This was our second year for a gift card drive that supported individuals and families enrolled in long-term programming at Catholic Charities – who are actively working towards self-sufficiency. The decision to pivot towards gift cards was made last year when there were supply chain issues, shipping delays and people were hesitant about venturing out to stores.

“The response from parishes was overwhelming and the stories from the recipients about how they utilized their gift cards was incredibly heartwarming and had more impact than tangible gifts we could buy on their behalf. We heard stories about using part of their gift card to buy Christmas lights for their wreath, a family buying new pots and pans for family dinners – so they could save money by not eating out, and parents being able purchase gifts for their children.  The gift cards restored dignity of choice and brought families together,” said Camille Pickhinke, Director of Community Engagement.

With the generosity of parishes and additional community donors including – Staff from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in KansasChurch of the Ascension (Overland Park)Church of the Nativity (Leawood)St. John Paul II (Olathe)St. Agnes (Roeland Park)Good Shepherd (Shawnee) and Holy Trinity (Lenexa), $19,025 in gift cards and $5,631 in cash donations were collected. This allowed Catholic Charities to provide Christmas cheer for 155 households!

In addition, Prince of Peace (Olathe) and St. Michael the Archangel (Leawood) support our Refugee Program each year with various gift-in-kind needs. These are basic household items needed to move families into housing as they acclimate to their new life in KC. Holy Spirit (Overland Park) also conducted a diaper and formula drive for our Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative program.