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'Christmas boxes' brighten holidays for Tucson families in need

Posted at 3:37 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 17:56:09-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Dozens of cardboard boxes stretch across multiple tables St. Vincent De Paul Cabrini , a sight that can mean only one thing - it's preparation day!

For more than 20 years, volunteers and members have made it their mission to make a difference by spreading a little joy during the holiday season.

They do it in the form of "Christmas boxes" - packages of food that will fill the bellies of more than 50 families in need this month.

Donations collected throughout the year, combined with generous local grocers help fill each box from top-to-bottom.

"Of the first fifty or fifty-five families that call in, we arrange to make up a huge box with all the trimmings for them and it has become quite a community event," said volunteer Ed Farrell.

Farrell is one of 25 volunteers that carefully assemble each care package. The meal includes, turkey and all the fixings, as well as pantry staples like peanut butter, vegetables and rice.

"To be able to enjoy this camaraderie and all humility and realize that it really isn't our agency so much as just the divine opportunity to help just bonds us with these people. And we see the same families often year after year and we know them by first names and say "hey how you been" and whatnot so it's a beautiful community feeling," he said.

The organization hopes to increase the amount of food donated in the coming years. President Anna Harney says they are always asking for donations.

"We at Saint Vincent Depaul at Cabrini are very excited about the help we get from the community and we of course would love to get more help from the community, and if people do find themselves in a situation that they need help, they can call the Cabrini office and get the information, we would be happy to help them," she said.

St. Vincent De Paul Cabrini takes donations of non-perishable foods the first and third Sundays of the month (3201 E Presidio Rd).