Lenten Season to Kick-Start Food For The Poor’s Operation Starfish Program
This workbook is a way for parents or teachers to teach children about giving selflessly and how we can make sacrifices to help the poor. Get the workbook at www.FoodForThePoor.org/starfish
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2013) – Instead of giving something up this year for Lent, Food For The Poor has an opportunity for you to start a new charitable tradition. Food For The Poor’s Operation Starfish® program, inspired by author Loren Eisley’s story, “A Single Starfish,” emphasizes how we can help save one child at a time. It is a simple way for your family, church, school or organization to increase and celebrate the spirit of compassionate giving.
Operation Starfish® is designed to let families engage fully in the sacrificial spirit of Lent by giving participants both the opportunity for spiritual reflection and the chance to make daily sacrifices. The program encourages individuals to deposit 50 cents or more each day into their Operation Starfish® collection box to help the poor. At the end of Lent, when all donations are collected, combined and counted, homes for the destitute will be built.
Food For The Poor has free supplemental materials available to support Operation Starfish® activities, including special devotional calendars and children’s workbooks. Food For The Poor’s devotional calendar features a daily Gospel reading and a weekly reflection. The children’s workbook is divided into several lessons that teach children about poverty in the world, while offering activities that are fun and informative.
Those interested in starting an Operation Starfish program at their parish, school, or organization can visit FoodForThePoor.org/starfish or call 877-654-2960 ext. 6803. Parishes nationwide also participate in Operation Starfish programs during Vacation Bible Study sessions, Christmas in July celebrations, Back to School fundraisers, and in preparation for Advent.
“Operation Starfish is a simple way to help the poor,” said Father Richard Martin, pastor at Church of the Nativity, Burke, Va. “Everyone in the church and school family can participate – young, old, active or homebound. Each individual does something – many small sacrifices come together to make a big difference in the lives of the poor. As a result, the parish family becomes closer to God and each other. We become more generous overall.”
For 15 years, Fr. Martin has attributed the growth and fruitfulness of his parish to the partnership with Food For The Poor through the Operation Starfish program. Through the Operation Starfish program, Church of the Nativity parishioners have built over 1,000 houses in eight “Nativity Villages” in Haiti since 1998.
“This is hope realized; our parishioners have activated their prayers for the poor with concrete action, literally, as we provided concrete block houses for destitute families in Haiti,” said Fr. Martin
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Food For The Poor
954-427-2222 x 6054