As New Bethany Ministries settles into 2023, we reflect on the year behind us, including 2022’s celebratory 25th annual Luminaria Night. Saturday, December 10, 2022, was a success due to good weather, widespread participation, and, most importantly, our dedicated volunteers. Luminaria Night relies on volunteers; this year, 413 volunteers offered 652.5 hours of hard work.
Initial thanks belong to our 224 volunteer block captains. Luminaria would not be possible without them. Block captains are responsible for creating neighborhood pages, promoting the event to their neighbors, picking up Luminaria, and distributing kits to homes and businesses. Their dedication ensures that we not only grow participation but that New Bethany’s mission is shared throughout the community.
An additional 189 volunteers assisted during the months of November and December with kit assembly and on distribution days. These volunteers assembled candles and paper bags, measured and bagged the sand, and loaded kits in the trunks and back seats of cars. Volunteer groups from Air Products, Olympus, Just Born Quality Confections, Bethlehem Area School District, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Chi Psi fraternity at Lehigh University, and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Muhlenberg College made the work a bit easier, bringing colleagues together in a shared activity. The Parkin Family deserves a special shoutout for assembling and lining the streets around the Moravian Village of Bethlehem with over 400 luminaries.
“Our volunteers are the reason we produce successful Luminaria Nights each year, and 2022 was no exception,” says Tim Burke, director of community and donor engagement. “It’s always incredible to see our local community rally behind our mission of providing hope and support to those who need it most.”
New Bethany Ministries would also like to extend a huge thank you to the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley for donating the use of a storefront for kit assembly and distribution. Additionally, they participated, illuminating the Promenade Shops’ sidewalks. Downtown Bethlehem Association also lined the edges of Main and Broad streets with over 1,300 luminaries. It’s an honor to have our organization’s home city give back so much love.
We are already looking forward to Luminaria Night 2023 and cannot wait to meet even more of our supporters. Thank you to all who made Luminaria Night 2022 a huge success!