During Lent, there are many opportunities to give alms and the Catholic relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl is one of them. Every year St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Altamonte and many other Catholic schools take part take in this Lenten activity.
The Rice Bowl is unique because whatever you can donate benefits the needy around the world and at home. To help, you can donate money daily into the rice bowl for the duration of Lent and all the money collected will go into the effort to make the world a better place. With this money, Catholic Relief Services gives 75% of the funds to provide food, water, and seed to those in need around the world; impoverished areas in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia will be the prime beneficiaries of the Rice Bowl.
The other 25% goes to support the needy in our own local areas within the United States. To put the Rice Bowl into perspective, a dollar a day, during 40 days of Lent, will provide three months of clean water for four families, three years of seed for a farmer, and one month of food for a family. Imagine countless families providing a dollar a day for the entirety of Lent! That is the potential of helping so many fellow humans who are in desperate need of assistance.
I interviewed a fellow peer, John M., on why he supports the Rice Bowl. He said “I strongly believe that the Rice Bowl is fully dedicated to assisting the impoverished in developing third world countries and here in our local communities. I was oblivious to the fact that the Rice Bowl has such a lasting impact in the lives that it reaches.”
The Rice Bowl is indeed an excellent way for students to satisfy our Lenten obligation of Almsgiving as well as the fourth theme of our Catholic Social Teaching: “Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.”
Article written by Henri R., an 8th grader at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, Altamonte.