In a holiday season marked by world-wide fear, anger, and uncertainty, it’s nice to hear about the charitable efforts made by people with goodwill in their hearts. A 55+ community in Bethlehem, PA came together on December 13th to light more than 1,000 luminarias at their homes to support New Bethany Ministries’ “Luminaria Night of 2014.” This is the seventeenth year for the charitable event.
The community, Traditions of America at Bridle Path, partnered with the New Bethany Ministries for the first time this year to sell the luminaria kits. These sales, combined with cash donations from homeowners, and matching funds from the community’s builder, Traditions of America, brought the total raised to $1,655. The money raised was used to purchase 30 new coats for children living at the New Bethany Ministries shelter. “It was nice to see the neighbors and builder coming together to help those in need,” shared Lyn Krenz, the Traditions of America at Bridle Path homeowner who organized the community’s effort.
Bridle Path volunteers picked up the candle kits from New Bethany Ministries, distributing them to 65 of the community’s homeowners. Even the snowbird residents away in Florida who wanted to participate and support the event were represented as neighbors set up luminarias in front of those homes.
In addition to the good work that results from the luminaria sale and event, it is an activity that brings the community together, introduces new neighbors to the neighborhood, and revitalizes the community’s spirit. After weeks of planning meetings and coordinating the sales, the neighbors met at the community’s clubhouse for a potluck after the lighting of the luminaria. “It was a community effort and a great spirit booster for everyone,” said Trudy Fishetti whose husband Ramon is the co-chair of the Bridle Path Community’s Social Committee.
Another Bridle Path community effort was collecting over 100 books which were donated to Lehigh Valley area children through the Cops ‘n Kids program, which promotes positive relationships between police officers and children. One mission of the program is to make books accessible in every child’s home.
Helping those in need and having a beautiful community holiday display as a result is a winning combination.