Our school has a Lenten soup lunch where the kids all eat bread and soup (a very simple meal) and collect money to send to their adopted friends in the Dominican Republic. It teaches them to make a small sacrifice that can make a big difference! – Sara, mom of 2, St. John, Indiana
We go to Mass downtown at least twice a month. I have the kids purchase a sandwich to give to the homeless on the streets. It doesn’t matter why they are there, but I know it is important for my kids to see their face and their God given dignity. – Mary Kate, mom of 4, Alexandria, VA
Reminding my children that they have a blessed material life compared to children in struggling third world countries doesn’t always hit home. But packing brown bagged snacks and running them 20 minutes across town to hungry kids at a center called “run the race” shows my children that there are hungry children in our own town who don’t come home to a snack or food in the refrigerator. These acts of charity can seem like one more thing on a mom’s endless to-do list, but they really impact our kids for a lifetime! – Deanna, mom of 3, Hilliard, Ohio
When we go out to eat, we let the children pick out a table and anonymously pick up the tab. Then the kids say a prayer for them. They try to pick someone out that looks like they could use a little spirit lift (or possibly a widower). Also, once a month make muffins or cookies for the homeless. – Teresa, mom of 3, Upper Arlington, Ohio
The kids make lunches for folks who utilize the PADS ministry (homeless shelter) every week through through their school. My kids make the lunch and provide a note of encouragement inside. – Virginia, mom of 3, Mundelein, Illinois
Years ago, I heard a homily that really stuck with me. The priest said that if every Catholic took care of feeding 4 people, we would feed the world. So…in 1990, I started sponsoring children through Unbound (formally known as the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). My husband and I now sponsor 7 children a month through this great organization. Most of these organizations only ask for $20-30 a month – and we know our small donations really help our sponsored children. You can also “round up” your total bill to the next highest dollar for the food bank when you shop at Krogers. It’s easy and it’s another way to help people in your community….the change really adds up! – Peggy, mom of 3, Columbus, Ohio
During Lent, I have the kids help me gather food from the pantry for the food bank at a local Missionaries of Charity convent. – Erin, moms of 3, Louisiana
I always struggle with the amount of money and excess surrounding Christmas. This year we decided to purchase all of our gifts before Advent begins and to purchase the gifts from companies who give back to those in need globally. For the women in our family we bought beatiful clothes from Stylemom.com which gives to women in Africa and India and we also purchase headbands from Banded.com. Each headband sold feeds three children at an orphanage in Uganda. So I can tell the children that we helped to feed 21 children today! – Megan
In most of our trips, people reach out for us for some kind of material help, either some medicine, diapers for the children or even food. We feel like the word “Christian” is written on our foreheads! Once we were visiting some historical churches in Vitoria (Brazil) and saw a sign for the church of St. Anthony. We had to walk a lot before reaching there, and when we did, we met a woman who was desperate for some diapers for her handicapped daughter. So we went to the nearest drugstore to buy some for her. Another time, we decided to change our way and went to the downtown of Santa Maria (Brazil). There we found another mother that needed some medicine for her son. We feel that Divine Providence guides us, so we can provide the help these vulnerable children of God need. – Simone, mom of 1, Atibaia, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
We would love to hear how you live out the Circle Of Mercy.