Things have been busier than ever at the Center. This past week, we hosted our Christmas Room. The Knights of Columbus allowed us to turn their social room into our gift center. When parents came in for services, their volunteer escorted them back to the room and invited them to choose a gift or two for their each of their kids. The room was well stocked with gifts we received from our parishioners,  my volunteers, Catholic Charities, Grace United Methodist Church, customers at the Cotton Exchange and many other friends. Every year we plan on having this event and I always wonder if we’ll receive enough items to offer our guests; once again, our donors came through with presents galore. The room was full on Monday, and we continued to add things each day as we received more donations.

During the week, we also received a large stock of beautifully wrapped packages donated by our Catholic Daughters; the boxes each contained the ingredients for an Italian dinner – pasta, the makings for sauce and grated cheese, plus a sweet treat.  These were distributed to our guests and I’m sure they all enjoyed a lovely meal with their family.

This week we are working on our other Christmas projects, the Giving Tree and Yesterday’s Children shoeboxes.  The Center is closed for normal activity this week, but several of us will be around working, getting ready for Friday’s giveaway so you still have time to drop off any gifts or shoeboxes you haven’t turned in yet; you can bring them to the Center or drop them off at the parish office Monday or Tuesday.

Late last month, we had received another special donation; Mrs Price presented me with the money the school children donated on their recent dress-down day: $146.70.  These funds will be used to purchase gas cards that I can offer to guests with particular transportation needs, for example trips to Chapel Hill for medical needs.  This is just one of the many ways the kids and their families help us throughout the year; each classroom donates a Thanksgiving basket and they also adopt one child for our Giving Tree project. Throughout the year, they have other collections to gather food, hygiene items or any other items they know we need. We’ve always been grateful for the support we’ve received from school all these years; it’s also been an important part of their education, learning to reach out to those in need.

 REMINDER: The Center is now closed for normal business until Monday, January 6.