Santa Claus comes to Catholic Charities in Leesburg

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With the ring of jingle bells and a hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho” from his bowl full of jelly, Santa Claus greeted the good girls and boys at the Catholic Charities Regional Office in Leesburg Dec. 21, bringing joy and focus to Christmas.

“Do you know whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day?” he asked each child that visited him. They answered, “Jesus,” and shared with Santa their wishes. Santa told them he doesn’t guarantee the wishes, but will surprise them. The children received gifts, including a surprise wrapped in paper, a pencil and small bears.

In between visits with children, Santa knelt before a Nativity scene and prayed.

Kenna Cuomo, pantry administrator and emergency assistance case coordinator, said having Santa visit with the message of the reason for the season coincided with the work of their office, which includes the St. Lucy Food Pantry and emergency assistance.

“This was more about showing the community how we at Leesburg understand the reason for the season and how we help people through hard times,” said Cuomo. “Seasonally, it is always difficult because parents don’t have gifts or food to buy their children. Being able to give that to them is truly the reason for the season.”

Sherri J. Longhill, emergency assistance program director, said those who visit the office are encouraged to return. “We invite them back to events like this so they are part of the family,” she said.

In addition to a visit from Santa, parents had an opportunity to shop in the thrift shop. The items were provided by the giving tree from Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling. The giving tree from St. John the Apostle Church in Leesburg provided small gifts for Santa to distribute. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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