Celebrate Boxing Day & the Beginning of Kwanzaa with a Look Back at St. Nicholas Shopping Day

Posted on December 26, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Read about It Here & in The New York Times

After yesterday’s spiritual Christmas celebration, what better day than today - the beginning of Kwanzaa, a time of culture and unity, as well as the secular holiday of Boxing Day - to check out The New York Times' celebration of Catholic Charities NY’s St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day, a secular, cultural shopping event that unifies New Yorkers by providing essential Christmas gifts to those in need.

Some 1,200 people who might otherwise miss out on Christmas gifts benefited from Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York’s St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day, held Dec. 8 at the Astor Place Kmart in Manhattan,

writes New York Times reporters Remy Tumin and John Otis in this Neediest Cases Campaign story published on Christmas Day. 

The line at Kmart snaked around the store, jamming traffic across the aisles, as shoppers piled carts with coats, scarves, pajamas and sweaters, Tumin and Otis continued.

“Everyone is looking for those deals but shopping for someone else,” said Grace Talley, 17, while standing over a full cart.

Grace and her friends were participating in Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York’s annual St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day. Each list had a budget and list of family members’ ages, sizes and genders. Every recipient gets a new coat.

All told, at shopping days and individual events, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers shopped this year for 4,000 individuals from 800 families throughout the New York archdiocese.

All items are purchased with previously donated funds to Catholic Charities. Volunteers are given a profile of a family to shop for that includes gender, age and a maximum budget they can spend.

“Especially in New York City, the holiday season is forced upon you, so for a family who might not be able to afford Christmas for their kids or themselves, it’s really nice to know that they’re going to be getting something for the holiday season no matter what,” Grace said.

While Catholic Charities holds Shopping Days during Christmas season, staging them involves a nearly year-long multipronged approach.

For the fourth time, Jenny Richards was volunteering for the event.

“It’s very good that people can come out and volunteer to do it, because you never know when you’re going to find yourself in one of these situations,” she said. “You don’t know when it’s going to be your turn.”

Find out more about Catholic Charities St. Nicholas Program.

Read the full story in The New York Times