Youth groups step up to take on Lenten projects

| March 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

Three age groups are represented in this year’s Catholic Spirit Pay It Forward for Lent project, 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 their chosen charity during Lent. The recipients are:

» A fifth-grade faith formation class at All Saints in Lakeville, led by Elizabeth Townley and Traci Schroer.

» A high school group from St. Anne and St. Joseph Hien in Minneapolis, led by Hoangsa Pham.

» A college-age group from St. Anne and St. Joseph Hien led by Teresa Tran.

Training ground

Tran, coordinator of the Viet­na­mese Eucharistic Youth Group — Knights of the Eucharist II, said the project is a good way for the group of 18- to 20-year-olds to create camaraderie.

“This group will be the next group of youth leaders and we thought this would be a good way for the group to give back to the community,” Tran said. “I’ve been part of the organization since I was 10 or so, and I’m 24 now.”

Their proposal set out plans to increase abortion awareness by making pro-life T-shirts to sell to friends, family and parishioners. The profits will be given to the Robbinsdale Women’s Clinic, which encourages pregnant women to choose life.

Sherry Le, a member of the group who wrote the proposal letter, said group members go to a variety of colleges, where they can sell the T-shirts and promote the pro-life cause.

“We have friends and family who are willing to support us and the message we want to send,” Le said.

Inspired to help

Pham, 29, leads another Viet­na­mese Eucharistic Youth Group of about 13 students who are 16 and 17 years old.

The youth proposed selling wristbands with Scripture passages or inspirational quotes from people such as Blessed Mother Teresa.

“We were talking about selling them at the church and probably do an event on Facebook and have them contact one person. So our marketing would be on Facebook or Twitter or some of those things as well,” Pham said.

Proceeds from the wristband sales will be sent to Humanitarian Ser­v­ices for Children of Vietnam, which was established to provide relief for Vietnamese children living in poverty. The group hopes to raise at least $500.

A perfect match

Townley, a Faith Enrichment Pro­gram teacher, said that submitting a proposal for Pay It Forward for Lent was a “perfect match” for the 14 fifth-graders because All Saints is focusing on social justice this year.

“I wanted the kids to see that they can make a positive change in something — that they can go outside their community and make a difference,” Townley said. “I thought [a Pay It Forward for Lent project] would be a perfect vehicle for them to learn that lesson.”

The students decided to raise money for the Red Cross to help people affected by last year’s oil spill on the Gulf Coast, she said.

The students plan to go door-to-door with their parents and seek matching funds from companies to help increase the money, which they will use, in part, to print flyers about the project.

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Category: Lent