Sunday, December 31, 2006

Belated Merry Christmas To All!

I have not blogged all month, so I guess I should post something quick before December is over!

First of all, I want to wish a belated Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope everyone had a good time with family and friends. I certainly did, but did not really kick back and enjoy the holiday season until about 12:30PM on December 16th. Why? I guess I need to explain a big part of our life that I have not shared on this blog until now.

My wife and I are in charge of the food pantry at our parish. On the first and third Saturday of each month, our food pantry opens it's doors between the hours of 10:00AM and 12:00Noon to provide a bag of food to any family living in the community surrounding our parish. Throughout the spring and summer months that could mean that around 80 to 90 families might come to our parish for assistance. As the weather gets colder, the need increases each distribution until we get the largest distribution of the year, the Saturday before Christmas. On that day, we partner up with another ministry that has been collecting gifts for the children of the food pantry families.

In the weeks that lead up to that big distribution, my wife and I are busy making sure that we have enough bags prepared for that day and for the increasing demand of each distribution that takes place before that day. We are also coordinating our other volunteers to be ready for that day. This is the reason why our personal Christmas preparations don't really start until after the big distribution is over.


On the morning of December 16th we arrived at the parish a little after 8:00AM and there was already a line forming outside the door even though we were not scheduled to open until 10:00AM. At about 9:00AM we let them line up inside to get them out of the cold. Our many volunteers worked hard to make these families as comfortable as possible while they were waiting. Chairs lined the hallways so that some of the families could sit down while our Girl Scouts served them cookies and juice. A five piece brass band from one of our local high schools played Christmas music for the families while another parishioner performed magic tricks to entertain the children. Once we started, each family was given a bag of food, a food gift certificate worth $10 and sent on to meet Santa Claus and receive a gift for each child. When it was all over, we had served over 270 families. Since most of them bring their children with them for this event, about 900 people came through our doors that day! It was a lot of work, but we all felt it was worth it. Since this is about 40 families more than we had last year, I started worrying about serving over 300 families when I went home that afternoon

We bought our Christmas tree the next day at about 4:30PM and OUR Christmas celebrations began. Well, truth be told, I guess our celebrations started when the food pantry doors opened the previous day. That's what Christmas is really all about, is it not?

9 Comments:

At 12:28 PM, January 01, 2007, Blogger Mrs. TBF said...

Happy New Year!!! Nice blog - talk later.

 
At 1:08 PM, January 01, 2007, Blogger The Big Finn said...

The world needs more people like you...

 
At 4:29 PM, January 01, 2007, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Definitely a great thing you are doing! Happy New Year...

 
At 5:18 PM, January 01, 2007, Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

Thank you for giving your time so selflessly.

Belated Merry Christmas to you and the missus.

 
At 8:03 AM, January 02, 2007, Blogger The Medium Swede said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year your Colon-ness. That is great!

 
At 10:23 AM, January 02, 2007, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Wonderful post about the Christmas spirit, CB. Wishing you and your family all the best for 2007!

 
At 9:11 PM, January 14, 2007, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

thanks for the birthday wishes CB!

 
At 5:51 PM, January 31, 2007, Blogger The Big Finn said...

What would Jesus do?

He'd update his blog...at least once every two weeks.

That's what!

 
At 2:09 PM, March 02, 2007, Blogger Mrs. TBF said...

This blog sucks...when the f are you going to update it????????????????

 

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