FORT WAYNE — Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne — South Bend announced Oct. 27 its Share the Warmth of Christmas Appeal to aid those affected by COVID-19 and others in need.
Given the persistence of the pandemic, Catholic Charities is issuing a special Christmastime appeal to solicit donations of gift cards, winter coats and financial contributions to assist the thousands of people in the area who are still out of work, homeless or low-income.
“As the state implements the governor’s Phase 5 of reopening, there will still be many out of work now through the Christmas season,” said Bobbie Golani, senior administrative officer at the agency. “As a result, we expect requests for material assistance to be even higher than usual as the cold weather sets in.”
For those people who want to donate to the Share the Warmth of Christmas Appeal, the agency encourages donations of gift cards that will be distributed to families who are having difficulty meeting basic needs such as food and warm clothing, particularly over the holidays. Cash donations are also being accepted to subsidize the Catholic Charities program dedicated to assisting households with rent and utilities so they can avoid eviction. Catholic Charities pays rent and utilities directly to landlords or utilities.
“This way we can be assured that children and the vulnerable are housed and warm during the Christmas season,” said Golani.
Coats for children, preferably professionally cleaned ones, new gloves for adults and mittens for children are also being accepted, as are children’s snow pants and adult coats in sizes XL to 5X. The agency is not in need of hats or scarves at present. Starting Nov. 5, Catholic Charities will give away the coats by appointment only.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is asking for coats to be professionally cleaned. Those who have coats to donate, but cannot afford to clean them, may take them to Peerless Cleaners in Auburn, Angola or Fort Wayne Nov. 7-29. The Laundry Room laundromat in Auburn will also clean donated coats.
The agency asks donors to drop off items in the first-floor lobby of Catholic Charities, Archbishop Noll Catholic Center, 915 S. Clinton Street, Fort Wayne, during regular business hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.
The office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holidays on Nov. 26 and 27. Drop-offs must be scheduled by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Catholic Charities, visit www.ccfwsb.org or call the Fort Wayne office at 260-422-5625, email address email@example.com. Contact the South Bend office at 574-234-3111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the Auburn area, call 260-925-0917 or email email@example.com.
Most-needed items include:
• Grocery or multi-purpose stores gift cards (e.g., Kroger, Walmart, Meijer)
• Gasoline gift cards
• Citilink bus passes
• Diapers of all sizes, but especially sizes 2 to 5
• New toys, particularly those that support healthy development and learning
Unwrapped gift items may be dropped off through Dec. 11. To make financial contributions, call 260-422-5625 or visit www.ccfwsb.org.
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