Christmas is always a busy time at Catholic Charities, and this year was no exception. Thanks to the generous support of our donors and volunteers, we were able to provide comfort for those in need, focusing on food, housing, and health.
This year’s Angel Tree program was another great success, providing toys and other necessary items to more than 1000 children throughout the DC region. 87 individual “angels,” as well as 10 organizations adopted more than 500 families from more than 20 Catholic Charities programs. In addition, 50 volunteers helped accept, organize, and distribute gifts over the course of several days. The Angel Tree campaign has become a family tradition for many of our volunteers and donors, who enjoy this festive way to spread holiday cheer and ensure that children in need have a merry Christmas each year.
In addition, Catholic Charities’ Spanish Catholic Center hosted their own gift drive and distribution to benefit approximately 500 children in the District’s immigrant community. Nearly 200 people donated gifts, which completely covered the gym floor at the Sacred Heart School on distribution day. Employees from the Inter-American Development Bank generously volunteered their time to hand out presents and provide holiday treats to families picking up their gifts.
And, of course, no holiday season would be complete without our annual dinner for our neighbors in need. Each year, Catholic Charities opens the doors to its Penn Quarter headquarters welcoming hundreds of clients to enjoy a warm meal, festive atmosphere, and a deep sense of community. As part of this unique tradition, agency staff members spent the days before the dinner decking the halls of the Hickey Center to create a special, joyful environment. All offices and conference rooms were transformed into intimate dining rooms – including Father John’s own office. Volunteers served warm meals prepared by Catholic Charities Enterprises to more than 200 guests. Carolers and music ensembles were on hand to further spread holiday cheer throughout the building.
From all of us at Catholic Charities, we sincerely thank all of our supporters for helping to make this Christmas season a merry one for hundreds in need throughout the region!