A new card in the Nutritional Development Services’ Alternative Christmas Card offerings, designed by artist Patty Smith, includes the words inside, “Celebrate the birth of Christ, Prince of Peace” and “Where there is doubt, Faith; Where there is despair, Hope; Where there is darkness, Light; and where there is sadness, Joy! — St. Francis of Assisi.”

If it is December it is time to think about Christmas and Christmas cards. And Christmas time is also a time to remember the poor.

You can combine the two very nicely by sending Alternative Christmas Cards from archdiocesan Nutritional Development Services, a tradition spanning more than 30 years in the Philadelphia area.

By the purchase of these cards, which were created by artist Patty Smith, through NDS you will be helping to feed the needy during the Christmas season while also restocking emergency food cupboards and soup kitchens.

“Each card notes that a donation in the name of its recipients will help the hungry,” said Brooke Mullen, assistant director for community relations at NDS. “It is a special way to let your family and friends know they are truly impacting the lives of our brothers and sisters.”

As happens from time to time, Smith has designed a new card this year that features a Madonna and Child, with two cherubs playing musical instruments.

Inside the card reads, “Celebrate the birth of Christ, Prince of Peace, and the Prayer of St. Francis: Where there is doubt, Faith; Where there is despair, Hope; Where there is darkness, Light; and where there is sadness, Joy!”

The cards are sold in packs of 10 for $15 or 20 for $25. A donation for postage is optional.


“For those who prefer variety or prefer favorite cards introduced in past years, others include Mary’s Child, Angels Decorating the Tree, Angel of Bounty, the Christmas Tree, the Holy Family, the Lamb of God, the Dove of Peace, the little Child of Peace, and the Littlest Angel.

“We are blessed with the extraordinary artistry of Patty Smith,” said Denise Hopkins, administrator of the Community Food Program at NDS. “Patty has done all of our cards for us for many years free of charge. We are so grateful for Patty’s willingness to share her talent with us.”


Orders for the Alternative Christmas Cards should be sent to NDS, 222 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call Denise Hopkins at 215-895-370 ext. 77823. For more information visit the website of the Community Food Program.