PROVIDENCE — When browsing through the handmade items, basket raffles and many potential gifts for loved ones, patrons of St. Sebastian’s Parish Christmas Bazaar will have a chance to give back to the community in a special way with their purchases.
This year’s parish bazaar, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, will benefit the diocesan “Keep the Heat On” heating assistance program, an initiative started by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin to assist Rhode Islanders who’ve exhausted all other public and private forms of assistance trying to meet the rising costs of heating their homes. The success of this program depends greatly on those who generously give, not just in the winter months, but throughout the year.
Chairperson of the Bazaar Karin Schrott shared that St. Sebastian’s Community Outreach has supported the program over the last several years, inspired by the program’s outreach to the local community to keep families warm throughout the winter season. This year, during the parish’s first Christmas Bazaar, 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit “Keep the Heat On.”
“At St. Sebastian’s, we are blessed in so many ways and wanted to give back to those less fortunate this Christmas season,” said Schrott.
The program which was founded in the diocese in 2005, continues to have an immense impact on the lives of Rhode Islanders during this heating season and relies on the state-wide community which always steps up to help make it a success.
Jim Jahnz, program coordinator for “Keep the Heat On,” said that since the program was founded in the diocese in 2005 it has raised more than $2.95 million to help more than 13,000 Rhode Island families and individuals with nowhere else to turn to keep warm during the winter.
Funding for the program comes from the Catholic Charity Appeal and generous donations from parishes, businesses and individuals. Many work hard to give in unique ways, such as students who raise funds through school-wide dress down days and parishes that held special fundraisers for the program.
St. Sebastian’s Parish, 67 Cole Ave., will host their Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 1 from
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is handicapped accessible. For more information, call 751-0196.