On Tuesday December 6th, the board of Operation Merry Christmas convened at Boasso America to present grant checks to three local charitable organizations in support of their programs. Receiving grant funds were: the Knights of Columbus Council #5747, in support of their Knight’s Gift Program; St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program, Inc. and the Arc of Greater New Orleans, in support of their programs in St. Bernard Parish.
Operation Merry Christmas (OMC) has assisted the St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program for many years, recognizing the importance of the organization in meeting the needs of the St. Bernard Community.
“We are grateful for the support provided by OMC”, said St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program Child Advocate, Dawn Asevado, “it is especially helpful at this time of year, when many of our program participants struggle through the holiday season with little support.” Judy Hoffmeister, OMC board member, said “we hope to bring a little warmth to the women in the programs during what should be a very joyful time.”
Members of Operation Merry Christmas also presented a check to the Knights of Columbus Council #5747 to support the annual toy and food give-away program. OMC and the Knights joined forces to continue the tradition of a parish-wide food and toy distribution that was started by Operation Merry Christmas in 1985. The Knights of Columbus continued the tradition after Hurricane Katrina.
A Knight’s Gift Chairman, Cisco Gonzales, said that “A food distribution will be made at 9 am on December 18. Any family in need should contact their church to secure a voucher to receive a turkey and a food basket.”
“It’s the Christmas Season that ignites the Knights of Columbus #5747 to gear up rapidly for this year’s Christmas Gift give-away known as A Knight’s Gift. With the support of Operation Merry Christmas, this year’s event will be bigger than ever.”
Operation Merry Christmas Founding Member, Chris Roussel stated, “OMC is pleased that the Knights of Columbus Organization is continuing to fulfill our mission that was initiated in 1985; caring for those families in need, especially during the Holiday Season.”
A Knight’s Gift – a give-away of toys and dolls – is sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council #5747 Chalmette with proceeds from the group’s Louisiana Crawfish Festival along with the Operation Merry Christmas Organization. The distribution in the Grand Ballroom will include gifts for newborns to children age 12.
The Arc of Greater New Orleans Chalmette Community Center was another recipient of a grant from OMC. Arc of Greater New Orleans is committed to securing for all people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop, function and live to their fullest potential. Arc of Greater New Orleans Executive Director, Cliff Doescher, was present to accept the grant. “OMC has long supported the mission of Arc as we continue to meet the needs of the local community”, Doescher said.