By Deacon Derick Cranston
For The Catholic Messenger
The confirmation class for the cluster parishes of Riverside, Richmond and Wellman set out on a mission to raise $2,000 for Mary’s Meals, which feeds children at schools in Third World countries.
They accomplished their goal, and then some.
By the end of their campaign, they’d raised a whopping $102,431 for the program.
To raise the money, the students spoke after Mass at all three parishes and asked people to donate $20, which feeds one child for one year. In return, for every $20 donation the donor would receive a plate of cookies, bars or Rice Krispie treats.
Students exceeded their goal by raising $2,431, and were very pleased. Little did they know that one last donation would exceed their goal nearly one hundredfold. Inspired by the hard work of the confirmation class and the example they set, an anonymous donor from the cluster parishes donated $100,000 — yes, $100,000 — to their cause. Enough money to feed 5,121 kids for a whole year!
Wellman parishioner Allison Ockenfels, 19, has been building awareness and raising money for Mary’s Meals for several years and was thrilled at the exciting news of the enormous donation. Mary’s Meals builds kitchens in schools in Third World countries where malnutrition and lack of education are a concern. The lunches served as a result of these kitchens give students added motivation to attend school. Education, in turn, can help lift these children out of poverty once they become adults.
(Lindsay Steele contributed to this story.)