By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – St. Rose of Lima recently collected approximately 1,100 gifts for children and families in need as part of their Giving Tree effort run by the church’s youth. Around 70 student volunteers in grades 7-12 were involved this year.
Every year a Christmas tree is set up in the church, which is decorated with color-coded gift tags representing gift wishes from area organizations whose mission is to help those in need in Worcester County and the town of Northborough.
This is the 31st year that St. Rose of Lima has participated in the Giving Tree effort, and just one of the many projects that demonstrates their strong commitment to stewardship throughout the year.
Parishioners have the opportunity to choose a tag, purchase the gift indicated on the tag and return the wrapped gift in time for distribution to the organizations. This year gifts were collected for the Link Program at UMass Memorial Child Life Center, Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope in Worcester, Northborough Helping Hands Association,
Inc., and Visitation House in Worcester.
The program has grown over the years and has become an anticipated part of the Christmas season.
Youth Minister Riley Duggan, Religious Education Director Susan McGoldrick and parent volunteers Kirsten Forbush, Sue Seppa, Michelle Ramsden, Julie Leonard and Michele Hatem assisted in the organization of this year’s successful effort.
New to the Giving Tree program this year is Visitation House, a nonprofit organization that supports pregnant homeless women and provides housing, nutrition and life skills education to assist the women as they try to better their lives.
Hatem noted that the success of the program every year would not be possible without a parish full of very generous people who help to ensure that every child who requests a gift will have something under their tree on Christmas morning.