Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Benedict’s Church Helps Numerous Charities Through Christmas Giving Tree Project

Published January 29, 2004

The Women’s Guild of St. Benedict Church in Duluth hosted another successful Christmas Giving Tree project during December.

The Giving Tree is the Christmas tree in the church foyer that holds the paper ornaments indicating individual special needs for clients of a number of charities all over metro Atlanta. With the strong guidance of event chairpersons Julie Wrightsman and Ann Valentino, support from numerous members of the Women’s Guild and the extreme generosity of the parish community, over 1,500 gifts were collected and distributed.

The recipient charity organizations included Gift of Grace House in Virginia Highland, a home run by the Missionaries of Charity sisters who care for women suffering from AIDS and their children. The Giving Tree provides clothing, books and toys that are given to these children throughout the year.

Another beneficiary was the Nicholas House on LaVista Road, a transitional shelter for needy families working toward financial independence. There are two facilities that serve approximately 60 families per year. Entire families live together at the home until they can afford housing. The Giving Tree provided toys and clothing the children have requested from Santa as well as clothing, gifts and home supplies for the parents.

The Place at Exit 16 off Georgia 400 provides financial counseling, meals, groceries, shower and laundry facilities and other supplies to the needy of Forsyth County. The Giving Tree handled donations of new toys, games and other gifts for children that are used in a toy sale that they hold at the beginning of December.

Habitat for Humanity of Gwinnett also was given collected items. This organization is a branch of the nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization that builds simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with those who lack adequate shelter. Christmas wish lists of new Habitat homeowners were filled by gifts from the Giving Tree.

Atlanta Men’s Shelter at Central Presbyterian Church is another beneficiary. The project provides gifts of toothpaste, razors, underwear, socks and towels that are used all year by the men.

St. Benedict’s Giving Tree also supports the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which helps those that are struggling by providing person-to-person assistance that promotes human dignity and integrity. Families being helped by the Society received Christmas gifts of items they would not get otherwise.

Members of St. Benedict’s Women’s Guild are grateful to all of those who participated in the project and brought Christmas cheer to many.