Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Dec
  • 27

Young girls give savings for Christmas dinner

Posted By December 27, 2012 | 12:52 pm | Lead Story #2
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The annual Bishop’s Christmas dinner received an unusual donation this year, according to Robert Cronin, coordinator.
At the Dec. 25 dinner in St. Paul Cathedral’s Cenacle, which Bishop McManus and Catholic Charities host for anyone in need, two girls about middle school age each gave a volunteer a sandwich bag with about $20 in bills and change, Mr. Cronin said. They said they’d helped serve the meal, and wanted to give the dinner this money, taken from what they’d saved in their banks during the year.
Donations are given for the dinner, Mr. Cronin said; he got one or two from adults this year.
“There are some people who do it year, after year, after year,” he said. But, “you don’t get it from a youngster and you don’t get 40 bucks.”
“I certainly would like to say how much it was appreciated by Catholic Charities, which put the dinner on, and the volunteers who were present when they contributed it,” Mr. Cronin said of the girls. He did not learn of the donation until later. “The volunteers were impressed that youngsters at that age would recognize the need and want to become part of the solution. … This will be used to reimburse this year’s dinner. The food has gone out, but we have not yet been billed for it.”
Mr. Cronin expressed appreciation for the other volunteers as well.
He said about 120 volunteers helped serve a record crowd of about 200 at the Cenacle. In the past there have been more volunteers than people coming to eat, he said.
“It’s the most I’ve ever seen,” he said of the crowd. “I’ve been doing it for almost 40 years. I would say it’s the times. I would say we have moved it closer to a population that would be looking for that kind of service.” (The dinner used to be held at St. Peter Central Catholic Elementary School.)
Another 200-300 volunteers delivered about 1,400 meals to the homebound, Mr. Cronin said. Some people delivered meals then helped at the sit-down dinner.
John Riley of Worcester sang and played Christmas songs on the guitar at the Cenacle.
“None of this would have been possible without the volunteers who gave up part of their Christmas,” Mr. Cronin said.