Hundreds of families in need of Christmas sponsors for Catholic Charities program
BATON ROUGE - For 60 years, the Catholic Charities Center of the Diocese of Baton Rouge puts together a "Community Comes Together" program for Christmas, which matches sponsors with families in need.
Through the decades, they have never seen such a low turnout of donors. Currently, 350 families are still on a waitlist, and the Diocese is worried about what will happen if they're left behind.
"Normally around this time, around Thanksgiving, we only have a handful of families that are still needing sponsors, and this year it's massive," said Catherine Weidert, Communications Coordinator.
The families in need range from Afghan refugees to survivors of Hurricane Ida.
"Those people lost everything. They've lost their house. The last thing they need to worry about is buying Christmas gifts," Weidert said.
Because of the pandemic, they had to change the structure of the program from gift donations to gift cards.
“There’s no set limit but we do recommend 25 dollars per child and 50 dollars per adult," Weidert said.
Donors can sign up online and pick their families, mail in gift cards, or drop them off in person.
"If you want to put a family number on there that you want to sponsor, that’s great. If you want it to go to someone random, that’s okay too," Weidert said.
After a tough year, Weidert says it's important to provide for the community in whatever way possible.
“Think about a child waking up on Christmas morning and not having any presents. That’s what we’re facing here. If we don’t get enough sponsors then these families will just go without this Christmas," Weidert said.
The deadline to sign up to sponsor a family is December 3.