This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Christ with our family and friends, remember how good it feels to be the one giving gifts. It goes beyond gifts wrapped in bright paper and piled under the tree. As a Catholic, you give the most important gifts every single day of the year: the gifts of peace, health and hope.
Just one of the many gifts Catholics provide: About 4,000 volunteers packed more than 500,000 meals for their brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso at a Helping Hands event in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jim Stipe.
Give the Gift of Peace
After decades of turmoil and violence, the people of East Timor had a chance for stability and peace by democratically electing a new parliament this year. But history taught us that a peaceful election was a long shot. Enter the Catholic Church.
The Church and Catholic Relief Services launched 111 days of prayer for peaceful elections, and 10,000 people took to the streets to pray and sing for peace in their homeland.
After two rounds of peaceful voting, a new parliament was seated in August.
Give the Gift of Health
The rains weren't plentiful enough for farmers in Burkina Faso to grow enough food for their people. Many families were lucky to eat one meal a day. Pregnant women were giving birth to malnourished children, and babies were failing to thrive.
One man came to a CRS-supported health clinic with his 5-year-old son, who weighed only 17½ pounds. He thought his son was going to die. By providing enriched flour, peanut paste and vitamins, Catholics gave young Amidou the gift of health. He's already gained 9 pounds and is in much better health.
Give the Gift of Hope
Ilsa Dolores Gomez had no confidence. She wasn't educated, and she didn't have enough money to provide for her family the way she wanted. By learning how to take part in a Savings and Internal Lending Community, Ilsa is now back in school and saving enough money to set up a little salon on her front porch with her oldest daughter. She is happier, more confident and full of hope.