Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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The Good News of Christmas Families 2014

1/23/2015

This Christmas, Immanuel parishioners provided gifts, clothing, bikes and books to 320 Alexandria children and 170 parents identified to us by the city’s Community and Human Services Department and its emergency shelter and by the Child and Family Network Centers (one of their preschool classrooms).

Our great thanks to:

the 62 parish families or individuals who provided for a particular family

the many more who contributed money to purchase books and gifts for everyone else

and to the more than 60 helpers who worked behind the scenes under the leadership of Linda Serabian.

This year 32 children received shiny bicycles refurbished and put together beautifully by Bill Frye and crew. There was an outpouring of gently used clothing, arranged into a nice boutique at the Department of Community and Human Services by Dorothy Kellogg. Each child received two to four books expertly selected by Connie Kurz and her team, for a total of 750 books. Lissa Soergel  matched gifts to the needs and interests of 200 children and 90 parents.

Behind every one of these numbers is one of God's children building creatively with Legos and gaining a sense of numbers in the process, using an art kit and putting feelings into a painting, practicing for life with a doll, having curiosity raised by a science kit, or reading a book all their own.

The following message from a mother describes how the gifts touched her family:
For Christmas my family was fortunate to have received gifts from Immanuel Church. My husband and I, with our two young boys, live in the Brent Place Apartment. I am writing to all of you because I would like to thank you for what you guys do for the community. I also would like to thank the family that "adopted" my family. It means the world to me to see my kids smile, and that's what that family did. Please if any of you could pass this message to the family that gave my family an amazing Christmas, it would mean a lot to me.

A special thanks to all who helped behind the scenes with one or more of the following: Bicycle repair, books, shopping, data input of people and gifts, preparing sign-up boards, assigning gifts to recipients, marking gifts, parish hall preparation, transport from the workshop to the parish hall, wrapping special support, transport from the church to Community and Human Services , organizing gifts at CHS, and sorting clothing, used toys, and other used items. Those whose names we captured in the cauldron of activity are listed below; no less hearty thanks to those inadvertently omitted from this list.

Dagobert & Lissa Soergel, Linda Serabian, Connie Kurz, Julie Bruns

Lisa Frye
Jim Clausen
Caroline Bergmark
Francine Wargo
Stewart Skubel
Tom Cuddy
Ashley Chappell
Candy Levin
Laura Snow
Debbie Hewson
Martha Manson
Randy Alexander
Jim Kurz
Andy, Alissa, Adie and Anna Biache
Laurie Clark
Nancy, Jim, Spencer, and Rebecca Wise
John Bednar
Melinda, Brad, and Will Ashton
Owen, Ashley, Owen IV, Miles, and Macon Malone
Greg and Beth Keetch
Doug and Dave John Mary Jo Cooney
Tom and Roz Kerns
Rosi Stewart
Georgia Maas
Betsy and Mark DeMulder
Chris and Danielle DeMulder
Cait DeMulder
Paul Scher
Bob and Cathy Velke
Jim Velke
Maria Rivera
Tricia Calloway
Rick and Sarah Glassco
Nick Greiner
Matthew Haskin
Martha Sedgwick
Carla Murray
John Smucker
Dorothy and Stephen Kellogg
Carmen Kunz


1/22/2015
Announcing Lenten Retreat
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