By Alice Kenny
More than 600 families in need, many of whom don’t have hats, gloves, coats and even blankets to call their own, will be able to celebrate a warm holiday thanks to the Catholic Charities St. Nicholas Project Kmart Shopping Day event at Kmart at Astor Place.
Armed with hand-tailored lists catered to the needs of individual families, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan joined Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, staff and volunteers on Saturday, December 15, 2012 to fill their shopping carts with winter necessities.
During the holiday, the St. Nicholas Project, supported by donations and volunteers from Catholic Charities, provides individuals and families in need with gifts of necessity including warm clothes and household supplies. Caseworkers aid the same individuals throughout the year, providing help and creating hope for New Yorkers from Ulster County to Staten Island through job training, English as a Second Language classes, computer literacy classes, food from Catholic Charities’ many food pantries, and school supplies.
Shopping Day taps into the holiday spirit by providing an opportunity for those from various walks of life to come together to provide gifts for those in need. Approximately 400 volunteers partnered with Catholic Charities. They included individuals and members from corporate and college groups such as Deloitte & Touche LLP, TIAA-CREF, the Junior League, Fordham University, Manhattan College, the Catholic University of America, University of Notre Dame and College of Holy Cross.
Kmart employees, including Store Manager Robert Rothermel and District Manager Stephen Offutt, provided coffee, hot chocolate and donuts for volunteers when they arrived.Volunteers lunched on pizza and soda thanks to the generosity of Famous Famiglia and the Kolaj Family. Paul Kolaj is a member of the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees. And Georgetown Cupcakes donated their special dessert.