Tom Finneran: Just in Time for Christmas, Part Two
Friday, December 13, 2013
Jesus would smile. Jesus would applaud. And he’d shake the hands and kiss the cheeks of Victor, Allen, and Nelson, three of his present-day apostles. These three saints and hundreds of saintly volunteers brought a smile to the child of Bethlehem and joy to a family in Wareham. That’s called living the Word.
In a very local version of the television show “Extreme Makeover”, Victor, Allen, and Nelson became aware of the plight of Cindy, a local grandmother fighting against some long odds and gamely trying to take care of her two grandchildren all by herself.
The grandmother has lupus, a tough, painful, and insidious disease. The oldest grandson is Jeremiah, age twelve. Jeremiah has cerebral palsy and he is confined to a wheelchair. The younger grandson, age eight, like all eight year-olds, is an exhausting ball of energy. And their home, so tiny, so cramped, completely unable to even fit a washer and dryer, obligated Nana Cindy to lug the family wash to and from the local laundromat, costing her a pretty penny each week.
Jeremiah, wheelchair-bound and unable to access the small bathroom, has to be lifted and carried into the bathroom several times a day. Jeremiah now weighs about one hundred pounds………good luck to Cindy lifting and carrying him in the years ahead…………………………………
Enter Jesus, in the form of Victor, Allen, and Nelson. These three gents share a few things in common. They are hard-working, talented, and conscientious contractors. They are Portuguese-Americans and they are generous souls. They know the pain of illness and loss. They have buried children, their own, carrying a grief which knows no end. They have raised developmentally disabled children, bearing that constant exhaustion with a noble strength and dignity. And having walked the walk themselves, with and for their own loved and lost family members, they wanted to walk the walk for Nana Cindy too.
What a light they cast into this world’s darkness. During a season which has become less and less spiritual and more and more material, the example of Victor, Allen, and Nelson provides a great reminder of the joy of giving. And aren’t we blessed to see such joy, to see such giving, to see such love all around us? Countless examples of quiet service, great generosity, and human kindness abound in our communities.
For a heart-warming Christmas movie check out the video below…………………it stars Victor, Allen, and Nelson and a cast of thousands, all of whom shine as brightly as Christmas lights. Jesus saw the movie being made. He gave it two thumbs up, five stars, and a slew of Oscars. Merry Christmas.
For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/JeremiahsProject
Related Slideshow: 30 Ways To Give In Central Mass This Holiday Season
The Salvation Army’s traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene, with millions of dollars donated each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless. Donations provide and financial assistance provides Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need including families of prisoners. Simply make a donation wherever you see their trademark red kettle or do so online by clicking here.
Goodwill Mass accepts donations of men's, women's or children's clothing and other textiles. Some of the clothing donations are provided to our clients who may need an outfit for an interview or a one week supply of clothing for a new job. Most is sold to neighboring Goodwills, or as salvage with all revenues raised going back into programs and services for Rhode islanders.
You may drop off your old clothing at one of the many clothing donation bins throughout the state or at the drop-box located in 25 Park Avenue, Worcester.
Click here for more information.
Formed in 2002, Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization developed to support military families. On December 14, Operation Homefront will host a “Holiday Toys for Military Kids” event in Wellesly Hills, Taunton, and Springfield from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Toys are limited and are on a first come, first serve registration process. Once your registration is complete you will receive a confirmation email. Please note that this program is for military dependent children only.
Donate non-perishable food items such as rice, beans, and canned vegetables for Thanksgiving distribution by November 21. Donate new or gently used winter clothing such as boots, hats, scarves, and coats to be distributed to ACE families during the holiday season. Donations accepted November – January.
Contact: Amy Connery (508) 799-3653
Donate new toys, games, and books for children of all ages; grocery store gift cards for holiday food baskets; gifts for teens such as movie passes, music, gaming gift cards, and personal care items; and gift cards to clothing and shoe stores to purchase gifts for children and teens. Adopt a family and provide gifts for Christmas. Call for details.
Contact: Sheryl Spafford (508) 832-5707 ext. 10
Donate holiday gifts for children ages 5 – 18 including gift cards for teens to purchase items such as movies, music, and clothing; grocery store gift cards to purchase holiday meals for families in need; and wrapping paper and supplies such as bows and cards. Adopt a family for the holidays and provide gifts. Call for details.
Contact: Liz Hamilton (508) 754-2686
Donate new toys, books, clothes, outerwear, boots, and gift cards for boys and girls ages 4 – 18; gift certificates for movies, bowling, and other activities; non-religious holiday decorations and gift-wrap; and food for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
Contact: Anna Berin (508) 853-6988
Donate gifts for homeless children of all ages and new household items for more than 80 homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, and gift cards to discount and grocery stores. Gifts for teens especially needed.
Contact: Katherine Kerr (508) 791-7265
Donate winter hats and gloves and gift cards to discount stores, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants.
Contact: Brian Bickford (508) 860-1139
Donate new items for newborns and mothers in need: baby blankets, toiletries, newborn undergarments, socks, bibs, infant equipment such as car seats, new maternity clothes, and gift cards for discount and grocery stores. Donate new items for immigrants/refugees such as gloves and mittens, hats, scarves, and home first aid kits. Donate new household items for homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and dishes.
Contact: Georgianna Sgariglia
Donate men’s and women’s clothing in all sizes (especially XL and plus sizes) such as sweaters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, underwear, and t-shirts; toiletries such as hairbrushes, makeup, shampoo, body wash, and lotion; inexpensive male and female jewelry items such as crosses, watches, and rings; games, cards, word search books, and other small gift items.
Contact: Sandy Epstein
Donate non-perishable food for distribution to area emergency feeding programs. Drop off items Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Please call the office before dropping off. Please visit www.foodbank.org for more information.
Donate navy blue blazers, white button down shirts, khaki pants, belts, and dress shoes for boys in sizes from boys’ small to men’s medium; sports equipment such as baseballs, soccer balls, and related items; art supplies and music equipment such as instruments, scores, and songbooks.
Contact: Patrick Maloney
Join us for our annual “Holiday for Heroes” campaign. Assist by reviewing, categorizing, and bundling holiday cards that will be delivered to veterans in Central MA. You would need to dedicate about three hours for this one-time seasonal event in early December. Call to schedule date.
Contact: Ray Duffy (508) 595-3762
- Tom Finneran: Just in Time for Christmas, Part One
- Tom Finneran: A Good Man Earns High Office
- Tom Finneran: America’s New Grand Canyon
- Tom Finneran: From Russia With Love
- Tom Finneran: Happy Birthday, America
- Tom Finneran: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and St. Ann’s Parish
- Tom Finneran: MLK’s Haunted History
- Tom Finneran: Obama’s Dominoes
- Tom Finneran: On Oprah, Barkley, and Bullying
- Tom Finneran: Putin By A TKO