Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories -December 12 – Charitable/Volunteer Work

When I was a child, I didn't even know that soup kitchens existed and I was not aware of any large meals held for the poor.  It just didn't happen that way.  I believe that the priests and pastors knew of the needs of their parishioners and quietly supplied the things needed.  My mother spent many evenings hand beading sweaters which were donated to a local organization that served the poor.

In the 1970s our church began having a "Mitten Tree" to provide hats, mittens, and scarves for children in need.  This was in the Chicago area and the weather was cold and icy.  At some point in time the "Mitten Tree" evolved into an "Angel Tree".  Each year my children chose an angel to help provide Christmas to another child.  My children understood that they were giving up one of their gifts so another child could get a gift.  We tried to pick the same age and sex as our children were  so it became more personal to the kids.  The tradition continues as last week we delivered gifts for three angels to the church. My grandchildren understand volunteering and service to others.