Larchmont parishioners gather over $8,000 in gift cards to donate

A Catholic parish in Larchmont has put up some impressive numbers with its donations this year.
For parishioners at Saints John & Paul, this Christmas spirit brings them beyond the walls of their church. It takes them to the store, where they've collectively purchased more than $8,000 worth of gift cards to donate.
"This is what Christmas is all about, this is what our faith is all about," says parishioner Marcella Smith.
The goal of this project is to get the gift cards, along with enough presents for 11 families, to the Bronx. There, the Franciscan Sisters of Renewal will distribute the gifts to the community.
Smith says, "People are out of work, they have needs for food. They're unable, this year, to give gifts to their children."
With so many gift cards, in the seventh year this project's running, organizers say they are hoping they'll make a real difference with their neighbors just 10 miles away.
"I'm thrilled, but not surprised, because having been pastor here for some years, I know the generosity of these people,” says Father Thomas Petrillo.
The parishioners and priests say they hope to continue the program next year and keep working to have a bigger and better effect on the community.