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Grade 7, Following Jesus, Unit 1 Faith In Action
Additional Outreach Project Ideas
Catholic Social Teaching in This Unit: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
“A consistent theme of Catholic social teaching is the option or love of preference for the poor. Today, this preference has to be expressed in worldwide dimensions, embracing the immense numbers of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care, and those without hope.”
Joseph G. Donders, ed., John Paul II: The Encyclicals in Everyday Language (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Book, 1996).
Should you choose to use Chapter 2 of the Book of Ruth, you may want to form a simple prayer service. The prayer can be an opportunity for the young people to reflect on the story and to connect the outreach project to their faith. Adapt the prayer service as necessary, or have the young people read the chapter and discuss the reflection questions.
See Become Gleaners Prayer Service for a basic structure for creating your prayer service.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a number of resources on human health and the environment. They publish a helpful guide titled Waste Not / Want Not: A Guide for Feeding the Hungry and Reducing Solid Waste Through Food Recovery. See their Web site listed below.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [www.epa.gov]
- protects human health and the environment
- leads the nation's environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts
What a Relief!
Being homeless may be a difficult idea for people to grasp (although some young people may have experienced homelessness). To help the young people get a better understanding of what it means to be homeless, have them read or listen to first-person accounts of what it means to be homeless. There are a number of organizations online that have brief biographies of people who are or were homeless. Caution: Be sure to review the accounts first, as some of the content may be unsuitable for this age group.
In addition to collecting basic necessities for people who are homeless, the young people may also want to see what they can do on a more systematic level. Have them connect with local government organizations or groups that provide services for those that are homeless. Habitat for Humanity works to provide decent, affordable housing and has many resources on homelessness. Check out their Web site at www.habitat.org and enter the keyword "homeless" in the search engine.
Here are links for the two resources referenced in the Catechist's Guide.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) [www.hud.gov/homeless]
- resources on homelessness
- useful "Kids can help the homeless" link
Out of the Cold (Dixon Hall Resource and Support Services) [www.ootc.ca]
- information on the Out of the Cold program
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