September 12, 2002
Reverend Fathers and Dearly Beloved In The Lord:
I write to once again ask your support for the Annual Christmas Stocking Project. Your previous generosity in support of this annual project made last year’s drive a wonderful success, enabling us to again reach our goal. More parishes, youth groups and individuals participated than ever before.
Because of increased difficulty with customs regulations and restrictions some of the Churches in countries to which we have sent stockings have once again asked if we might send them the designated funds in lieu of the actual stockings. This allows local Church officials to purchase the Christmas gifts and distribute them on our behalf. On an experimental basis, we tried this approach last year in Albania, Russia, and Slovakia. We were pleased with the detailed reports that were sent back and will consider doing the same for them this year. The countries of Belarus, Poland, Ukraine as well as designated communities in our diocese of Alaska, received the stockings without difficulty, and continue to be pleased with them.
We particularly enjoy learning of the creative projects engaged in by our parishes to raise the funds, especially those of our church schools and youth groups. We know the value of the fellowship that these activities provide among all the parishioners who participate. The workers at the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt, New York, also eagerly participate in this undertaking.
The cost to make and send each stocking (or an equivalent gift) is $4.50. $45 will provide for 10 children, $450 for 100 children. We ask you to plan your projects and collections early in the fall. Please send your donations to the Chancery Office, (P.O. Box 675 - Syosset, NY 11791) to the attention of Mrs. Arlene Kallaur by October 31, 2002.
We are told that the children look forward to our gifts with eagerness and anticipation. Please join with me in continuing to provide for them this special joy, one that binds our Churches together ever more strongly.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada