Catholic Charities’ Christmas in July virtual auction wrapping up

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:19 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Tis’ the season for a Christmas in July virtual auction hosted by Catholic Charities. The fundraiser features nearly 100 items up for bid like food and wine baskets, spa kits, pet treats, sports memorabilia, jewelry, gift cards, and even trips.

The gift of giving doesn’t stop at winning an item. Catholic Charities Regional Director John Barli said all of the money raised through the auction will help the non-profit fund its many programs like providing students with meals on the weekends, teaching English, and financial literacy.

“All of these programs take money and that is what it’s going to go to,” Barli said. “All of the money stays local in Alachua County and it’s going to help a lot of people out.”

The Weekend Hunger Backpack program is starting up for its 11th year. Barli said funds from Christmas in July will help feed students on the weekends throughout the school year.

“Two years ago when the schools were filled up were serving 850 schools a week through that program,” Barli added. “A quarter of school-aged children in Alachua County do not get enough to eat on a regular basis. That obviously makes a huge difference in how they’re educated and paying attention in class.”

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This is the second year Christmas in July is taking place. Last year, Catholic Charities raised $14,895 through the fundraiser, which was used to help with rental and utility assistance efforts for people struggling during the pandemic.

“If you just donate you’re gonna come away with a really good feeling in your heart that you helped someone out who really needed it,” Barli added.

The auction runs through Saturday at 8 p.m. To donate click here.

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