Reverend Fathers and Dearly Beloved In the Lord:
This will mark the eighth year now that we are beginning plans, with the help of God, for the Christmas Stocking Project. We are truly thankful that your help and generosity made it possible for us to reach our goal of sending 13,000 stockings last year.
Over the past several months our office has been in contact with the administrations of the Churches in the countries to which we send stockings to inquire if our gifts are still welcome and are serving a need. The unanimous response was that the gifts continue to be greatly appreciated, and if possible to send even more, as there are so many children who live in difficult economic circumstances.
Encouraged by your wonderful response last year, we have set 15,000 stockings as our goal for this year. They will go to children in Russia, Albania, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine, Alaska and Mexico.
We particularly ask the children and youth groups of our parishes to actively engage in special projects to help raise the needed funds. The fellowship they will share in working together, along with the knowledge that they are extending the joy of Christmas in a concrete way to their Orthodox brothers and sisters in distant lands, will make their efforts doubly rewarding.
The workers at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt, NY look forward to assembling the stockings once again. The cost to make up and send each stocking is $4.00. $40 will provide for 10 children, $400 for 100 children.
We ask you to plan your projects and collections early in the fall. Please send your donations to the Chancery Office, to the attention of Mrs. Arlene Kallaur, by October 31, 2001.
My dear spiritual children of all ages, I invite you to join in making this special project your own and to share with me in this blessed and worthy undertaking.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America And Canada