By Jennifer Drow, special to the Florida Catholic – December 21, 2017 

Christmas came early for Catholic Charities of Central Florida in the form of a $1 million dollar donation. The generous contribution was raised by Catholic Charities USA Hurricane Disaster Relief and Recovery campaign. It will help provide emergency services to the many Puerto Rican evacuees moving to Central Florida following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

CCCF Executive Director, Gary Tester, is extremely grateful. “This demonstrates the depth of the relationship between the national organization and its local agencies,” he said. “It provides vital funding to support families in desperate need of assistance as they reestablish their lives.”

The goal through December 2018 will be to assist at least 150 families with first and last month rent upon their arrival to Orlando. The donation will also be used to cover some food and medical bills, as well as ESOL (English as a second language) classes. Tester added, “CCUSA is incredibly attentive to what’s happening at the local level. We told them what we could do and they gave us the money.”

Bishop John Noonan offered his prayers and blessings. “I pray with gratitude for the work of the staff and volunteers of Catholic Charities of Central Florida,” he said. “During this Christmas season, they shine Christ’s light on His holy people.”