Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Pitch For My Favorite Christmas Charity

It's the time of the year when the number of catalogs the mailman delivers is exceeded by only the number of pitches we get for any number of good causes.

One of America's most exceptional characteristics is its generosity, so I'll tell you about another cause that won't appear in direct mail or the mainstream media.

Six years ago, a group of women in my neighborhood became aware of an order of nuns in Appalachia who were doing much to feed the hungry and alleviate suffering.

These Louisville moms responded by telling all their friends of the tremendous need for toys, warm coats, mittens and Christmas dinners in the Appalachian town of Kermit. Then they filled up four Suburbans with all that they collected and drove off to deliver it. Some years, the need is so great that the nuns, Sister Brendan and Sister Janet, call later in the winter to ask for more help.

At a time when mothers drive around frantically looking for the year's sold-out must-have (this year, it's the Wii), these women provide a counter-example. They remind us that we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Moreover, this group of unassuming moms is changing lives for the better, and they do so voluntarily, without government coercion. They show what happens when generosity meets freedom. As a result, there are no transaction costs or administrative fees. Zero.

The nuns in Kermit, and the families to whom they minister, have become part of our Christmas tradition. We are blessed many times over for whatever we contribute and for having this connection.

Here's how to help. Readers in Louisville can drop off toys at the Commonwealth Bank, 1404 Evergreen Road, Anchorage 40223 through Friday, December 15. Out of town readers can send a check payable to Christian Help care of the bank; it need not arrive by Friday.

Twenty dollars will pay for a Christmas dinner -- that doesn't even pay for fast food for a car of boys.

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