Community program brings holiday to 30 families

Published 12:08 am Sunday, December 14, 2014

NATCHEZ — A community service program through St. Mary Basilica asked Miss-Lou residents to help give every child a good Christmas, and they answered that call to action.

Christmas Adopt a Child is a program that collects names of less-fortunate families through Catholic Charities.

Once the family is adopted, they will be given a food voucher and toys for their children.

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Thanks to the generosity of the community, all 30 families in the program have been adopted and nearly 70 children will have a Merry Christmas, said chairperson of community services commission Charlene Rushing.

Through the program, Catholic Charities also provides a list of families for Jefferson Street United Methodist Church, Assumption Catholic Church, the Junior Auxiliary of Natchez, Children’s Christmas Tree Fund and the Knights of Columbus.

Rushing said those who adopted a family were given the name and address of the family to contact them personally.

“We talk to the families and set up a time to take the gifts to their home,” Rushing said

The deadline for delivering gifts to the families involved in the program is Friday.

Rushing said those who participated can visit St. Mary’s office between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. through Friday to pick up a food voucher that goes with the gifts.

The Markets provides Christmas Adopt a Family with 30 food vouchers worth $100 each, Rushing said.

Rushing said Christmas is a good time to give back to those who are in need.

“There’s a lot of people out there who are not going to get Christmas like they should,” Rushing said. “We have more than we need, why not help someone that doesn’t.”

Natchez resident Betty Lou Hicks said she adopted a family of five this year.

“My family is so blessed in so many ways,” Hicks said. “To be able to share the good fortunes and blessings that we had through the years is amazing.

“It’s just sharing the gifts that Christ has given us.”

Several organizations will gather at St. Mary’s Family Life Center on Main Street between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday to distribute toys and again Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Monetary donations are accepted and can be sent to St. Mary Basilica between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and again from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.