As we make our way to Holy Week, what has been heartening in this, my first Lenten season with Seeds of Hope, is what I have witnessed more than anything when it comes to our schools: giving.
One of the most humbling acts of generosity came from the stewardship committee of one of our larger parishes that has a terrific K-8 school. The committee ended up with a small surplus of funding available after it took care of all its goals. Rather than stow the money away or give a little extra to their own school, the committee decided to give the surplus to some Seeds of Hope schools to help with some immediate needs.
Talk about the Holy Spirit in action – the impact of this selfless, beautiful act will be tremendous for the schools. To have unexpected funds at their disposal to help with things like repairs for doors and locks, security and technology or new equipment, are answered prayers and reminded me of an old quote I read from one of our principals who said, “We don’t just hope for miracles, we rely on them.” This parish made a living, breathing miracle for these schools. What a joy to witness.
Capitalizing on “March Madness” is nothing new, but my friends at the Gold Crown Foundation have it down to a science with their annual online contest. When I approached them at the last minute to see how hard it would be to setup the Seeds of Hoops Bracket Challenge, their instant and generous reaction was, “let us help!”
Even though I was completely ripping off their great idea, they jumped at the chance to help by assisting with the technological side to make sure we would have it setup in time to generate some interest, and on top of that, by donating some autographed items and tickets out of their stash to make our contest more exciting. And when one of our other supporters, Joe Schmid, got wind of the contest, he stepped up and offered a priceless Von Miller autographed Denver Broncos helmet from his personal collection as a prize, too.
This proved to be just the tip of the Seeds of Hoops basketball generosity iceberg. We asked for a voluntary $25 donation to take part in the contest, but the average donation ended up being double that! We are not going to set any fundraising records from this simple contest, but thanks to the generosity of donors and participants we are going to be able to offer one more Adopt-A-Student scholarship to a deserving student to attend a Catholic school!
As we look to the cross this Holy Week and remember that God so loved the world that He gave his only son so that everyone who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life, it is wonderful to see and appreciate small specific examples that the spirit of giving that comes from God lives on in everyday life to help our schools.
May this season of renewal bring you and your family great peace and true Easter joy.
(Note: Executive Director Jay Clark will periodically provide observations on what is happening with Seeds of Hope. Any thoughts – and typos – in this post are owned by him alone.)