Religions and Spirituality

Christmas Alternative Gift Market This Weekend at Our Lady of the Mount in Warren

WARREN, NJ -Just as the Magi presented precious gifts to the infant Jesus, we follow their example each Christmas by giving to our loved ones. However, following the frenzy that accompanies gift giving, you’ve probably been amazed at the mounds of boxes and wrapping paper that has engulfed your surroundings. Many years ago members of the Good Samaritan Ministry recognized that we are fortunate to be able to provide so much for our families, but sadly many others do not share in our blessings. From that realization sprung the Christmas Alternative Gift Market and an effort to place the emphasis for Christmas on charitable works.
With this sentiment in mind, local and global charities will be represented in Shepherd’s Hall at Our Lady of the Mount on December 6 from 6-7 p.m. on December 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please stop in, get to know the organizations and what they need, and then “shop” for the items on the charities’ Christmas lists. Perhaps make it a family time to help remind yourselves and your children that the purpose of Christmas is not to get, but to give. In keeping with the tradition started over 2,000 years ago by the three kings, your donation will truly be a precious gift that will make a difference in another’s life. Our Lady of the Mount is located at 167 Mount Bethel Road, Warren, NJ 07059.
Good Samaritan Mission – is an outreach of the Good Samaritan Ministry. Volunteers give approximately 2 hours a month in an effort to bring toiletries and clothing to the less fortunate in our area. Although the donation of requested items throughout the year greatly helps, the items dropped off in the GSM bins do not come close to meeting their needs. Through your monetary donations, the Mission is able to purchase the additional items needed such as shampoo, soap, T-shirts, socks, etc.
South Bound Brook Reformed Church –following Hurricane Floyd, this church of approximately 40 members, jumped in to help where needed. Eventually the flood waters receded, but it was an eye-opener to this small congregation that the necessity to help feed and clothe the needy was not temporary. South Bound Brook Reformed Church continues to provide a much needed weekly soup kitchen, relying a great deal on outside volunteers and donations.

Ozanum Men’s Shelter – administered by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Metuchen, is an emergency shelter for residents of Middlesex County. First opened in 1984 in New Brunswick, over the years, services have evolved from a “flophouse” type of operation to one that addresses the issues causing homelessness. Perspective residents are screened and must meet the standards established in order to stay for an extended time. During that period counseling and assistance is given in an effort to enable the individuals, providing them with the means necessary to continue on their own.
Jail Chaplaincy of Somerset County - ministers to the inmates and their families who are connected to the Somerset County Jail. An active schedule of counseling, bible studies, discussion groups, communion services, etc. is provided by, amongst others, our own Deacon Tom Sicola. The ministry, mostly unsupported by Somerset County, is reliant on donations for continued operation. In addition, The Christmas Cares Program, made possible through contributions, provides new toys for the children of inmates. This is a small way to keep the spirit and hope of Christmas in the home when a parent is away.
Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children (SHTDC) – The SHTDC is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing a variety of services to youth and young adults (ages 13-21) at risk of homelessness or maltreatment. It is their mission to provide abused, neglected and homeless youth with housing, a stable environment and supportive services that guide them in becoming contributing members of our society. SHTDC operates various homes and transitional living programs throughout the county as well as street outreach programs . They firmly believe that parents are an important part of the process and encourage open communication. Over 500 children, teens and families are assisted in Somerset County. They were established in 1973.
Packages of Hope – Parishioner, Filomena Citarella, partnered with Packages of Hope after the adoption of her son, Dominic, from an orphanage in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Seeing first hand the terrible conditions and needs that were going unmet, the Citarella family decided that they needed to do more to raise money for the “children we left behind”. Also operating in China and Africa, Packages of Hope, provides needed supplies, such as clothing, over the counter medications, bedding, and diapers. Every dollar is sent to in-country trusted staff who then follow through with the necessary purchases for the orphanages.
Plainfield Area Humane Society – In operation since 1933, PAHS provides for the care and rehabilitation of strays, abandoned and unwanted animals. Programs are also provided on pet care and responsible ownership. The facility depends on donations, animal control service contracts, adoption fees, fund-raisers, bequests, grants and corporate gifts to defray the operation costs which run approximately $1000 per day.
Mane Stream – A Premier Accredited Center of PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) has worked small miracles in the lives of many children and adults with a variety of disabilities for over forty years by offering a variety of adaptive horsemanship programs and equine assisted therapy (speech, occupational & physical therapy). Our participants experience physical, emotional and social benefits while interacting with our specially trained horses, certified instructors & therapists, and volunteers in an environment where learning is both fun and motivating.
In keeping with the tradition started over 2,000 years ago by the three kings, your donation will truly be a precious gift that will make a difference in another's life. 
If you would like to assist with this event or have questions, please contact:
Nicole Perry
Phone: (908) 647-6473

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