In most parts of the world, during the Christmas season, it is customary to share gifts and time with our families, friends, and those for whom we have special affection. At St. Patrick Catholic Church, we celebrate the Christmas season by providing a gift to our annual “Giving Tree.” The Giving Tree is a Christmas tree which is decorated with colorful tags bearing the names of children, the elderly, or needy individuals who have been identified by members of our parish family. Many of the individuals are residents of our neighboring HUD buildings. Others are children from the various migrant communities around Brandon and Valrico. Yet others are parishioners of our sister church – Blessed Sacrament – whom we have adopted. There are people from our own community who are in need and whose names are also included in the decorations. All individuals are identified by name, age, sex, and gift idea to ensure that an age-appropriate gift is provided.
Our parish family members take one or more tags and obtain a gift which is placed under the Giving Tree. These gifts are then distributed by members of the parish staff, the Outreach Ministry, or anyone else who may wish to participate in the distribution. We go to each migrant community and distribute the presents. We make a special effort to gather the elderly residents of our HUD buildings – Patrician Arms and Patrician Arms II – and make an event of the distribution of gifts by providing music and goodies. The Giving Tree is a way to share in our stewardship of the gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
Giving Tree Ministry Contact Information:
Carmelo and Elba Meletiche, 813-839-5337 ext. 136 (Hiram Rodriguez)