Christmas Connections Impacts 757 Families and You Can Too
After fleeing your home to begin again in a new country… Days without power as your family struggles to afford basic necessities… Or worsening depression in the midst of a pandemic… For many families, believing in joy is unimaginable.
Every day, the team at Catholic Charities Atlanta works with their clients to overcome barriers and achieve economic self sufficiency. But in a special way during the Christmas season, they ensure children can experience the promise of joy that comes with Christ’s birth. For over 20 years, Catholic Charities Atlanta has partnered with parishes to provide Christmas gifts to families in need through their Christmas Connections program.
This year, the parishioners of St. Jude, Christ the King, St. Brigid, St. Joseph, and St. Peter Chanel sponsored gifts for 757 families. Their generosity impacts over 4000 people, 2305 of which are children. Not only does the program provide gifts for children and their parents, but household items as well. The receiving families include women and children from a domestic abuse shelter, children registered for Head Start in Marietta, families in need at St. Anthony of Padua, San Felipe de Jesús, and St. Bernadette, as well as Catholic Charities Atlanta clients.
“Christmas Connections is a wonderful program that unites those with a heart for our community with those in need. We are so grateful to the parishioners who make this Christmas miracle a reality.” -Christie Crane, CCA Manager of Volunteer Services.
The Moment We’ve Waited For
Christmas Connections begins months in advance, working with recipients to record how many people are in their family, clothing sizes, a wish list of gift ideas, and other family needs such as diapers or sheets. This information is then distributed to the partnering parishes who begin connecting those in need with parishioners or ministries eager to donate.
On December 4th, hundreds of volunteers worked hard at six locations to provide families with convenient opportunities to pick up their donated gifts. Joy radiated from volunteers and recipients, but increased even more when Santa himself made a surprise visit to Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Northlake location.
A Dedicated Team
Tom Bickes has been a Christmas Connections volunteer for over 30 years. When he learned that a truck delivering bikes to St. Bernadettes in Cedartown broke down, he rerouted his truck from St. Anthony of Padua to rescue the bikes and save Christmas for hundreds of children. “Christmas Connections would not be possible without our incredible volunteers. Tom’s response is just one example of the dedication of our volunteers. I never cease to be inspired by their commitment to serve each family to the best of their ability.” -Vanessa Russell, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta.
Christmas Connections gives a small glimpse into the work Catholic Charities Atlanta does year round to help families achieve self sufficiency. We tailor our accredited services to each client’s unique situation, which includes but is not limited to: financial coaching, citizenship classes, foreclosure prevention, counseling, parenting education, and refugee resettlement.
Your Gift Makes A Difference Year Round
Though Christmas Connections has passed, it’s not too late to give a life changing gift this Christmas. You can give someone a hand up towards a better life by supporting Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Year End Appeal to fund their services. Thank you for your support.