Angels Among Us

Early last Monday morning 10 days before Christmas I received a call from a volunteer worker at St. Stephens Church. She related a story of a grandmother crying uncontrollably in her office. The woman was the grandmother of three, the baby was 3, the middle child was 5 and the oldest was 8. There would be no Christmas this year, her daughter was laid off from work, her son in law walked away from the marriage and there was no money left after paying for rent and food to even think about buying presents. How can a daughter explain to her precious babies that Santa would be unable to come this year?

All I could say was, I’ll make some calls and see what I can do. I made 4 calls that day and waited and hoped that a miracle would happen. Two of the calls provided nothing, and the two others sounded hopeful. I gave the contact information to reach the worker at St. Stephens and waited.

The following Monday with only 3 days until Christmas I witnessed my miracle. Ted Tomasone, president of the North End Athletic Association and a truly fantastic wonderful human being showed up with 5 huge bags of wrapped gifts from Santa including toys and coats and clothes for each of the children and if that was not enough, an envelope containing gift cards for food, and gas was also provided.

Aaron Michlewitz was also able to provide some toys as was Karen D’Amico a worker of Aaron’s who personally went out and bought toys and pajamas and bed sheets for each of the children. When Karen’s youngest children heard of the family in need they went and chose some of their recently received birthday presents and said Mom, please give these gifts to the kids for Christmas from us. Lee the church volunteer and I also provided a cash donation.

What a beautiful Christmas this family will now have thanks to the angels that live and work among us. None of us knew this family, we were all strangers ten days ago, but that didn’t matter there was a need and people stepped forward. I am so proud to live in a neighborhood where people still help and care for each other, without asking for anything in return.

So to Ted, the NEAA, Aaron, Karen, Serina, John and Lee I can only say Thank You from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to witness my very own Christmas Miracle.

Deb DeCristoforo

6 Replies to “Angels Among Us

  1. When North Bennet Street School was a settlement house in the North End, I had the privilege of setting up a Christmas Clearing House and invited the clergy, visiting nurses, Red Cross, teachers from the Eliot School, local politicians and anyone interested in the welfare of the North End Residents to attend. Our objective was to obtain a list of families in need during Christmas. We would go through this list and determine what to give in the way of toys, clothing, food, and/or money In some cases it was determined that a family needed al four gifts. Arrangement was made with a local clothing store on Salem Street to accept a certificate with an amount that could be spent for clothing. The Reverend Halco of the Baptist Bethel (now the North End Community Health Center) provided the food from its food pantry. We received outside donation for toys and for cash. North Bennet Street School offered to double any amount of money we received. A local politician, who I vowed never to reveal his name came in with a check totaling over two thousand dollars, the increases amount he received as a state legislature representing the North End. That man was the late John Sears.
    There are many fascinating stories that came out of the Christmas Clearing House. A elderly woman who lived alone felt that the food from the Bethel Church was more than she could eat shared it with one of the nuns in the convent. When the visiting nurses made their rounds to the various houses they came back with so many appreciative stories. I myself will always be appreciative of having the opportunity of serving so many families and this will remain in my memory forever. What would make me even more happier is to know that a Christmas Clearing house has been reestablished in the North End.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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