Last Friday, I posted about creating mercy opportunities for fifth graders, tied in with the doctrine being taught in each chapter of the Finding God fifth-grade book. Several of the suggestions made mention of partnering with Loyola Press’s “People for Others” campaign. Here’s some background and a proposal.
Being a “person for others” is a very important Ignatian principle and is something that we strive to practice here at Loyola Press. Throughout the year, we provide opportunities for the employees to contribute to a “People for Others” project. For example, most recently, we collected school supplies for an inner-city Catholic school in Chicago. Here is a picture of just a small portion of what we collected.
This brings me to a proposal. While we would like to involve kids constantly in works of mercy, the truth is, they don’t always have the resources to give money or purchase items that will be given to those in need. I propose creating “People for Others Partnerships.” Invite adults in the parish to become partners with a grade level or class in the religious education program and have them contribute money and/or supplies for a mercy experience that the kids will see to fruition. For example, if a class decides to provide toys for those in need at Christmas, the People for Others Partners are contacted to purchase and donate the toys that the children will then gift wrap, add cards and prayers to, and deliver. Another option, especially good when the recipient organization asks for toys to be donated unwrapped, is for the partners to contribute the money and for the catechist to arrange with parents’ help to take the children to a toy store where the kids will purchase the gifts.
Another option is to partner with local businesses whose employees may be interested in partnering with children for such endeavors, much as Loyola Press is teaming up with the fifth graders at St. Cajetan this year. This gives local businesses an opportunity to participate in and support humanitarian activities and build spirit within the company while providing the young people with opportunities to engage in works of mercy that don’t cause them (or their families) to go bankrupt themselves!
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