Name of the Event: Christmas Gift Distribution and Food Drive 2019.
Date of the Event: January 06, 2019
Location of the Event: Hazmieh, Chaldean Cathedral – St. Raphael.
Number of Children Served: 1,408 children
Number of Families Served: 1,300 family
On January 6th, The Apostolate of our Lady of Hope/ Saint Rafka Mission of Hope and Mercy organized an annual Christmas event, in collaboration with the Chaldean Church, for 1,408 Iraqirefugee children which included a delicious buffet. The event was divided into 4 parts. It began with a Mass with Archbishop Michael Kassarji followed by a delightful play about the Christmas spirit with “Jama3at al kitab al moukadas” translated to English means “the Holy Bible association”. At the conclusion of the play, there was a brief recital with the Sancta Maria Choir. After the recital, gifts were distributed and the participants enjoyed abundant food and pastries.
This event was open to all registered Iraqi families and their children. Team members who attended the event were Gregory Huston, Edgar El Hage, Khaled Bou Younes, Santana Abiassaf, Jean Claude Gerges, Stephanie Gerges, Lina Kaldawi, the photographers Anthony Mrad and Nadim Obeid and a team of 25 volunteers. Representatives from local TV (OTV, Noursat TV) and international media (European pressphoto agency, wikelet sahafet Faranca) also attended the event and held interviews.
During the event, Archbishop Michael Kassarji gave special thanks to Father Andre Mahanna and the team in Lebanon and Denver for their diligent and consistent efforts to bring Christmas joy to so many children. Each and every child in attendance was given a gift, which elicited great excitement and big, beautiful smiles. The event was a great success and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.