Young Lynnfield parishioners Michael Barrett and Chase Austin are pictured with Sister Linda Bessom of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and "Tuck the Bear." Pilot photo/courtesy Bethany Kilroy
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Lynnfield -- At St. Maria Goretti Church's 10 a.m. Mass on Feb. 12, the congregation presented a check for $5,785.81 to Sister Linda Bessom of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.
Throughout the liturgical season of Advent, the two parishes that comprise the Lynnfield Catholic Collaborative -- St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption -- introduced a children's offertory, to give their youngest parishioners the opportunity to feel the joy of stewardship and giving. These donations were earmarked for "A Bed for Every Child," an initiative of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless that provides beds for needy children. To date, the program has distributed more than 4,000 beds to children in need in Massachusetts.
The check represents the combined children's collections from both parishes, as well as individual donations from parishioners. As a special surprise, an anonymous church donor added another check for $2,000 to the total.
Sister Linda revealed that, in total, members of Lynnfield Catholic Collaborative donated enough to provide 33 needy children with new beds. As a token of thanks to the young contributors, Sister Linda brought her organization's mascot, Tuck the Bear, who was greeted by the children with many welcoming hugs.