One hundred ninety families will be assisted by the Christmas Basket program at the Church of the Transfiguration, on West Bloomfield Road in Pittsford.
Each family is provided with a basket of food, toiletries, a gift of clothing for each person and a toy for each child. A plate of homemade cookies completes the package. Every year, the church receives referrals of families in need from charitable agencies such as the House of Mercy, St. Andrews Food Cupboard, St. Regis Food Cupboard and the Jordan Health Center. Due to the amount of planning required, the church is only able to accommodate family referrals from charitable agencies, and those start arriving in early October.
Hundreds of people participate in this annual event, which the church has sponsored for the past 30 years. Some parishioners sponsor a family, purchasing and delivering all the food and gifts. Others participate by helping with the remaining families, either with a donation or by participating in the three-day assembly, wrapping and delivery events. Many parishioners bring along family, friends and neighbors. In 2017, one helper noted that a basket for a Muslim family was being prepared by Protestant and Jewish volunteers at a Catholic church. Local businesses and schools are involved through hat, mitten and toy drives, and a Scout Troop provides cookies.
In addition to the Christmas Basket program, other programs are in effect year-round. In Rochester, 20 tutors are provided to School 39, there are fall and spring clothing drives and the church delivers supplies to the homeless. In the U.S., the church has two trips a year to serve the poor in Booneville, Kentucky. And the church works with Food for the Poor to provide a better life to impoverished communities in Central America.