Ripples in the water
Mary Anne is the Parish & Community Engagement Coordinator at Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio (CCSWO)

By: Heather Kaufman

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find this world to be an overwhelming place. The violence, the hunger, the sickness — it really is a lot to think about. When my mind takes me down this dismal rabbit hole, I have to stop, take a deep breath, and realize I can only manage what I can control. Often this takes the form of prayer, a walk outside, and helping others.

St. Teresa of Calcutta once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

There are many who have contributed to our ministries that create ripples far more reaching than you can imagine. Conflict, drought, and displacement can destroy crops or drive people far away from their lands, leaving people without a food supply. Areas with poor health care often have infants who have no mothers to nurse them or people who need specialized diets and cannot get them.

The Comboni Missionaries support feeding programs for orphans, schoolchildren, and those displaced by war or insecurity across the globe and in our communities here in the United States.

A gift of $80 supplies food for children living on the streets of Kampala, Uganda. $175 purchases enough flour for 100 children for the quarter in Malawi. $50 buys flour, meat, rice, beans, fruit, vegetables, milk, tea, and sugar to feed 280 teens daily in rehabilitation programs in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. In the Soweto slum of South Africa, $200 will purchase enough rice to feed 200 children for three months.

And for $1 a day, a patient at the Mary Immaculate Mapuordit Hospital in South Sudan can receive two cups of porridge and a plate of food. (Did you know in many areas hospital patients have to provide their own food?)

Hunger affects everything we do. With full stomachs, teens can focus on job training instead of looking for their next meal. Patients can spend their energy on getting better instead of worrying about food. Children who are fed learn better and can further their education. One dollar makes a bigger ripple than it may seem — it lets people know they are seen and they matter. What could be more Christian?

Heather Kaufman is director of development for the Comboni Missionaries North American Province.

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