Back to School
Did you know that in our country today, more children are born into poverty everyday than ever before? In fact, the majority of those who live in poverty in the United States are children. Most of us believe that three meals a day and a roof over our heads are a necessity. Unfortunately, many children know that home and food are luxuries.
“In a world characterized by growing prosperity for some and pervasive poverty for others, Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt. 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.” (Sharing Catholic Social Teaching, #5)
As the new school year begins, family budgets may be stretched to the limit. But this year, before you begin the annual ritual of getting ready for school, take time to remember the children who have much, much less.
“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Mt. 25:40b
- As school begins, many families cannot afford basic school supplies for their children. When you do your school supplies shopping, purchase some extra items to donate to children in need. To be sure that the supplies get to children who can use them, you can bring the supplies to your school office, your parish office, a low-income school or parish in your area, or a food shelf.
- Talk to your school principal, counselors, or student council about setting up a “free store” for students who cannot afford school supplies.
- As school begins, many families cannot afford clothing and shoes for their children. Go through your drawers and closet to find all the clothes that no longer fit. You can bring your donations to a church, a school, food shelf, or free clothing store.
- Beginning a school year at a new school in a new community can be very scary. Ask a parent to call your school to find out if any families have moved into the area over the summer. Contact the family and meet them before school begins. If possible, you could invite them to a picnic at a local park with some other families. You know how much difference it will make for the new students to already know a few kids on that first day of school.