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Vienna parish celebrates Christmas in July for pregnant women

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Christmas came early at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna. 

The Gabriel Project ministry hosted the annual “Christmas in July” event July 7 to distribute baby items to pregnant women in need. A Christmas tree was set up in the church narthex the last two weeks of June with tags identifying specific needs. 

The items, including diapers, bottles, blankets and clothes, were distributed to 11 individuals during the parish Donut Sunday social. 

Deepak Jugran and his family, though not Catholic, received assistance from the program last year and returned this year. 

“For us it means everything to have this help,” he said. “We have endless faith and blessings for the entire community who could make it possible for my baby to come into this world, because without their infinite help, it would be very hard for us. We are not financially strong, and that’s why help means a lot.”

Cecilia Guzman is far away from family but said she is grateful for the help from Gabriel Project. 

“First of all, I thank God for finding a place where I was offered help with my pregnancy thanks to the organization of the parish,” she said. “The Gabriel Project was a blessing. I did not find help anywhere until I was told about this beautiful project.”

An initial inventory of what the parish collected included more than 130 packages of diapers, 12 boxes of wipes, more than 200 clothing items, as well as maternity clothes, one crib, eight car seats and one high chair. 

“The prayer shawl group and other parishioners donated 12 handmade baby quilts, 13 blankets, hats and more than $400 in gift cards and cash donations for pregnancy centers to use,” said Betsy Argauer, parish coordinator for the pro-life committee.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019