Every year with Catholic World Mission, you get the chance to be a Christmas miracle for a person in need.
The premise is simple: we, who have so much, can give a poor child, family, or community something to smile about on Christmas morning.
And this year, our hearts are focused on a very special community in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.
Read on to learn how you can make Christmas special for children battling a blood disease and cancer, and blind families.
Gift No. 1: Christmas Gifts for Children Suffering with Rare Blood Disease
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, full of natural beauty, tropic-like weather, elephant preserves, and kind, hardworking people.
But one disease is ravaging the country.
Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder. There is no cure, and the only way to treat it is with regular blood transfusions.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of new cases of thalassemia found in Sri Lanka was 1,547. Of those, 1,023 patients lived in Kurunegala.
More and more children are born with thalassemia every year. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and a shorter life expectancy. Treatment is costly, and the frequent hospital visits have a deep impact on the children’s social and psychological development. Thalassemia patients are also often stigmatized, even by their own family members!
The children who suffer from thalassemia are not nameless. They are children like 6-year-old Sudarshani. She’s in first grade, and her dad is a farmer.
Or 15-year-old Malki, who’s in 9th grade. Despite her disease, she’s like any other teenage girl, except she must come to the hospital once every month for a life-saving blood transfusion.
Or 5-year-old Rashmika, who was diagnosed with thalassemia when he was just 18 months old.
You can give 800 children like Sudarshani, Malki, and Rashmika—and 200 other children battling cancer in the same hospital—a joyous and happy Christmas morning!
Our partner, Fr. Sagara, already has a plan for Christmas Day: he and his team have planned a day full of Christmas cards, games, and even an appearance by Santa! But he needs your help to make it happen!
The incredible thing?
A meal and a small toy for all 1,000 children will cost just $1.71 per child!
That means that $25 will provide this amazing Christmas miracle for 14 children; $75 would provide for 43 children on Christmas Day; and $300 would give 175 brave children a Christmas they’ll never forget!
Gift No. 2: Christmas Meals for Blind Families Struggling to Make Ends Meet
For 200 blind families in Kurunegala, life can be especially difficult. Arul, 50, earns his living by making candles. But it isn’t enough for him and his wife to survive on.
Mary Jasintha, 54, tells us that she and her husband “always try our best to see the brightness of our lives despite our blindness.” But even their positive attitude can’t erase the many difficulties being blind adds to their lives. Even daily chores are extra difficult, and Mary Jasintha and her husband are self-employed. But they can’t make enough to meet all their needs either.
We always try our best to see the brightness of our lives despite our blindness. – Mary Jasintha, Sri Lanka
Fr. Sagara wants to bless Arul, Mary Jasintha, and the other blind families this Christmas, too.
The plan is to give each family a package of dry rations that will last for months. Each package will include rice, milk powder, lentils, sugar, and other non-perishable food items that will help these hardworking families throughout the coming year!
A dry ration pack costs just $11.35!
So that means $35 will bless 3 blind families with a dry ration pack; $57 will give 5 families a dry ration pack; $114 would give 10 blind families a truly special Christmas Day!
Pray Now and Give Today
With these tremendous ways to make a difference for our sisters and brothers in Sri Lanka, we hope your heart has been moved to bless them with a Christmas miracle.
Will you stop and pray right now for the children who suffer with thalassemia, that they and their families never lose hope as they manage life with an incurable disease? Will you pray for the blind families, that their spirits would be strengthened as they continue to make beautiful lives with their disabilities?
And now, please click the green “Give Now” button below to make the most generous gift you can, so these deserving communities will have an unforgettable Christmas morning.
- $300 gives 175 sick children a small toy and a special meal on Christmas Day
- $114 gives 10 blind families a dry ration pack–food for Christmas and the year ahead!
- $25 gives 14 children a meal and a small toy on Christmas day