“When I experience the joy of giving to my children, help me remember the agony of those who must watch their children go without.” Jim & Terry Orcutt, My Brother’s Keeper Prayer
My Brother’s Keeper started accepting Christmas requests in mid-September and we’ve already promised our help to 1,500 families. We expect this number to grow to 2,700 families in the coming weeks—more than 10,000 children and parents!
So who are the families who reach out to My Brother’s Keeper for help? What are their lives like?
Their stories are as different as there are people: parents and grandparents. . . working, disabled and unemployed. . . families living in Boston, the North Shore, the South Shore, Fall River and the Cape. . . good people from all over eastern Massachusetts.
Despite their differences, they all have one thing in common: they’re hurting and they’re doing the best they can to provide for the people they love.
Here’s one letter we received from a struggling mom in Taunton:
Hi my name is Therese and I can use any help that’s available with furniture, Christmas and other expenses.
My son Jason and I experienced an emotional and financial hardship a few months ago when we lost everything because of bed bugs. I used up all my savings finding a new place after going from home to home of family members.
Jason also has asthma and I struggle to pay for his inhalers. I don’t have any money to get his refills at this time and I don’t know when I will.
The problem is I work so I don’t qualify for help from most places. I’m a single mom doing it all on my own. I have tons of problems but many blessings too so I figured I’d just try to see if you can help. I’d also like to say thank you for all you do for our community and your work for the Lord.
Thank you, Therese
Stress, anxiety and disappointment: sadly, that’s what Christmas means to parents like Therese and kids like Jason. When you struggle with basic expenses like rent, food, heating oil and medicine, a joy-filled Christmas is out of reach.
That’s what makes our Christmas program such a blessing for so many. We can and we will help families like Therese’s and be God’s answer to their prayers!
Last December, My Brother’s Keeper provided food, gifts, joy and hope to a record 2,662 families. Please help us serve even more families this year by returning the enclosed cards for our Adopt-A-Family Gift Program and Loaves and Fishes Food Program.
A special reminder… the Christmas effort starts each year in prayer with our Annual Gratitude Mass the Friday night after Thanksgiving at 7:00 P.M.
We will continue our effort to include all children in the liturgy. We invite each family attending to bring one unwrapped gift for kids to bring to the altar during the offertory.