Project Bethlehem

Annual Christmas Giving Program

Please help us spread the joy of the holidays to families in need in our community!

Bringing Christmas Joy to families in need through Lazarus House’s annual Christmas Giving Program.

Welcome to Project Bethlehem!

Last year, this remarkable Christmas program supported 680 families – almost 3,000 people – in the Lawrence community.

We invite you to become a donor this year.

Project Bethlehem donors are the key to the success of this program. Year after year, individuals and organizations are matched with families in greatest need of Christmas support. Donors fulfill each family’s Christmas wishes by following the guidelines below.

2022 Project Bethlehem Guidelines

Each household will receive:

  • One gift card (~$30-$50, gift card preference provided) for a household item
  • One or 2 new family games purchased and wrapped (family’s choices provided)
  • Market Basket gift card(s)
    • $25 for a two-person family
    • $50 for families of 3-5
    • $75 for families of six or more   

Each adult - parent(s), other adults 18+ will receive:

  • One clothing gift card per person (~$30-$40, gift card preference provided)

Each child will receive:

  • One clothing gift card (~$30-$40, gift card preference provided)
  • Two new toys purchased and wrapped (~$30, child’s toy preferences provided,)

For reference, a donor can expect to spend approximately $350 for a family of four people (2 adults and 2 children).  Donors are able to specify the family size that matches their budget. 

Family matching begins in mid November and continues through December. Once matched with a family, donors will receive a gift drop off date.  In general, donors are given at least 2 weeks to purchase, wrap, and deliver gifts.

Please contact the Project Bethlehem Elves (Jessica, Karen and Marcy) at projectbethlehem@lazarushouse.org or (978) 269-5284 if you have any questions.  

Project bethlehem FAQs

The over 550 families we serve annually are referred to us through the Lawrence Public Schools and Lawrence-based agencies. These families have low income households and need extra support during the holidays.

You can sign up for your family starting September 1. Sign up by Dec 1 to ensure you receive a match. If after Dec 1, check with us to see if we still have families or if there are last minute requests you can help us with. We start matching by the end of October and will match you with a family of a size that reflects your request. We match in the order of requests received.

Please follow our giving guidelines to help support parity among families and for families who are referred year to year. If you can give substantially more, please consider helping a second family.

Here are just a few families our donors have helped. (Link to attached page)

Your family’s wish list will be sent via email soon after you sign up. Use this to shop, (have fun!) then wrap (more fun!) and deliver the gifts to us on the drop off date we assign. We contact the families to come pick up the gifts.

If purchasing for a family is not in your budget and you want to make a difference for families this Christmas you can choose one of the Christmas Ornaments on our 12 WAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Send gift cards to the attention of Monique Morimoto, Project Bethlehem, PO Box 408, Lawrence, MA 01842 Thank you!

We also welcome cash donations. Click here to make a cash donation.

The over 550 families we serve annually are referred to us through the Lawrence Public Schools and Lawrence-based agencies. These families have low income households and need extra support during the holidays.

You can sign up for your family starting September 1. Sign up by Dec 1 to ensure you receive a match. If after Dec 1, check with us to see if we still have families or if there are last minute requests you can help us with. We start matching by the end of October and will match you with a family of a size that reflects your request. We match in the order of requests received.

Please follow our giving guidelines to help support parity among families and for families who are referred year to year. If you can give substantially more, please consider helping a second family.

Here are just a few families our donors have helped. (Link to attached page)

Your family’s wish list will be sent via email soon after you sign up. Use this to shop, (have fun!) then wrap (more fun!) and deliver the gifts to us on the drop off date we assign. We contact the families to come pick up the gifts.

If purchasing for a family is not in your budget and you want to make a difference for families this Christmas you can choose one of the Christmas Ornaments on our 12 WAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Send gift cards to the attention of Monique Morimoto, Project Bethlehem, PO Box 408, Lawrence, MA 01842 Thank you!

We also welcome cash donations. Click here to make a cash donation.

The Impact of your Christmas Generosity

Project Bethlehem delivers much needed material goods and so much more! Many donor families have made Project Bethlehem their Christmas giving tradition. Work places create their Holiday celebration around supporting one or several families. Schools and churches engage their whole communities in the spirit of this purest form of giving. And, each year our recipient families shower us with their gratitude and stories of how much your help has meant. Enjoy these few examples.

Shared Humanity

A donor let us know as she dropped off her gifts that she, too, had a child with a chronic illness. This donor mom was so grateful to help the family she had been matched with, to know she was bringing some extra love, care and gifts to support a fellow mom and sick child.

Last minute Lovin'

Four days before Christmas, a mom who had been referred to us for gifts called to ask if we could help a woman she had just met who was new to the area. This new arrival had a 7 week old and 2 toddlers. She had no family, no support. Because of the generosity of our donors we were able to put gifts together to take care of this new family, providing them with much needed items and the experience that someone cared.

The Heart of Violin

One year an elderly grandmother and her granddaughter who had previously been Guests in our Shelter and had moved on to permanent housing, sought help for Christmas. The granddaughter, who happened to be blind, loved the violin and had been taking lessons at school. The grandmother was amazed at how quickly her granddaughter took to playing the violin at school and asked if she could get one for Christmas so she could continue playing when at home. As a team we talked about actually asking for a violin from a donor as this was an extraordinary request and decided that perhaps a donor could find a “play” violin that would work.

On a Sunday in December, the donor family, 3 adult siblings, dropped off their gifts. They were beside themselves with joy! They told our team that they had an uncle who had played the violin and when they got the request for a violin for their family and heard of the young child’s disability, they were thrilled! They donated their uncle’s violin. And it turned out their uncle was blind, too. This donor family was randomly matched and had made no specific request except for the size of the family. We learned that day that nothing is truly random!

This little girl has gone on to excel in school, continue to play the violin and is living a great life.

This story brought all of us to tears as we witnessed and continue to witness God’s blessings and miracles. We will never forget this miracle story about the little girl and her violin.

Shared Humanity

A donor let us know as she dropped off her gifts that she, too, had a child with a chronic illness. This donor mom was so grateful to help the family she had been matched with, to know she was bringing some extra love, care and gifts to support a fellow mom and sick child.

Last minute Lovin'

Four days before Christmas, a mom who had been referred to us for gifts called to ask if we could help a woman she had just met who was new to the area. This new arrival had a 7 week old and 2 toddlers. She had no family, no support. Because of the generosity of our donors we were able to put gifts together to take care of this new family, providing them with much needed items and the experience that someone cared.