The story of the first Christmas inspires other and varied stories of giving—including your own. That is because God so loved the world that He gave us His only son. As the Magi opened their coffers to present magnificent gifts illustrating royalty (gold), divinity (frankincense), and mortality (myrrh), they rouse us to examine our own treasure trove at year’s end to share the many blessings we possess. Our blessings, like theirs, touch our greatest desires. As Christians, we want to be part of the kingdom established by Jesus’ birth; we want intimacy with Him as if our prayers would rise like incense into His holy presence; and mindful of our own mortality and brevity of earthly life, we want to leave a legacy that helps others.
Thirty-one percent of all annual giving occurs in December. Twelve percent of giving occurs in the last three days of the year. Twenty-eight percent of charitable organizations raise 25-50% of their funds at year’s end. Special tax deductions are given by the IRS to those who make charitable contributions of cash, stocks, bonds, property, securities, IRA gifts, real estate, etc. When we examine all we possess, we realize that we are similar to the Magi of long ago. Our faith helps us understand that Wise Ones search for Christ and Wise Ones share their treasures to honor Him and help carry forth His purpose.
At Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, we have been overwhelmed by our Advent Giving Tree. Generous people have poured forth to remove tags from the tree and replace them with decorative angels that symbolize the gift they bring for a child or family in need. We have collected coats, scarves, gloves, and other winter wear for families of the eight school districts in our northland region and warm socks for homeless citizens. You have provided nearly $10,000 in gift cards to secure Christmas meals, toys, and games for those who are less fortunate within our community. Thank you!
We have also launched our Diamond Jubilee Capital Campaign to commemorate our seventy-five-year anniversary. It began with our Advent “Lighting the Way” celebration, a wonderful party for kids from one to ninety-two (and a few older or younger). As we lit up our campus on the first weekend of December with prayer, song, food, drink, games, gingerbread house and ornament decorating, and our lighting ceremony, we also inaugurated our capital improvements campaign to raise money for an elevator in our school, expansion of our parish hall kitchen, enhancement of our growing Early Childhood Education Center, and creation of a social outreach center to house our food pantry and other charitable works. The initial donations and pledges are around $1million, while our overall goal to undertake these projects is closer to $4million. Though we may not achieve all these hopes, we will move forward with the highest priorities.
If you are able to help us out with an end-of-the-year donation toward this effort, we would greatly appreciate and humbly receive it as we embrace the Christmas spirit and nativity scene that welcomed the Magi who inspire us to continue the mission of Jesus here on earth today.