Organization looks to bring holiday cheer to struggling families

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The holiday season is drawing near. One organization aims to help those who may be struggling to make ends meet.

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge is spearheading a mission this year to make sure no family goes without a little Christmas cheer.

The holidays can add an extra financial burden for some families like foster grandparents Rudy Ross and Annie Cochran.

“This is something that I enjoy, more than anything,” said Ross.

“As of Christmastime now, everyone is so happy and excited,” Cochran added.

Catholic Charities’ Community Come Together for Christmas program helps make the season special for the kids.

“The purpose and mission of the program is to pair or match families who are in need this Christmas season with donors who want to sponsor families in previous years. Our clients create wish lists, but unfortunately with COVID this year we are strictly doing gift cards,” said Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge Communication Coordinator Catherine Weidert.

Weidert said the need is high this year with over 500 recipients because of the pandemic and recent storms.

“Families have lost their houses, they’ve lost everything, and so, you know, the last thing they need to be thinking about is worrying how they’re able to afford Christmas presents this year for their children,” said Weidert.

St. George stepped forward to help sponsor and provide gifts for families. They use ornaments to bring a bare tree to life for the project.

“We put some trees in the entrance to the church, where people can pick up little paper ornaments with assignments, assist in getting Christmas gifts for folks all around town,” said Chairperson Giving Tree Project Hannah Heltz. “Families frequently will let their kids pick a child of their own age or something to that.”

“With the donor helping us during the Christmas holidays, oh, it is, it’s just amazing,” expressed Cochran.

Donations are due December 3rd.

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