Almsgiving, or providing money or food to those less fortunate, is an important part of the Christian life in general but is highlighted in a particular way during the season of Lent. In the past, St. Bart’s has chosen one particular charity for a “Lenten Giving” program. This year I am encouraging you to seek out and learn about ways to help others and organizations that facilitate this, and support them directly instead of through St. Bart’s. There are organizations that serve the local area, nationally and internationally. I am providing a list of just some of these organizations that you might consider supporting financially or personally. There are many more and I would encourage you, this Lent, to spend some time learning about the ways we can help others during Lent and beyond.
Catholic Charities of Boston (www.ccab.org / 275 West Broadway, Boston, MA 02127) is one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts offering programs such as basic needs (food/baby supplies/clothing, etc.), child care, counseling, refugee services, elder services, mentoring and more.
Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org / 228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201) works with organizations around the world to help poor and vulnerable people overcome emergencies, earn a living through agriculture and access affordable health care.
Cor Unum Meal Center (www.corunummealcenter.org / 118 South Broadway, Lawrence, MA 01843) in Lawrence serves a nutritious breakfast and dinner seven days a week to those in need, culminating in about 250,000 meals served annually.
Generic Ministry (www.genericministry.org / P.O. Box 920100, Needham, MA 02492), based in Needham is a group of volunteers that collects and distributes food, clothing and supplies to people living on the streets in Boston.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur (www.crudem.org / 362 Sewall St., P.O. Box 804, Ludlow, MA 01056) a 200 bed hospital in Milot, Haiti, providing service to the poor for over 30 years.