Christmas Connection 2022 opens for Tallahassee, Big Bend community

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Catholic Charities Christmas Connection The program has been meeting the basic wishes and needs of hundreds of disadvantaged families and individuals of all religions, races and ethnicities for 43 years.

“Bringing the Spirit of Christmas to those who need it most,” the program has grown from 25 families in 1979 to more than 500 families each year in the Big Bend area.

This year’s efforts began with a blessing of the collection site at 2990-2 Apalachee Parkway (next to the Office of the Supervisor of Elections) Thursday by Father Luke Farabaugh of St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral. The site officially opens for donations at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 27.

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Last year’s efforts:Christmas Connection: How you can change the life of a struggling local family

By working directly with over 30 local social service agencies across the region, we are able to identify and serve those most in need during the holidays. We serve families in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Madison, Franklin and Jefferson counties.

The Christmas Connection also coordinates Blanket Days. This year, donations of new blankets will be welcome on December 3 and 4 at Christmas Connection.

The Christmas Connection program would not have been possible without the support of local communities. You can help in three ways:

Prof. Luke Farabaugh of St. Thomas Moore blesses the space for Christmas Connection on Thursday, November 17, 2022 in Tallahassee, Florida.

Adopt a family, donate or volunteer

  • ADOPT A FAMILY – Help make a family’s Christmas memorable this year by adopting them for the holiday and helping them with their wish list. Fill out an adoption form on thechristmasconnection.org adopt a family. The last day to adopt a family through the website is December 12.
  • DONATIONS – Monetary donations collected during the holiday season are used not only during the holidays but throughout the year to help families who have experienced an unforeseen situation and who need emergency financial assistance. To make a monetary donation, visit our websiteor send a gift directly to Catholic Charities’ Christmas Connection, PO Box 20165, Tallahassee, FL 32316. You can also hand-deliver your donation to the Christmas Connection collection site.
  • VOLUNTEER – Volunteers make the magic happen. The Christmas Connection site will offer timeslots for volunteers seven days a week, from November 27 to December 18. Site volunteers sort, buy and wrap donations; however, there is still much to do. Our greatest needs are volunteers willing to organize a blood drive or adopt a family. Volunteer slots on the site require prior registration through our website. Please go directly to our website to register as a volunteer.
Volunteers pose with their many donations from the Christmas Connection 2020 campaign.

Donate new items

Donations of NEW items can be dropped off at the Christmas Connection site beginning Sunday, November 27, during business hours. Used items of any kind may NOT be accepted.

  • Gift Cards (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Gas, Grocery, Restaurants)
  • Toys, games and books for children
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Baby toys
  • Baby layette items (bath towel, sleepers, receiving blankets, bibs)
  • Baby Diapers and Wipes
  • Bath and beauty sets
  • Trikes
  • Bikes and helmets (size 12′, balance bikes, 16″, 20″ and 24′)
  • New covers (all sizes)
  • Teen gift items (jewellery, headphones, hair accessories, movie passes)
  • Tablets
  • Toiletries
  • Small Appliances (Coffee Maker, Toaster, etc.)
  • Pots and Pans Sets
  • Dinnerware sets
  • Glassware
  • Covered
  • Cooking tools
  • Radiators
  • Fans
Blankets donated to the 2020 collection at Christmas Connection.

Opening hours and wish list

We’ve created an Amazon Christmas Connection Wishlist to make shopping easier. Please help us make someone’s Christmas a merry and bright one by shopping directly from the Amazon Wish List linked on our website. Items purchased through the wishlist can be shipped directly to Christmas Connection.

The Christmas Connection site is at 2990-2 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32301. The site will be open November 27 through December 20. The warehouse will be open on December 19 and 20 primarily for the elves to work on their deliveries.

Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The warehouse will be closed at 2 p.m. on December 20. All donated items must be received no later than December 12, giving our elves plenty of time to sort and wrap gifts for families in need.

For more information on Christmas Connection, visit thechristmasconnection.org.

Pattie Malarney is the Christmas Connection Coordinator. Mary Coburn is the Christmas Community Liaison – Public Relations.

Prof. Luke Farabaugh of St. Thomas Moore blesses the space for Christmas Connection on Thursday, November 17, 2022 in Tallahassee, Florida.

how to help

Donate in person: Drop off donated items at the Christmas Connection warehouse at 2990-2 Apalachee Parkway, next to the Election Supervisor’s office. The warehouse is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The opening days are from November 27 to December 27. 20. The deadline for donated items is December 12.

Wish list : Shop early and shop easily with the Amazon Christmas Connection Wish List. You can check the wish list on the website TheChristmasConnection.org.

Coverage days: Drop off new blankets and heaters from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Apalachee Parkway location. A volunteer will help you unload your car.

Donate online or by mail: Make a monetary donation online at TheChristmasConnection.org or mail a check to Christmas Connection, PO Box 20165, Tallahassee, FL 32316.

Adopt a family: Complete a brief application form on the website and a family in need will be assigned to you by the volunteer Adoption Coordinator. All families are referred to us by social service organizations in the Big Bend area.

Organize a collection campaign or an end-of-year party: Gather people from your office, school, church, sports team, family or friends and throw a party or fundraiser to benefit neighbors in need. You can register online at the website and then collect gift items, gift cards and/or monetary donations, which can be brought to the collection site during normal business hours.

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