Christmas Connection Needs Volunteers

December 12, 2013
By Julie Montanaro

Christmas Connection needs lots of donations and lots of volunteers.

Right now it is running short on heaters, clothing for boys and girls and coats for children and teens. In the toiletries section deoderant is running low.

Christmas Connection needs volunteers to pack cases starting tomorrow (Friday December 13th) and needs volunteers to deliver gifts starting next Wednesday (December 18th).

December 6, 2013

Each year the Christmas Connection helps more than 500 struggling families have a brighter holiday.

WCTV is committed to helping too. We are featuring five of those families on the air this week.

All of the families need food, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

You can find their wish lists - complete with sizes and other specifics below:


A 70 year old man from Madison needs your help staying comfortable and warm this holiday season.

He has recovered from hip surgery, a fall, a head injury and is trying to muster the strength and the money for a double knee replacement. He has very limited income and no family to provide support or Christmas gifts.

electric heater
queen size blankets

Clothing: (Men's)
pants 52W, 30L
shirt 4XL
boxers 48
shoe 14EEE

If you can help this 70 year old man in Madison, take donations to the Christmas Connection.

This year the donation center is at 1390 Village Square Boulevard.

It will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

CASE 130

A Tallahassee woman needs your help making a home for her teenage son - as she struggles to recover from a robbery and shooting and then the sudden death of her husband.

The woman is trying to help her son steer clear of drugs and crime that are prevalent in their neighborhood. He has found refuge in school and music. He's a member of the school band and orchestra.

She would like some second hand furniture - a couch, chairs and coffee table - so the 17 year old and his friends can sit around together and play guitar.

She needs bus passes to get to the grocery store and gift cards to buy plus size clothing on line. Her son would like running shoes and a gift card to Music World.

coffee table
bus passes
queen size comforter
Music World gift card
Woman Within gift card
Amazon gift card
Wal Mart gift card
Publix gift card


(17 year old son)
pants 34x34 jeans and khakis
shirts mens XL button down
boxers 34
shoes 13 running shoes

CASE 347

A Tallahassee woman has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression since returning from her deployment to Iraq.

She is unemployed right now and trying to readjust to civilian life.

She is a single mother of two children, a 6 year old daughter and a three year old son.

She cannot afford to provide gifts for her two children.

pots and pans
barbie doll
match box cars
dump truck
children's movies on DVD


(26 year old mother)
pants juniors 3
shirts small
underwear size 3
dress women's small, size 3
shoes size 9

(6 year old daughter)
pants children's 6
shirts 6, small
dress children's 6
underwear 6
shoes 12 1/2

(3 year old son)
pants childrens 5
shirts 5, small
underwear 4-5
shoes 10 1/2

***Thanks to the couple who brought so many gifts! and to Patriotic Partners of North Florida who has volunteered to help fulfill their wish list!

CASE 137

A single mother in Tallahassee works full time to support her four children, but it's not enough to lift them out of poverty.

What little they had was stolen during a recent break in. The woman is trying to replenish their home.

The mother is also hoping someone can donate a phone - and prepay several months - so her children can reach her while she is at work. Right now they must run to a neighbor's house to use the phone.

The woman has three daughters ages 17, 9 and 4 and a 10 year old son.

She hasn't requested anything for herself, just gifts and clothing for the children as well as furnishings for their home.

jackets! (see sizes below)
phone and paid service
dishes, bowls
pots and pans
blankets (twin and full)
used television
baby dolls
hair barrettes
"girly girl" toys
little girls purses
bicycle for 10 year old boy
sports gear
body sprays and lotions


(4 year old daughter)
pants childrens 6
shirts childrens 6
dress children's 6
underwear children's 6
shoes youth size 1
jacket children's size 6

(9 year old daughter)
pants childrens 8 slim
shirts children's 8
dress children's 8
underwear children's 6
shoes youth size 5
jacket children's 8

(10 year old son)
pants youth 14
shirts youth 14
underwear boxers size 12
shoes youth 6 1/2
jacket youth 14

