Generous parishioners donated cash and toys in exchange for a homemade southern-style breakfast Sunday at St. Vincent Church in Margate. The Men’s Guild collected new unwrapped gifts for less-than-privileged kids in the area and enough money to sponsor several children at Saturday’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ event at Walmart.
Families stopped in all morning to donate everything from bicycles and train sets to dolls, toy trucks and games. A donation of $6.00 was rewarded with all-you-can-eat breakfast that featured fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and homemade biscuits with sumptuous sausage gravy. The event served dozens of people and resulted in hundreds of toys and contributions from parishioners.
Started in 2005, the St. Vincent Men’s Guild is led by a group of dedicated church elders and exists solely to raise money for the disadvantaged. The Sunday event is part of year-round effort to collect toys for children who otherwise might not receive one around the holidays. For the past 11 years the Guild has been sponsor to the annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ event that was recently renamed Cops with Kids. Last year the Guild raised $3,000 to sponsor 30 children.
On hand to help out Sunday were the ladies of the St. Vincent Arts & Crafts Group (below), an organization in existence for more than 40 years. Their detailed, handcrafted holiday gifts also raise money to aid families in the community. Helping too was Cardinal Gibbons High School senior, Jenna Jones, who said that while she’s waiting for acceptance letters from colleges at the top of her “wish” list, she doesn’t know what she wants from Santa yet.“But I did see him last night though,” said the Coral Springs resident.
Making a solo trip from Pompano Beach, Joana Gordon (Left: Second from right alongside Guild volunteers) brought a half dozen toys and a sizeable cash contribution.
“I want to see happy kids this Christmas,” she told MargateNews.net.
Gordon didn’t plan to eat, but stayed to converse with parishioner, Mariana Souza and her daughter Ana.
“I’m here for the charity,” said the new mom.
Having moved from Brazil eight years ago, Souza is inspired by the diversity of the parish. Not too long ago the Miami Archdiocese introduced a sizeable Brazilian community to St. Vincent Church, uniting Catholics of Hispanic, Brazilian and American backgrounds under one roof.
“One thing that I like is we have the three communities together. It’s culturally nice,” she said.
On their way out the door with bellies full of breakfast cheer, Haley Preston and Grandmother Maureen (right) said what they like most about Christmas is being with family. “And presents!” shouted Haley.