Christmas Challenge

Philoptochos chapters in the DAD have an opportunity this year to give back to their communities in two ways. The District challenges you to do one or both!

Share your story with your Philoptochos sisters!

  • Don’t forget, this is a challenge. Share photos of donors dropping off coats or gifts, Philoptochos members counting the gifts/coats and members doing the deliveries. 
  • Photos with the recipients or organization representatives should also be shared with the District Philoptochos. 
  • Email:

Angel Trees

Angel Trees are simply a way of giving back to those less fortunate by writing a gift wish of a child or an adult in need on a paper tag. The entire community gets involved. Many chapters already have been doing this for many years with overwhelming success.

How to start an angel tree:

  1. Determine who your recipient(s). It helps to get involved with a qualified organization such as the Salvation Army or community center that has a list of children's wishes. 
  2. Determine a reasonable number of gifts your chapter believes is an achievable goal. Doubling your membership is a good beginning.
  3. Create tags or "ornaments" in any shape or form, like an angel or a shoe, a simple heart or circle of construction paper or index card.
  4. Write the gift information on each paper-shape ornament with a marker or sharpie pen. It also helps to write the age of the child and if the child is a boy or girl to help the community purchase the best gift.
  5. Number each ornament tag to a corresponding list inorder to keep track of who has registered for the tag and what the gift wish details are.
  6. Hang the ornaments on a tree in a viewable area in your community or even arrange them on a window with tape, on a bulletin borad, or even displayed on a table to take during community hour after Church-there is no wrong way!
  7. Include a flyer or directions for community members to participate with instructions on how to register and when to return the purchased gifts so they get to the children in time for Christmas.
  8. Get the word out to the community by distributing flyers, adding the info to the weekly Church bulletin, or by sending email campaigns to your chapter lists.
  9. Choose and ornament to start and see where it goes!

Helpfull Suggestions & Hints:

  • Toys-join a local collection program-determine gender and ages needed most.
  • Adult shelters are always in need of toiletries, clean t-shirts/ sweatpants and Dunkin Donut gift cards.
  • Shelters that house families are always in need of new socks and underwear, books and educational items-there can never be enough!
  • Local after school programs-recreation equipment, school supplies, snacks, workbooks for tutoring programs, etc.
  • Hospitals-diapers and layettes for babies born to needy families.
  • Seminarians at Holy Cross-Target gift cards and thank you’s.
  • If your chapter is chock full of knitters or quilters-hand made quilts can be distributed to those living on the street or to local group homes and sober homes.
  • Ask your local government officials.
  • Determine if the organization wants the items gift-wrapped.

Winter Coat Drive

A coat drive can be for men, women or children. Ask your community to donate gently worn clean coats, or even new coats for those in need this winter. Many of us have one or two in our closet! makes it easy to find needy recipients. By simply plugging your chapters’ zip code on to their website-you will be directed to many local organizations that need your communities’ help.

How to start a coat drive:

  1. Find a large box or two that can serve as a receptacle for your donations-ask at your local appliance shop or big box store for one or two.
  2. Wrap the box with Christmas wrapping paper to look festive for the season
  3. Make a colorful sign with information of the drive and also that thanks the donors for their coats!
  4. Put together a flyer for the initiative with a contact person for questions.
  5. Plan a cut-off date and solicit volunteers to deliver the coats once your deadline draws near.
  6. Don’t forget to count the number of coats you donate.
  7. Lastly, get the word out to the community by distributing flyers, adding the info to the weekly Church bulletin, or by sending email campaigns to your chapter lists.