Pay It Forward projects to benefit those in need of food, water, joy

| February 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Three finalists have been chosen for this year’s Catholic Spirit Pay It Forward for Lent initiative, which is based on the New Testament parable of the three stewards who each were given money to manage and grow. Each of the three groups will receive $100 to grow for its chosen project during Lent. The recipients are:

  • A fifth-grade class at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Minnetonka led by its teacher, Janel Dysart. They will be partnering with the “363 Days” organization to make and package sandwiches for the hungry.
  • St. Timothy’s Overseas Project, a group at St. Timothy in Blaine. They are working with Project Uplift, a national group, that will be installing water tanks in a village in Uganda.
  • Seven-year-old Sylvia Such, a member of St. John the Baptist in Savage. She will create care packages and deliver them to people at nearby shelters for battered women and teens.

Feeding the hungry

Dysart and her fifth-grade students learned about the “363 Days” program from the director of youth ministry at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, who had done a service project with the organization before.

The class was already planning to do this project when Dysart heard about the Pay It Forward initiative. “The Pay It Forward initiative will help us purchase supplies for this project, along with donations collected from students and families, so that our efforts can help even more people than we’d originally hoped.”

Water for Uganda

The social justice committee at St. Timothy in Blaine looked at several overseas projects, but voted to work with Project Uplift on its water tank project in Uganda because they felt they could do the most good.

“We hope that the money we raise will be able to fund the building of a water tank and reduce the villagers’ reliance on outside water,” said Kate Shea, a member of the group.

Spreading joy, happiness

Such proposed creating care packages for those who need a little joy and happiness in their day after making one for her cousin, who was in the hospital being treated for cancer.

A budding artist, she loves to make cards and will include one with each package, as well as some small treats and a postage-paid postcard so the recipient can continue to spread joy and happiness.

Such plans to hand-deliver the packages to Safe Haven Teen Shelter, Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women and a few other places, including to the priests of her parish. “I want the priests to know we are thinking about them too,” she said.

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Category: Lent