As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we are reminded that His message of love and compassion lives on through us. When we respond to a plea for help with an act of kindness, it is His hand that guides us. This is the best Christmas present we can give: to serve on His behalf in the triumph of faith over adversity. During the holidays, most of us look forward to sharing the peace and joy of this season with family and friends. But for some people, the spirit of Christmas is slowly drowning in an ocean of worries: How will I pay the rent this month? The kids need new clothes. Will I have to tell them that Santa isn’t coming again this year? For the poor, the meaning of peace and joy is having enough money to pay the rent and buy a few gifts.
For many of those who come to St. Vincent de Paul for assistance, life has always been hard, and their Christmas memories are a source of sadness; for some, the holidays started with a job loss, an accident, illness or homelessness. The photos you see here represent just a few of the people whose memories now include St. Vincent de Paul – a place of second chances and new beginnings. The people who come to us for help are counting on us. This year, our dining room will serve more than 250,000 meals; our Bishop Ott Shelter will provide over 25,000 guest nights of shelter; and our pharmacy will fill life-sustaining prescriptions worth $1 million for people who have nowhere else to turn. And the expansion of our Sweet Dreams Shelter will allow us to help even more homeless mothers and children this Christmas Season.
We’ll do our best to make this Christmas Season a good one for as many people as possible. Bishop Muench will once again serve as our St. Nick, distributing gifts to needy children. Our dining room will serve thousands of meals. Our shelters will provide warm beds to homeless men, women and children.
People are fighting a daily battle to survive in a complicated world, and they need your help. We have included our Christmas Prayer, and that’s our first request to you – to use this prayer and join us in praying for the poor and homeless during this holy season. If you are able to help financially, we also ask you to consider adding one more person to your Christmas list: $1 will provide a hot meal; $10 will provide a night of shelter for a homeless family; and $28 will fill a life-sustaining prescription; so you can imagine what a difference a larger gift can make. Any gift, no matter how small, will bring the Christmas spirit to someone in need.
A Christmas Prayer
On this day, joy was reborn into the world,
may we share the joy of Christ with everyone.
On this day, hope was reborn into the world,
may we bring the hope of Christ to those most in need.
On this day, peace was reborn into the world,
may we bring the peace of Christ to our family
and our world.
To make your gift by mail: Click here to make a difference by printing it, cutting it out and mailing with your contribution to St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 127, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0127