Catholic Charities’ 2019 Christmas Project distributes gifts to 235 families in need

Peoria City Council member Sid Ruckriegel and Julie Enzenberger help load the car of Trish Giger (right) with gifts for a family from St. Mary’s in Kickapoo during the Dec. 13 distribution day for Catholic Charities’ Christmas Project. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Valeria Arellano, left, accepts a bag of gifts for her mother and aunt from Sister Michelle Fernandez, SCTJM, and Suzie Meismer. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

About 235 families were assisted by this year’s Christmas Project sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria, according to Sister Michelle Fernandez, SCTJM, executive director.

The project combines generosity at several parishes — which host “Giving Trees” with tags listing items requested by the families in need — as well as funds and goods supplied by businesses and the efforts of many volunteers. Items including clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, blankets, and more are then gathered, placed in labeled bags according to each family’s request, and distributed at sites in DePue, Galesburg, LaSalle, Moline and Peoria.

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