Weve had a serious food issue in the sixth grade recently…the students and teachers have gone hog-wild on their preparations for the Catholic Schools Week Mission Carnival! (pun intended) Most of you have probably heard by now, but the proceeds are going toward a wonderful mission program called Mary’s Meals. Their goal, as stated on their website, is: “Mary’s Meals is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who brought up her own child in poverty. We consist of, respect and reach out to people of all faiths and of none. Our vision is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education. Working together, we believe that can be achieved in this world of plenty.” For every $19.50 raised, one child can be fed for a whole year. Can you imagine feeding your child for a whole year on that amount?? This short video shows how it works: https://safeshare.tv/x/ivi4k7uTofA
Here are 4 facts about Mary’s Meals (more on the web https://www.marysmealsusa.org/en/):
- Mary’s Meals feeds 1,187,104 hungry children every school day across four continents, in countries including Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Zambia, Haiti, Uganda, South Sudan, Thailand and India.
- Research from Malawi shows that, after the introduction of Mary’s Meals, parents who say they worry about their child going hungry dropped by 94%, and teachers saying ‘children in my class never complain of hunger’ increased from 7% to 87%.
- The Mary’s Meals campaign was born in 2002 when Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying from AIDS. When Magnus asked her eldest son Edward what his dreams were in life, he replied simply: “I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”
- Mary’s Meals is committed to spending at least 93% of donations directly on its charitable activities. This is only possible because most of the charity’s work is done by an army of dedicated volunteers – including more than 80,000 in Malawi alone.
Of course, the sixth grade is having fun with the “pig” theme to promote Mary’s Meals. Foremost is the “Kiss the Pig Contest” already in place. Each pig has the name of a staff member on it. Every morning, children are crowded around the pig pen to feed the pigs, squealing with delight as they stuff their money into the one with the teacher they want to win. So far, it has been a tight race between Mrs. Svoboda in 3rd grade and Josh Van Dyke in 7th grade. Both teachers are nervously preparing to pucker up to kiss a live pig at the Mission Carnival on Feb. 2 (Ground Hog Day). But don’t get me wrong, it’s still anybody’s race!
In the one full week the project has been engaged, the children have already brought in $978.31, providing 50 children with food and education for a year. With two more weeks to go, imagine how many children we will feed! Sixth grade has also created a couple videos to help promote the cause. My favorite is here. Don’t miss the creative “skip ad” at the beginning. Creativity knows few boundaries among the children!
What a beautiful example of service and stewardship these sixth graders are witnessing to the rest of the school. They are learning that it can be fun to find ways to serve others and in their hearts they will have the satisfaction of having helped those less fortunate. Special thanks to Sister Mary Guadalupe and Mrs. McElroy for channeling their energies into this powerful endeavor. When Our Blessed Mother Mary noticed the needs of the married couple at the Wedding Feast of Cana, she directed the servants to Jesus and He brought about abundance. How pleased Mary must be with our students helping her children around the world to live more abundantly!
Sister Mary Angela, CK