The 37 bags were packed with wish list items such as games, sketch kits, coloring books, Legos and dolls. There were also needed items including snow boots, clothes, pillow cases and bedding. These special Christmas bags for children ages one to 17 were on their way to St. Gregory’s in Marysville (and their community partner, The Lincoln Center); Sacred Heart in Sabetha; and Immaculate Conception in Leavenworth. Christmas is sure to be a little brighter this year for the recipients of those bags thanks to the generosity of the Mothers of Young Children’s group at Cure’ of Ars in Leawood. Ali Cooper and Natalie Michelson, who head up the philanthropy for the group, approached Catholic Charities this summer looking for a way to help children. Since the rural areas often don’t receive the donations that bigger cities do, it was suggested that the group provide for low-income children identified by rural parishes. These parishes had participated this summer in Catholic Charities’ Kids Summer Food Program. The Mothers group loved the idea. “It was a great way to help children who really needed it, as well as an opportunity to teach our own children, who joined us in the shopping, about the importance of helping others,” says Ali. Catholic Charities hopes to expand the Christmas bag program next year.
“We would love to be able to extend our services in the rural areas and provide for even more children,” says Nancy Pennington, Volunteer Coordinator.