NEW JERSEY

Holiday for recruits

The Coast Guard and the American Red Cross will place about 240 Coast Guard recruits with 79 South Jersey host families for holiday dining on Sunday as part of Operation Fireside.

At any given time, the Cape May training center may have more than 600 Coast Guard recruits who come from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Since 1981, Operation Fireside has allowed recruits to celebrate the holiday with a host family while they're separated from their loved ones during training.

PHILADELPHIA

Christmas benefit

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput today will host the annual Archbishop's Christmas Benefit for Children for about 400 young people who received services from of Catholic Social Services this year.

Festivities will begin this afternoon at the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City Hotel.

There will be a parade, gifts and entertainment.

Toys for the needy

For the 44th year in a row, young adults from the Archdiocese will gather on Christmas Eve at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul to collect, sort, wrap and tag toys that will be delivered to nearly 3,000 children from families in need.

The toys will be delivered by 170 teams of young-adult volunteers and their drivers. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. for the volunteers by Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fitzgerald before the toys are delivered.

PHA hires aide

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has hired Samuel Little, a human-services administrator and professor in social work, as deputy executive director of resident and community services.

Little has served as associate deputy director at the Housing Authority of Baltimore, director of resident services at the District of Columbia Housing Authority, and president of Community Vision Inc.

- Staff and wire reports