How do you support local children? Where are the opportunities in your neighborhood or state to act with compassion? How can you enter the sphere of suffering to do what you can to alleviate that suffering, without forming judgment? Keep in mind, that at times the call to compassion may take little effort, and then again, sometimes the Lord is calling some of us to do what we think might be daunting. With that in mind, I’ll start with the easy suggestions and work my way up to the daunting ways in which you can support local children:
- Donate your money and/or time to your local food bank – In my community, we have a program at our local food bank that prepares weekend backpack packages of food for needy children to take home to their families on Friday afternoons during the school year.
- Donate children’s clothing and school supplies to local agencies – Perhaps your own children are outgrowing their clothes. Donate them to places like your local church, agencies, or Goodwill. For more information on Goodwill, visit: www.goodwill.org.
- Volunteer your time to tutor children – Spend time using your talent and intelligence to work with children that struggle to learn by participating in after-school programs at your local school.
- Mentor children – Perhaps you’re good at relating to children. Give of your time through established mentoring programs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters. To learn more visit: www.bbbs.org.
- Adopt a child – If you feel Christ’s call to adopt a child then reach out to your local adoption agency to learn more. One example is Catholic Charities. To learn more about this organization please visit: http://www.catholiccharities.org/services/services-programs-adoption
Regardless of the depth of your involvement in entering the sphere of suffering to support local children in need, do it in a Christ-like manner, with the love of Christ as the premise for your actions. Form no judgment and you will be practicing compassion.
How can we best practice compassion with the sick and elderly? We’ll address the answer to that question in our next reflection on this series of practicing compassion. Don’t miss it!
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