(17 year old daughter)
pants juniors 9
shirts juniors 9, medium
dress juniors 8 or medium
underwear womens 5
shoes womens 8 1/2
jacket juniors 9

CASE 197

A couple living at Tallahassee's Hope Community is going to school, trying to find work and trying to find a way to provide for a two year old and another baby on the way.
The woman is nearly six months pregnant and desperately needs maternity clothes. The couple is asking for gifts for their young son and a phone to help them in their job hunt.
They are anxious to provide stability for their children and greatly appreciate any help.

maternity clothes
android phone (any phone appreciated)
queen size comforter
standing lamp
men's bicycle
hot wheels
big wheel


(2 year old son)
pants 2T -3T
shirts 2T-3T
underwear 2T-3T
shoes child's 7-8
jacket 3T

(27 year old mother)
pants women's 8/9
shirts womens medium
dress women's 9
underwear women's medium
bras 36C
shoes womens 9 1/2 - 10 1/2
jacket womens medium

(41 year old father)
pants mens 30/32
shirts mens medium/large
underwear mens medium
shoes mens 9 1/2
socks mens 6-9
jacket mens medium/large

November 21, 2013
By Julie Montanaro

The Christmas Connection is now open and hopes to help more than 500 needy families with gifts, food and more this holiday season.

Volunteers kicked off the donation season at what is now an empty store front in Village Square. It will soon be filled with donations and volunteers.

You can donate food, clothes, toiletries, linens, toys and gifts.

They'll help to make the holidays brighter for more than 500 struggling families.

Angel Steadman, Regional Director for Catholic Charities said,
"Last year we had a grandmother, who was actually a medical foster parent, and she said 'I was expecting one gift per each family member and I would have been grateful for that'...she said 'I was absolutely blown away by the thought that was put into each gift."

Donations for this season can be dropped off at the Christmas Connection location in Village Square until December 20th just in time to give families a Christmas celebration.

For more information, contact:
November 1, 2013
Mary Ballard, 222-2180 ext. 1073

Christmas Connection kicks-off the giving season
Donation Center opens to the public Friday, Nov. 22, 2013!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Catholic Charities will open the 2013 Christmas Connection Donation Center on Thursday, Nov. 21st, kicking off a community-wide, four-week collection and distribution effort that has brought thousands of toys, household items, food, clothing, linens and other goods to vulnerable families throughout the Big Bend for the last 34 years.

Catholic Charities will launch Christmas Connection at 11:30 a.m., on Nov. 21st, at the Donation Center with a blessing from Bishop Gregory Parkes. Volunteers will be on hand to start accepting donations and gifts at the Donation Center on Friday, November 22nd. Organizations, civic clubs and churches wishing to donate boxes of food for families, should contact Nancy Schiellerd 222-2180 ext. 1, to receive a list of the recommended food items to be included in the (paper ream-sized) boxes and dropped off at the donation site by Dec. 7th.

“At a time when many families are experiencing job layoffs and difficulty finding employment, we have an opportunity to fulfill some basic needs and bring some Christmas cheer to hundreds of families in the Big Bend region,’’ said Catholic Charities Regional Director Angel Steadman.

The Donation Center has a NEW HOME this year: 1390 Village Square Blvd. – Suite 1 (near Fresh Market and Shoe Station). The Center will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays for donations and volunteer efforts. (The Donation Center will be closed Monday – Sunday the week of Thanksgiving.)

The following items are requested from the public:
• Non-perishable food
• Baby food and formula
• Diapers (infant and adult)
• Personal hygiene items
• Cleaning supplies
• New clothes (all sizes, infant to adult, especially PLUS sizes)
• Underwear and socks (all sizes, toddler to adult)
• New and like-new winter coats
• New and like-new linens (bedding and towels)
• Gifts for teens
• Gift cards
• Bikes and helmets
• Educational toys and books

The Christmas Connection is encouraging families, organizations and businesses to make a Christmas Connection by “adopting” families in need by December 12th and/or by hosting a Christmas Party with your family, friends and colleagues, on behalf of raising funds for Christmas Connection. For more information, please visit

Christmas Connection is an annual community-wide event sponsored by the Tallahassee regional office of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida.