Adopt-A-Family gift distribution to take place Dec. 17
Particularly in need are warm clothing, food, school supplies and beds, as well as blankets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, shoes, etc., especially in children’s sizes 2T to 16, according to Lydia Gamboa, Adopt-A-Family program coordinator. Also desired, she added, are Christmas gifts for children, including toys and games.
Adopt-A-Family is seeking financial donations, said Gamboa, and offers a variety of "sponsorship" opportunities, in which donors may finance basic needs, sponsor individual families, or underwrite a "gift box" that includes two weeks’ worth of food, practical hygiene and cleaning supplies, blankets, clothing and special presents for each member of the family.
Distribution day is scheduled Dec. 17, and Gamboa said there is a need for volunteers who have large vehicles and trucks to deliver gifts to the recipient families who live in or near downtown Los Angeles. Volunteers gather for distribution at 7 a.m., starting with a prayer service at the Cathedral, led by Archbishop José Gomez, who will then join the volunteers in the delivery of the gifts.
As is customary, The Tidings will feature this week and next brief profiles of families who are among those in need. They include:
FAMILY T01: For Eduardo, Maria and their four children, life has been anything but hopeful. Eduardo’s hours have been cut drastically to a mere one or two days a week. “With these kinds of hours, how do they expect me to provide for my family?” he told us. He says he has always been a hard worker but cannot work hard when there is no work at all.
As Christians, we are called to bring hope to the hopeless. We are called to shine Christ’s light into the darkness. The Adopt-A-Family Program was created in response to this call.
His wife Maria echoes her husband’s worry. “We cannot provide the necessities for our children --- food and clothing,” she said. “I pray to God as He is our only hope.” Families in such situations are one of the main reasons why the Adopt-A-Family Program provides a two-week supply of food as well as clothing.
FAMILY T02: For the past couple years, Christmas time for the Lito Family means seeing lights go up in every window in every home, except theirs. “Every year,” the mother tells us, “my children ask the same thing: ‘Can we put up decorations? Can we get a tree? Can we get this toy?’ And every year I have to tell them the same thing: ‘Not this year, but I promise next year.’”
Work has been extremely slow for these parents of four. Both work in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles and they say just about everyone is “feeling it.” In their apartment, there are no signs of beds and hardly any furniture. They all eat and sleep on the floor. The father says they are two months behind in their bills.
FAMILY #T03: Upon entering the Velasquez home, one cannot help but ask, “What happened to your eye?” Mr. Velasquez told us how one day he went out to get milk for his one-year-old son and was attacked and robbed in broad daylight. They left him to die in the street in front of his apartment building.
“My five-year-old daughter came out and found me, and she is now traumatized,” the father says. “She thinks if I go outside I will lose my eye!”
Since then the father has been unable to work. The family is behind in rent and bills, with no hope or guarantee that they will ever catch up. “We have so many worries right now,” said Mrs. Velasquez breaking into tears. “And with Christmas coming, it makes me so sad to know we can’t give our three children anything.”
“As Christians,” said Gamboa, “we are called to bring hope to the hopeless. We are called to shine Christ’s light into the darkness. The Adopt-A-Family Program was created in response to this call. Through the sacrifices of children and adults alike, the program has brought hope, through the Light of Christ, to families struggling to survive in our city’s darkest streets.”
For information on how to assist, call (213) 637-7501 or visit www.olacathedral.org and click on the Adopt-A-Family link. Donations can be sent to: Adopt-A-Family, 3424 Wilshire Blvd., 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010; please make checks payable to Adopt-A-Family.
- Hayden Christmas Pageant
December 12, 2013 (8:30 AM)
- Nazareth House Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon & Card Party
December 12, 2013 (11:30 AM)
- Good Shepherd 90th Anniversary
December 12, 2013 (7:30 PM)
Prayer of the MonthPapal intentions for November: That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Papal intentions for December: That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.