Each year, St. Joan of Arc's Religious Formation classes work on an educational and beneficial service project for Lent. The wonderful recipient of their fundraising efforts is Mary's Meals, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing school meals in places where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.
"The vision of Mary's Meals is that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education, and that all those who have more than they need share with those who lack even the most basic things," explained Dolly Pointner, Director of Religious Formation at St. Joan of Arc. "Mary's Meals began in 2002 when the founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying from AIDS. When he asked her eldest son, Edward, what his dreams were for his life, he answered that it was to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day."
This is the fourth year that Pointner has organized and inspired the children in SJA's Religious Formation classes to save money to feed hungry children. "I ask them to either deny themselves a luxury during Lent and put that money toward their goal, or to earn money by offering services to their family, friends, and neighbors," she added. "In the past four years, we've donated almost $20,000."
SJA supports 314 children at the Phila Institute School in Liberia, located along the central west coast of Africa. "The school we sponsor has grown by about 50% since we partnered with Mary's Meals," said Pointner. "My students enjoy this project very much; one said, "Thanks for sharing and allowing me to be a part of this", and another said, "Thank you for showing me that I can make a difference"."
To help SJA support the Phila Institute School in Liberia, please visit https://www.marysmealsusa.org/en/fundraising/project/dolly-pointner/st.-joan-of-arc-matthew-2.
St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and Church
Pre-K through 8th Grade
820 Division Street, Lisle, IL