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On Dec. 16, a team of volunteers under the leadership of the St. Vincent de Paul Ministry of the St. Helena Catholic Church distributed “baskets” of toys, grocery gift cards, a turkey, bread and fresh produce to 151 families. This represents 602 individuals, including 280 children.

The families were from St. Helena and our surrounding communities of Deer Park, Angwin, Rutherford and Pope Valley. In addition, many children received hand-made colorful pillowcases donated by parishioners Susanne Salvestrin and Annette Smith.

This annual Holiday Assistance Program was the result of the collaborative effort of St. Helena Catholic Church parishioners and schoolchildren, the Boy Scouts of America, and many community partners including: the UpValley Family Center, the St. Helena Fire Department, Steves Hardware, Sorensen Catering, the National Wild Turkey Federation (Napa Valley Chapter), the Presbyterian Church (coordinated by Jule Grant), Herdell Printing, Sciambra-Passini French Bakery, Project Glimmer, and Adventist Health St. Helena Hospital.

The program was also underwritten by the generosity of many including Mike and Mina Byrne, Bill and Paula Young, Richard and Barbara Shurtz, Ron and Ann Menegon, Alonso Villa, Pat and Linda Pingitore, Kathleen Collins, Margaret and Tom O’Sullivan, John and Judy Boyle, Sister Keenan and the children of Notre Dame Elementary School in Belmont, the Harvest Inn, the American Legion, and the IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows)!

Special thanks to Tish Wagner and daughters who matched applications with gifts, and Ron Menegon (Steves Hardware) whose networking and coordination brought many of the moving parts together!

On behalf of our ministry and the recipients of this charity, we wish to extend our many heartfelt thanks to our collaborators.

Pat Pingitore, president

St. Vincent de Paul Ministry

St. Helena Catholic Church