Children were invited to “Hop on the Polar Express” at Catholic Charities' 2019 Christmas Party Dec. 11 and 12 at the Chew Street Community Center, 179 W. Chew St., Allentown. Approximately 125 people attended each night.
The children infants to age 18 received a passport and had it stamped at the various stations. Once all stamped, they received a “Golden Ticket” to board the train and see Santa Claus. After visiting with Santa, each child received a gift.
Children created Christmas cards for residents of Holy Family Manor, Bethlehem and the Older Adults Program; made angel ornaments to take home; played games; sang carols; had fun with a photo booth; and enjoyed snacks of cocoa, cookies and North Pole cupcakes.
Gifts were donated by Bethlehem Catholic High School students (Key Club raised $1,100 and purchased gifts), and wrapped by students of St. Anne School, Bethlehem and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Bethlehem.
The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley also gave Holiday Hope Chests, which were donated from the entire Lehigh Valley community.
Members of Catholic Charities’ Angel Society also participated, and volunteers, including many Diocese of Allentown employees, served as Santa’s Helpers.
Allentown police officers James Stanko and Matt Geake also helped as Santa’s elves.
Catholic Charities is a nonprofit social service agency caring for needy people in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Among its services are feeding the hungry, helping veterans in danger of becoming homeless, counseling families and students, caring for the elderly, and offering service for pregnant women in need of support.
For more information, call 610-435-1541 or visit “Catholic Charities.”