GREENLAWN, NY – Decked out in their ugly Christmas sweaters, the GOYA members at St Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church took the time during their annual Christmas party on December 14 to assist families in need from the greater Huntington, NY community.
For the past several years, St. Paraskevi has participated in the STAR Program, which is an outreach program of the Family Service League in Huntington Station, NY. The program assists families who have overcome hardships- such as living in shelters and devastating illness- to finally establish permanent homes of their own. Wish lists of these families are provided, stars with those wishes are placed in the windows at the church, and parishioners can choose which ones to fulfill. Yes, there are requests for toys and games but for the most part, these families are looking for things that most of us take for granted in our everyday life such as sheets, bath towels, sets of dishes, and winter coats, for example. St. Paraskevi parishioners look forward to participating each year and within days every single star is spoken for.
This year, St. Paraskevi collected over 200 gifts which will be distributed to many families. The GOYA members and their advisors did not hesitate when asked if they would assist with the sorting, labeling, and packing up of these gifts even though they knew it would take away some time from their Christmas celebration. These young adults have truly acted in the spirit of the season and know that this gesture is going to bring much joy to many families on Christmas morning!