There’s a lot of hurt out there right now. Furloughs, layoffs, and business closures are making it difficult for millions of Americans and their families to get by. Many of them live in our community and are members of our parish.
The Bible is undeniably clear in both the Old and New Testaments: We must give to the poor.
In Matthew 5:42, Jesus says, “Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” We are commanded to help the poor. In fact, giving alms to the poor is one of the Corporal Acts of Mercy. If we don’t, we may find ourselves like the rich man in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). During earthly life, while Lazarus starved, the rich man lived it up. When both men died, Lazarus went to heaven, and the rich man did not.
Sometimes, though, finding opportunities to give to the poor can be hard. Not all organizations are trustworthy, and we may lack the time to research good ways to help.
Fortunately, you need look no further than the St. Mary Poor Box for a way to help the poor at any time. Many people miss it, but it is located in the church narthex on the right-side wall from the main entrance (See picture below).
Poor box donations are used to directly support needy parishioners, so you are assisting local people who are going through a hard time, especially in this ailing economy.
More specifically, the money is used to buy gift cards for food and gas that are then given to needy parishioners. This way, the recipient uses the donation for something useful. Sometimes, the money is also used to help pay utility bills for those struggling to make ends meet. Each recipient is vetted by the parish office to make sure they really need the help.
Currently, donations average roughly $140 per month, according to Paula Perry, bookkeeper at St. Mary. Hopefully, after reading this article, you know exactly where the Poor Box is and will consider putting a few dollars in next time. It could really help someone.