On the Road with Development and Peace: by James Dempsey
Since Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 earthquake on January 12th, many people have been opening both their hearts and their wallets to give what they can to the struggling nation. This selfless sense of Catholic charity is seen marvelously in Caledon, Ontario, where the Robert F. Hall Social Justice and Haitian Relief Committees worked towards providing a $17,000 donation to aid relief efforts through Development and Peace.
After a long drive out to Caledon with Luke Stocking and his daughter Amy, we were greeted in the school’s office by a secretary proudly sharing the remarkable stories of the school’s dress down days and educational displays all geared towards the need for a Catholic sense of giving.
One story that caught my attention was that of a young man who donated $100 of his own money to the cause. Take this story into consideration, as chances are as a high school student he’s working a part-time job at a minimum wage, making this donation the equivalent of 10 hours of his hard work. It’s stories like these that exemplify the altruistic nature of our Catholic faith.
As the student leaders for this project gathered in front foyer to make the donation presentation, it was evident to me that this cause was more than just a moral obligation to these young people. There was a definite excitement in the air as the culmination of a dedicated effort approached; as if passing that novelty sized check to Luke represented more than just a job well done, but lives changed. That perhaps is the beauty of such a selfless focus, as these efforts to make a difference, once transferred into the care of Caritas Internationalis, will impact a struggling people in a way that nothing else can.