What happened to our Jesse tree? What happened to the trees in the vestibule with tags of items for the needy? Where are the collection drives for Viva House?

In this season of giving, who knew a piece of paper with “socks” or “Spiderman action figure” could mean so much to me, a parishioner?

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it incredibly difficult to give this holiday season. Many organizations have gone contactless to avoid the spread of the virus and our beloved Advent giving traditions have been put on hold to keep everyone safe.

With an appreciation of how blessed my own family is during this time, both the Valis and Swing sides of my family looked into an organization that would allow us to adopt a family. After a bit of research, we decided on the House of Ruth, one of the nation’s leading partner violence centers, helping thousands of battered women and their children find the safety and security that so many of us take for granted. And in a time with funds limited to so many, leaving a violent situation may seem next to impossible.

House of Ruth offers contactless giving through an Amazon Wishlist. As a mother of a 1- and 3-year old, my heart broke upon seeing the maternity clothes. 

I contacted the director to find out what the organization REALLY needs in addition to this list. Their biggest need is twin-bed size air mattresses with pumps—a woman or child’s bed as they settle in a new home. As well as larger women’s undergarments and male adult size undergarments for their growing sons. 

We may not be able to pack a bag of groceries this year, but we can give the gift of a safe bed, of clean clothes, and the hope of a fresh start to some of Baltimore’s women and children.

Won’t you join me, my church family, in adopting the House of Ruth this year, to continue our parish’s tradition of Christmas giving?

Thank you — Jessica, Christopher, George, & Finn Valis

House of Ruth Maryland
2201 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218