From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Donations to Catholic Charities’ Christmas Collection help bring hope to Eastern Washington communities

the Inland Register

(From the Dec. 20, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Two weeks into the 60th Annual Christmas Collection, Catholic Charities has received $187,583 in contributions from 1,825 donors.

A goal of $650,000 was announced on Nov. 26 by Bishop Skylstad, who asked the people of Eastern Washington to join Catholic Charities in bringing hope to local communities.

“The violent attack on our country and the continuing battles at home and abroad affirm that we all need faith and hope to live through troubled times,” he said. “The Christmas Collection is a reminder that for those people who are without homes, jobs and families, life may seem hopeless.”

Catholic Charities operates 10 programs, offering 25 social services in 37 locations throughout the 13 counties of Eastern Washington. These programs serve people of all faiths.

Initial reports indicate a slight increase in amounts donated as well as the number of donors to the 2001 collection, compared to last year’s figures.

Catholic Charities is inviting new donors to make a contribution of $30, a sum which covers the cost of one family for one day at St. Margaret Shelter for women and children. That amount would also pay for five nights sleep at the House of Charity; an hour of counseling for a pregnant teen; or an emergency fuel voucher.

Donations to the collection arrive daily. “People in our communities are outstanding in their generosity,” said Donna Hanson, Bishop’s Secretary for Social Ministries and Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities.

“When one of our staff attended weekend liturgies at a local parish, to share the Catholic Charities story, she talked of the young teenage mothers in the Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) program who have no pictures of their babies. After Mass she was handed a donation with a note: ‘Enclosed is $50 to purchase supplies to take pictures of the babies. How very sad that a mother would reach later life with no photos of her precious babies. I have so many pictures of my children.’”

A record-breaking Christmas Collection is needed to assure expanded operations at the new House of Charity and St. Margaret shelter. “It is miraculous that we have these new shelter facilities,” Hanson said. “We are serving more than twice the numbers of homeless men, women and children. But funding these increased operations is a struggle. Expenses have increased $10,000 per month at House of Charity.”

Donors to this year’s Christmas Collection will assure that Catholic Charities will continue bringing hope throughout 2002.

Donations may be made at Catholic churches during Christmas Mass, or sent directly to the Catholic Charities Christmas Collection, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210-1453.

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