Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Lenten Challenge

It’s Lent. I know this because one random Wednesday there were a whole bunch of people that were doing one of two things: looking at me with horrid curiosity or nodding at me, smiling as though we were part of some secret society together, though the large black cross (or smudge) on our foreheads made our club anything but secret.

The traditional Catholic sentiment is that Lent is about giving up something. I always struggled with this as, well, my childhood instincts never leave me. I figure being 25 and giving up candy isn’t really kosher anymore. I listened to what other people were giving it up, and having no room to critique seeing as how I had yet to come up with my sacrifice, I nonetheless found myself highly critical of their “sacrifices.” Giving up fatty foods and beer, sure it is hard, but I have a nagging suspicion that it’s not so much about God as it is about your waistline.

I am by no means the model Catholic. Things like stem cell research, homosexual marriage, equal rights for women, etc… stand in the way of me being a by the book model. But I’d like to think I have been surrounded by some pretty insightful Catholics and one in particular always speaks about using Lent to not so much give up something as to take on something new. Giving up beer is cool. It also helps you get one step closer to being the sexiest Catholic since Bono. But taking the money you saved from avoiding beer consumption and giving it to a cause you are passionate about- now that’s the spirit of Lent I think we could all use a little more of.

In Ecuador, there are two thousand people who turn to The Working Boys Center each and every day for tools to eliminate poverty in their lives: clothing, three meals a day, education and books, medical and dental care, workshops for escaping poverty, spiritual nourishment, the list goes on and on. And in this economy, I imagine the people who I personally witnessed tirelessly are perhaps struggling a little more than ever before. In these tough times, more than ever we are called to be agents of hope.

And so this Lent I am asking you to join me in donating to The Working Boys Center. I have failed these last eight months to really develop the words that make up the story that was my own personal journey of enlightenment in Ecuador. And so I hope you hear me when I tell you that if you give now, be it $5 or $100 I could sit with you and tell you stories of people I know and love, people whose faces are burned into my memory and heart, that will directly benefit from your generosity.

I am pledging $20 a week (for the non Catholics in the crowd that will add up to $120). Anyone care to match me?

To give via Facebook click HERE

To give via the website, learn more about the program, and see how it is a 501c3 click HERE

In advance, I thank you on behalf of Maria, a 6th grader at the WBC. I thank you on behalf of Erik, a 5th grader. I thank you on behalf of Antonia, an employee of the center. And I thank you on behalf of the countless volunteers and staff who in way or another have given a part of that which is them to see to it that people are equipped with the needed tools to escape poverty, for themselves and their children.

If you join me in this personal cause, I promise you not just one but two things.

1. I will take lots of pictures when I visit in June so you can see where your money is going. I may even take you with me if you have the interest.
2. When you get off this ridiculous anti alcohol Lenten diet, the first beer is on me!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll match you. Dad.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I am looking for volunteering in latin America from mid May to Mid August. I noticed that The Working Boys Center only have programs for a minimum of one year. Would you be able to inform the name of another organization which is serious and trust worthing such as this one. ..I am trying to avoid the pure commercial "ONGs" advertised in the net.

Noely said...

Hi there,
I am looking for volunteering in latin America from mid May to Mid August. I noticed that The Working Boys Center only have programs for a minimum of one year. Would you be able to inform the name of another organization which is serious and trust worthing such as this one. ..I am trying to avoid the pure commercial "ONGs" advertised in the net.