This weekend, we light the first candle on our Advent wreaths. It is a symbol of hope as we begin preparing for the coming of the Lord.
Parish leaders and diocesan groups have already started preparing for Christmas celebrations and they are hoping for help from The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Fund.
For many years, Ed Wilkinson was the driving force behind Bright Christmas, asking readers for donations to ensure that no child in the diocese goes without a present at Christmas. Now he has entrusted that responsibility to me in my new role as editor of The Tablet.
And so, as you have for more than 50 years, I ask you to remember your neighbors in Brooklyn and Queens this year. You have responded year after year with donations that are given directly to priests, sisters and church groups that work directly with those in need.
Last year, we received more than $100,000, which was distributed to worthy groups for Nativity pageants and parties, Yuletide meals and presents for boys and girls.
It is an opportunity to share with those less fortunate what we have received. It is a small, but significant way to put into practice Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew:
“Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’ Then the upright will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?’ …
“And the King will answer, ‘In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’”
This is the perfect occasion to also show our children the importance of giving back to our community and practicing Christian charity in small, but relevant ways.
Requests for assistance have already started arriving at our offices and we are looking to you for help to meet their needs.
Some of you might be able to send $100 or more, others only $1. Or maybe you are able to something in between. Every dollar is appreciated. Every dollar can help someone in some way.
The Bright Christmas Campaign does not accept requests from individuals. We only make grants to parish groups and others associated with the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens who ask us for help. If you need assistance to help kids in your area, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t sent your donation yet, send it today. Simply make out your check to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas and mail it to me at The Tablet, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.
Remember, the sooner you send us your donations, the faster we will get the funds into the hands of those who need it most.