Syosset, New York
September 14, 2006
Reverend Fathers and Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
As we begin the new ecclesiastical year, I once again ask for your support of the Christmas Stocking Project. Because of the love and generosity of so many of you, this project has continued to bring special Christmas joy to hundreds and thousands of children in many parts of our world year after year. We are told that the little gifts are much anticipated by the children.
Last year, as part of our response to the hurricane victims, we were able to send 1,000 Christmas gifts and 627 boxes of chocolates to displaced families with children in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A thank you letter from the Rev. Edward Lavine whose office oversaw the distribution of the gifts, reads, “The Christmas gifts and candy were a great Kris Kringle for so many! We really appreciate the prayers and the direct support you gave us during our hurricane relief efforts.”
Of the thank you letters and distribution reports that we have received from each of the recipients, the report of the director of a soup kitchen in Tirana, Albania who gave out some of our OCA gifts to children they were feeding, stated, “As one can see, the joy of receiving a gift gives a child a special smile. Not just because they need a toy, but they feel pleased that someone cared for them by giving that present. These gifts provided by the Orthodox Church in America helped us to give many children the joy of the holiday season.”
Though the funding in 2005 did not reach the hoped for goal, ($67,536 was received with a goal of $90,000), Mrs. Kallaur, Project Coordinator, reported that by cutting some corners in the cost of items in the stockings, and with some start up funds available from the previous year, the number of gifts at $5 each, worked out to a little more than 15,000 gifts in 2005.
Let’s make this year’s Christmas Stocking Project a successful one! Let’s not disappoint the children! Youth groups, church schools, FOCA chapters, please continue with your wonderful fundraisers that enrich the entire parish community. Each and every contribution is valued and welcome.
Plan your projects and collections early. Send your donations to the Chancery Office to the attention of Mrs. Arlene Kallaur as close as possible to October 31st, though they will be gratefully received through the end of the year.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada