As the Covid-19 pandemic raged last year, Vermont Catholics were not stymied in their generosity and contributed $86,249 to the annual Advent Appeal.

Those funds were used to help families and individuals have a happier, less-stressed Christmas and to assist with emergency needs throughout the year.

“The ‘Season of Giving’ has no bounds for people in need,” said Mary Beth Pinard, executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. “At Christmastime and throughout the year, it is a daily struggle for many Vermonters to maintain housing, stay warm or feed their families.”

She is asking that people again consider helping people in crisis, especially the most vulnerable — children, struggling parents, the elderly and the sick.

The Advent Appeal helps people like John and Lisa feed their children. They have five school-aged children and they both have jobs, but due to a medical emergency, she had to take extra time off from work. The family was getting by, but as Christmas approached, Lisa and John worried about making ends meet. Vermont Catholic Charities provided the family with a food card.

“Thank you for your kindness. We were losing hope, but this gift helped us have a joyful Christmas,” the couple responded.

“With your support we can assist people just like them, our neighbors in need,” Pinard said. “Your gift helps us to continue to show God’s love in concrete ways.”

Last year 1,300 adults and 900 children received aid through the Advent Appeal and the Vermont Catholic Charities Emergency Aid Program.

“In the midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, please consider being the light for Vermonters in need of emergency assistance by making a gift to Vermont Catholic Charities’ annual Advent Appeal,” Pinard asked. “For 27 years, you have answered the call to bring the joy and hope of the Advent season to those in need.”

To contribute, send a check to Vermont Catholic Charities, 55 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403 or give online at

—Originally published in the Nov. 13-19, 2021, edition of The Inland See.