For more than 20 years, a very special tradition at St. Leo Parish in Stamford has been its annual Christmas Wish Tree to benefit several local charities. This year close to 900 gifts were purchased and donated by parishioners and given to local organizations, including The Villa at Stamford (formerly Smith House), Domestic Violence, Childcare Learning Centers, ROSCCO, Birthright, Latham Wyler Daycare, and Laurel House. In addition, more than 1,000 much-needed toiletries were also collected for New Covenant House and over 95 grocery cards were donated to area families.
"This outreach program is very special and meaningful to our parishioners and they are so generous," said chair, Gail Hofmann. "Many take more than one tag and give gifts to multiple people. It gives them great joy to help those less fortunate. In fact, for many of the gift recipients, this will be the only Christmas present they will receive this holiday."
All the gifts were collected this past Sunday, the first day of Advent, at the church. Volunteers of all ages then helped to sort through them before they were sent off to the organizations for distribution to some very excited and grateful children and adults, helping to make their Christmas just a little brighter this year.