Season of Giving
Season of Giving 2020
By: Nikole Baringer
Our lives have been very different this year. The pandemic, social unrest and a variety of natural disasters impacting our country and our world remind us of our human weaknesses. We rely on God’s loving presence to help us navigate uncertain times and move forward in faith.
For many of our friends, family members and neighbors, this past year has been especially difficult. Food insecurity, job loss, lack of adequate healthcare and the compounding effects of chronic poverty are some of the realities that have undermined the well-being of people in our communities who bear the constant burden of doing without.
With the holiday season fast approaching, extra burdens will be placed on families; the stress of extra food for holiday meals, delivering Christmas presents to loved ones or simply the despair of feeling alone and hopeless this holiday season.
However, Catholic Charities is preparing to lighten the burden of poverty for hundreds of families by providing food, gift cards for Christmas needs, and other basic necessities. To assist the additional people who come to us for help around the holidays, we are running are annual “Season of Giving” campaign and rely on the generosity of our parishes, local businesses, and individuals who support the mission and ministry of Catholic Charities.
During the “Season of Giving” so many of our loyal friends are inspired to get involved and give back to the community and Catholic Charities Season of Giving Campaign offers a variety of ways to give back to our brothers and sisters who need us most. Most importantly, we can all PRAY for those in need in our community, in our Diocese and in our country; we can also VOLUNTEER our time and talents to various projects and events throughout the year. You can send a gift to that special someone through our CHRISTMAS GIFTING PROGRAM. You make a gift; we send a customized greeting card along with a handmade ornament. You could also make a gift on GIVING TUESDAY, Tuesday, December 1, and your gift will be doubled thanks to our corporate sponsors. GIVING TUESDAY is a national day of giving where people take the time to kick-off the holiday season by giving back to their community. Our Season of Giving also includes our semi-annual NEWSLETTER, special EMAIL MESSAGES delivered right to your inbox and several updates on our WEBSITE, www.ccdoy.org.
Catholic Charities serves all people, as resources allow, with compassion, understanding, and dignity regardless of their faith. The support Catholic Charities receives from people like you allow us to extend the love and compassion of Jesus to those who are poor, vulnerable and without hope—especially during the most wondrous and blessed time of the year. Catholic Charities serves people like “Joy” and her family. We received this letter from “Joy” and wanted to share her words with you.
I am writing this letter with a heart full of gratitude. My family has really been through the ringer this year and Catholic Charities carried us through what we felt was going to be another rough holiday. In preparation for Christmas, I purchased a few small gifts for our children (ages 5 and 2), however the money I used to buy the gifts was taken from our food budget. A lot of ramen noodles and PB&J’s have been consumed this month, due to our depleted food budget. I had no idea how we would eat for the rest of the month or even how I would provide some sort of Christmas dinner for my family. Catholic Charities provided us with wonderful gifts, an abundance of food and even some hygiene items. You gave us such a wonderful Christmas and I just had to say thank you. Thank you for giving us hope and a stress-free holiday. We hope that one day we can repay your generosity. What your organization provided for us, truly brought joy by taking the stress out of the holiday and allowing us to focus on our children, and the true reason for the season, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you again for all that you do and did for our family.
Last year, Catholic Charities provided Christmas assistance for hundreds of families, families like Joy’s. Many of those we served struggle throughout the year to meet their basic living expenses—housing, utilities, food, transportation, child care, health care, etc. Many families in the Diocese of Youngstown do not earn enough money to cover their basic living expenses. The difficulties these families face have only increased since the pandemic hit in March of this year. Utility assistance throughout the Diocese, specifically water, has increased around 30% over the past three months. The need for rental assistance to avoid evictions and foreclosures has increased by 50% over the past three months.
Please consider making a gift during this “Season of Giving” to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that are a part of daily life for people living in or near poverty. Your gift will be applied to Catholic Charities’ services in your county to help people in need right where you live. Call 330-744-8451, ext. 323 for information on how to give or visit THIS LINK on our website.
During the upcoming season of Advent, let us joyfully anticipate Jesus’ holy birth by sharing our blessings with those searching for peace and comfort in the midst of trying times.
May God continue to bless you today and always.