In this YouTube video, Jeff Siedlecki, youth ministry coordinator in Holy Eucharist Parish, Tabernacle, invites people to the “Christmas. Giving. Drive.” event planned for Dec. 11. screenshot photo
In this YouTube video, Jeff Siedlecki, youth ministry coordinator in Holy Eucharist Parish, Tabernacle, invites people to the “Christmas. Giving. Drive.” event planned for Dec. 11. screenshot photo

Building on the success of other gift drives during the pandemic, Holy Eucharist Parish, Tabernacle, has invited people to “Christmas. Giving. Drive.” to view a live Nativity scene and donate gift items for residents of New Lisbon Developmental Center.

“We were trying to generate an event around bringing the gifts to the church, thinking, ‘What can we add to the Christmas experience?’” said Jeff Siedlecki, parish youth ministry coordinator. “We thought, what better than to drive them to the Nativity?”

On Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., all are invited to visit the parish’s outdoor live Nativity scene, featuring youth group members as Mary and Joseph, and animals loaned from nearby farms. Those who wish can donate a gift to a resident of New Lisbon, a facility for adults with developmental disabilities, which has been hard-hit by COVID-19.

“The Knights have a 40-plus year tradition of delivering a Christmas experience to New Lisbon … we’ve never done it with sheep before!” Siedlecki mused.

On the parish’s website, participants can find the event details and link to a wish list of items for New Lisbon residents – http://holyeucharist.org/home. A new gift in original factory packaging – so it can be easily disinfected – can be purchased and brought to the live Nativity drive-through for delivery.

“In most cases, we would put a fresh tree in our atrium, decorated with gift tags with requests,” Siedlecki said. “[This event] is our option in a COVID world.”

Knights of Columbus will deliver the gifts to New Lisbon the following week.

“Some residents are non-verbal, so the staff of New Lisbon tried to request something they might enjoy. There are lots of general items, puzzles, games and decks of cards,” he continued.

But Siedlecki wanted to assure that all are welcome to come to the live Nativity drive-through, even if they cannot bring a gift. “Come and bring your prayers and offer us well-wishes,” he said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please bring all gifts unwrapped and in its original factory packaging. Label the gift with the name of the person and the residence name if there is one.