Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh is helping to make Christmas a joyous one for thousands of families in the 54 counties that comprise the Diocese. As of December 23, more than 2,700 families have received food assistance this month from Catholic Charities food pantries from the Raleigh, Cape Fear, Fayetteville and Durham Deaneries.

In addition, the Diocesan agency, working with its parish partners and other agencies, has been able to provide gifts to nearly 1,000 people in 300 families this Christmas.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Gary Skinner explained the regional offices gave the names of families who have come to the offices for services such as food assistance, parenting classes, resume writing and health workshops to local parishes. The faithful in those parishes responded generously to the request for gifts, Mr. Skinner said. Catholic Charities also works with local school systems and departments of social services in various communities to identify families with children who might otherwise not have gifts to open on Christmas morning.

“Through this effort,” Mr. Skinner said, “we hope to bring a small bit of Christmas joy to families, children and elderly individuals who live alone.”