out the grants.
Unfortunately, we cannot respond to requests from individuals. Bright Christmas donations are sent only to local priests, sisters and laity in charge of church parishes and church programs.
And for those wishing to donate to Bright Christmas, do not wait for a letter of solicitation from us. Simply write a check to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund and send it to me as soon as possible. The sooner we receive the funds, the sooner we can begin to respond to the requests.