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Your Women of Atonement 2023 Christmas projects are two-fold:  1) Reverse Advent Calendar to benefit our Helping Hands Food Pantry and 2) Guardian ad Litem gift card project for teens in the GAL program.

Reverse Advent Calendar: Due to the increased needs of our Helping Hands Food Pantry, WELCA is again sponsoring a Reverse Advent Calendar.  Advent calendars are typically filled with candy & are opened daily starting December 1st & ending on Christmas Day.  Reverse Advent Calendars allow you to donate/give something each day – thus giving instead of getting.  Bring your items after Christmas or perhaps weekly through Advent.  Below is a calendar of suggestions for each day.  Please consider participation & giving during Advent.  The pantry needs you! 

Guardian ad Litem gift card project:  WELCA has decided to continue our very successful Christmas project of giving gift cards to the teens in the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program and the Pasco Co. foster system. The GAL program consists of GAL volunteers that advocate for children in the courts, checking on their welfare in their present placement, and being a confidante to them if they wish.

Guardian ad Litem is a partnership of trained advocates appointed by the court to represent children in foster care that have been removed from their home because of abuse, abandonment or neglect. GALs are their support system and their voice in court.

Teens are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for.  Three years ago, we started our gift card project. WELCA collected and donated $25 Walmart gift cards.  These were so well received by the GAL office in Dade City that we did it again last year and opened it up to the congregation. An even better success! Everyone at the Dade City GAL office was aware of Atonement’s generosity. Jan Gerle is a GAL trained advocate, and she cannot begin to tell you how much these cards mean to the teens. She was sort of famous when she told them she was from Atonement when she went to the GAL office to inquire about becoming an advocate….”oh, your church gave us those great gift cards!” They remember. 

And, the teens are so happy to have the card and go shopping! They love them!

Please consider purchasing a $25 Walmart gift card, or you can make a donation in any amount. Checks can be made out to Atonement but designate it for “WELCA gift card” in the memo line. The cards will be given to the volunteers to pass along to the teens.  You can give your donation to Jan Gerle or Salli Conover or your checks can be put into the donation basket on Sunday. Or you may wish to mail to the church at 29617 FL-54, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 to the attention of WELCA or stop by the office and drop it off.  This campaign will end on December 10th.

Advent & Christmas is a season of giving.  Please consider participating in these two projects to benefit our Helping Hands Food Pantry and the teens in the Guardian ad Litem program.  The pantry and the teens will so appreciate your gifts.

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