Saint Mary Mokena parishioners have set out to brighten the Christmas season for more than one thousand people in need by participating in the parish’s annual Giving Tree Program.
From the weekend of November 10-11 through the weekend of December 1-2, a Christmas tree will be on display in the church narthex containing gift tags for the less fortunate.
As they have done for many years, parishioners pick tags off the tree. Each tag contains a Christmas gift request from someone in need. Many of the requests are for clothes and gift cards and come from people of all ages.
Parishioner Mike McCague was one of many who took a gift tag this past Sunday.
“My tag is for a 13-year-old boy named Bryan who asks for electronics,” says McCague. “The Giving Tree is such a great program. I am participating in it because I believe it is important to help people less fortunate than I am, who are unable to afford to get themselves or their children presents for Christmas…by giving this gift, it helps me spread the joy of Christmas to others.”
The gift tags were provided by eight different humanitarian organizations, including Trinity Services in New Lenox, St. Coletta’s of Illinois, Vilaseca in Joliet, FISH, Bridges (an outreach of the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet), the Daybreak Center, and Waterleaf, a pregnancy center.
To get a tag, simply take one off the narthex tree in the next couple of weeks before they run out.