Friday, January 6, 2012

Thanks to all you Kris Kringles out there...

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Our Refugee Center hosted a Christmas luncehon

We’re kicking off the New Year with an immense feeling of gratitude for all those who helped make it a very Merry Christmas here at Catholic Charities. Thanks to staff, volunteers, and plenty of kind-hearted “Kris Kringles” who generously gave what they could, we ensured that the holidays were bright and hopeful for our neighbors in need.

Here’s a quick Christmas Wrap-Up to show you just a few holiday highlights from our programs, all made possible through your support:
  • We were overwhelmed at the enormous response to our Angel Tree. We were able to give gifts to nearly 200 children in our programs and local community, with contributions from Catholic Charities employees and volunteers, businesses, organizations and individuals (including one of our “tweeps”!).
  • Our Southern Maryland Food Bank distributed enough food to prepare an incredible 3,000+ holiday meals! Additionally, they supplied 56 children at risk for food insecurity with 32 snacks each to ensure these kids would have enough to eat over the extended holiday break.
    Patiently waiting for Santa Claus at our Kennedy Institute

  • Men and women at our Hermano Pedro Day Program received brand-new winter clothing this Christmas through the generosity of St. Andrew Kim Korean Catholic Church in Olney, Maryland, led by Father Bang J.Y. Thanks to donations, Father Bang was able to purchase 150 sets of thermal underwear, winter hats, socks, and mittens.
  • New and expectant mothers at our Sanctuaries for Life program enjoyed a Christmas luncheon with games, prizes, and presents for their children from local parishes. Many of the new moms brought their babies, and the whole group listened together about the birth of Christ, read aloud from the Gospel of Luke. The event was even featured in the Catholic Standard!
  • St. Bartholomew’s Choir of Bethesda held a holiday concert that raised funds to benefit our Mt. Carmel House. Several residents even attended the event – Program Manager Lorraine Lynch said it was “an evening of elegance for them.”
  • The array of gorgeous gifts you see to the right were donated to our Southeast Family Center by staff at Georgetown University Hospital. Thanks to them, over 400 families in the program received presents!
  • Our Refugee Center hosted a Christmas party for over 100 refugees complete with live music, Christmas gifts from Catholic Charities USA, and a fantastic homemade spread from volunteers Carol and Ann. For many of the refugees, this was their first Christmas celebration in the United States!
  • At our Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, Christmas spirit abounded at several holiday parties hosted by staff and outside organizations International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) and Gallup. The little ones from the Child Development Center loved meeting Santa, and the older kids from The Kennedy School made sure the man in red knew what was foremost on their Christmas list. IFDA also hosted a party for the adults in Kennedy's Community Living program.
  •  The men at our New York Avenue and 801 East Shelter received the gift of warmth this Christmas thanks to generous clothing donations from Gifts for the Homeless, Friends Meeting of Washington, and Keys for the Homeless Foundation.
And don’t forget - all of our 77 programs need your support not just at Christmastime, but all year round. So make a New Year’s resolution to give of yourself in some way – whether it’s taking advantage of one of our many volunteer opportunities, organizing a clothing drive, preparing a meal, or donating directly to a program – to help empower all those who turn to Catholic Charities in their time of need.

And from all of us at Catholic Charities – Happy New Year!

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