Our Programs in the United States
As we work in other countries to ease poverty, hunger and injustice, we work with American Catholics at home to learn about and uproot the very causes of those challenges.
Prayer, education, action and advocacy are at the heart of our programs in the United States. You can get involved by: fighting hunger, shopping responsibly, engaging youth and young adults, enriching leadership in faith communities and advocating for change.
Every Lent, Operation Rice Bowl invites parishes, schools, families and individuals to make deeper connections with the poor and vulnerable overseas. Operation Rice Bowl helps you reach out to our brothers and sisters in need around the world through the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, while learning about their lives.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised through Operation Rice Bowl supports CRS projects that ensure tens of thousands of hungry people in more than 40 countries have enough to eat. The remaining 25% support hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in dioceses across the United States.
Foods Resource Bank
American farming communities can plant the seeds of hope for the poor overseas by doing what they're already doing: farming. This ecumenical program helps fight hunger overseas by inviting U.S. farmers to donate a portion of their land for one year. The proceeds from the crops on that land provide poor farmers overseas with the seeds, livestock and agriculture training they need to feed themselves and their families.
The daily decisions we make as consumers can make a real, positive difference in the world. The CRS Fair Trade Programs give you a concrete way to ensure poor artisans, farmers and workers overseas receive fair wages:
CRS established partnerships with 16 U.S. coffee companies that are committed to paying fair prices to coffee growers overseas and to sustaining direct, long-term relationships with them. When you and other American consumers buy coffee from these partners and other Fair Trade coffee companies, you get a quality product and help build a more just world.
What school, club or parish community doesn't need to raise money for its worthy activities? CRS' Raise Money Right program offers you a way to raise the money your organization needs by selling Fair Trade chocolate. With Raise Money Right, you can sell "Divine" chocolate made with 100 percent Fair Trade cocoa beans grown by farmers in Ghana.
Work of Human Hands gives Catholics in the United States the opportunity to buy high-quality, fairly traded handcrafts and gourmet food items from poor producers around the world. Host a Work of Human Hands sale as a community event or buy directly for yourself and your loved ones.
Do you have the potential to be a Fair Trade superstar â€“ someone who works tirelessly to promote the values of Fair Trade and Catholic Social Teaching? Then become a Fair Trade Ambassador. This program gives individuals intensive training in the principles of Fair Trade and the practices of word-of-mouth marketing in order to promote and expand CRS Fair Trade programs in their communities and parishes.
Engaging Youth and Young Adults
Connecting personally with people who live with hunger and poverty around the world requires more than classroom learning. CRS' youth and young adult programs help open young hearts and minds to social injustices overseas while encouraging them to live in solidarity with the poor and less fortunate.
A dedicated online site provides lesson plans, simulation activities, prayer services, stories, web links and opportunities that view global issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Use this resource to inspire young people and educators alike.
The Food Fast program makes the tragedy of hunger tangible and real for young people through 24 hours of fasting, prayer and reflection. Rooted in Catholic faith traditions, this unique program educates youth and young adults alike about global poverty. It challenges you to view your lives differently, empowering you to act in ways that can have long-term, positive effects on the lives of the poor.
CRSCollege.org is where campus action gets global results. Through education, action and prayer, CRS connects campuses across the country with our global community. The CRSCollege.org website is your source for innovative approaches to help college students, faculty, staff and campus ministers serve the world.
Enriching Leadership In Faith Communities
Priests, educators and youth ministers are often looked upon to guide faith communities in their spiritual and educational development. That's why we developed programs to give them opportunities to witness our relief and development work firsthand. These immersion visits, as well as other leadership enrichment programs, help deepen faith communities' commitment to advocate for peace and justice in the world.
The Global Fellows program invites priests, deacons and seminarians to travel to CRS development projects overseas to gain a deeper perspective on poverty, conflict, injustice — as well as hope. These Global Fellows give witness to the global humanitarian work of the Catholic Church as guest speakers in parishes around the country.
CRS offers Catholic high school teachers the opportunity to connect on a personal level with the people we serve overseas. The educators, in turn, develop programs and curricula that incorporate their experience into lessons that open the hearts and minds of their students to their brothers and sisters around the world.
Parish and diocesan youth ministers come face-to-face with those who struggle with hunger, economic injustice and conflict overseas in this immersion program. Transformed by their encounters with the people CRS serves, they bring their new perspectives back home to enrich their ministry to the youth of the United States.
Communities of Salt and Light
Want to start a social justice movement in your parish? Get the tools and guidance that will help you become a richer faith community by integrating the powerful tradition of Catholic Social Teaching into every facet of diocesan and parish life. Service, education, advocacy and community organizing are all ways we are called to live out faith. Learn how you can lead your parish to making social justice and peace a part of daily faith life.
Advocating For Change
Bring your faith to bear in the public square. The root causes of world poverty are often connected to international and U.S. policies that profoundly affect the lives of poor people around the globe. CRS complements its humanitarian and development activities overseas with policy analysis and advocacy at home. Get involved in the political process and bring about changes that uproot the causes of poverty, conflict and injustice. Visit our Action Center now to find out what issues you can influence today.
Catholics Confront Global Poverty encourages Catholics in the United States to pray, learn, share, and advocate on key issues affecting poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. Join this exciting initiative and be one in a million Catholics raising your voice for peace and justice worldwide.