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Merry Christmas!

“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” – Catherine McAuley
It’s beginning to look a lot like the North Pole at the Catherine McAuley Center as Adopt-a-Family donations arrive daily. Thanks to hundreds of participating businesses and individuals, we’ll be able to provide gifts to more than 300 families in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties this season!
We’d also like to thank everyone who supported this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign. We received a record number of donations this year totaling more than $8,000. Your generosity will go a long way in helping us shelter and empower homeless women and children as they transition from crisis to independence.
Cozy for Christmas
Ellie and Annie’s Pajammie Drive collected 280 pairs of brand new pajamas in sizes infant to adult to keep clients of the Catherine McCauley Center toasty warm this winter.
The drive started three years ago when Annie was participating in the nonprofit empowerment program Girls on the Run.
“Each girl was asked to come up with an idea that would help the community. Once they had all the ideas, the girls voted on the project they wanted to do,” mother BonnieJo recalled.
Ellie and Annie were disappointed when the pajama drive proposal didn’t win enough votes, so BonnieJo suggested they do the project themselves.
That first year they collected close to 170 pairs of pajamas just through social media outreach to friends and family. Last year, still with limited exposure, they increased their donation to the Center to 209 pairs. This year BonnieJo made flyers and got permission to hang them in the teacher’s lounge at Ellie and Annie’s school. She also spread the word through her ladies bowling league teams.
One family friend shops year round as she sees good deals or extra special pajamas and saves her finds until drive time. This year she donated 20 pairs to the cause. Another friend who hosts Thanksgiving at her home every year asks everyone to bring pajamas. She also contributed 20 pairs to the drive.
“People love the idea of giving, and it’s as simple as buying warm pajamas,” said BonnieJo, who looks for winter pajamas to go on clearance in the spring and summer. At one store, she scored 15 pair for $2 each.
“Each time a donation came in, my girls were so excited! It’s a wonderful feeling, for us and for the people who choose to donate, to know that something as small as a pair of pajamas can make such a big difference for kids of all ages!”
 
Gingerbread Party
The halls, or rather walls, of a small gingerbread village were “decked” earlier this month when 10 of the Catherine McAuley Center’s families gathered for a sweet holiday party. In addition to plenty of candy, clients enjoyed hot chocolate, pizza, and Christmas music as they personalized gingerbread houses to take home to their apartments.
The Center’s Family Fun & Recreation Programs are offered year round, generally coinciding with the holidays. The programs are designed to give families in transition from homelessness to independence a break from the stress and insecurity of hectic daily schedules to spend time together creating memories and creating traditions. Other events have included pumpkin carving, sledding, dying Easter eggs and gardening.
Wish List: Stock the Shelves
Seasonal community dinners and holiday food donation programs make a big dent in hunger this time of year, but we’re already looking forward to meeting the need in the New Year. The Catherine McAuley Center hopes to stock our food pantry shelves with an abundance of non-perishable food items to help families weather the difficult winter months to come. Recommended items include: pastas, canned meats and tuna, condiments, canned tomatoes, coffee, tea, honey, canned or dehydrated soups, juice, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti sauce, cereal, flour, pancake and baking mixes mix.
DONATE
Every gift to the Catherine McAuley Center makes a difference in the life of someone who is homeless, here in our own community.
Click here to make a life-changing gift today:

Thank you for your generous support!
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