The Catholic Campaign for Human
Development (CCHD)is the domestic anti-poverty,
social justice program of the U.S.
Catholic Bishops. Its mission is to
address the root causes of poverty in America
through promotion and support of
community-controlled, self-help organizations
and through transformative education. The
grants, economic development, and education
for justice program of the Campaign,
implemented in collaboration of with local
dioceses, is supported by the annual
collection received each November. For more information please go to the CCHD section of our website.
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An outreach of the U.S.
Catholic Bishops, Catholic
Relief Services has been working to
alleviate poverty, hunger and suffering since
1943. Those who suffer from the effects of
war, famine and deprivation look to CRS for
life-saving support and hope knowing that
need, not creed, is the only criterion for
assistance. CRS works with the poor in over 75
countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and
Latin America. Even while responding to
emergencies, CRS helps local communities
identify long-term solutions to poverty. CRS
supports over 2000 development projects
designed to build self-sufficiency. The
American Bishops Overseas Appeal is the
Diocese of Joliet's annual collection for CRS.
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Services' Operation Rice Bowl seeks to
instill within the student a sense of
solidarity with the poor of this world.
Solidarity is one of the seven core values of
Catholic social teaching. The program's
four components have a rich history in our
Prayer: When we
pray for others, we grow closer to them.
Fasting: Fasting has been a symbolic act of prayer
since early Christianity. By fasting, we share
the suffering and hunger of the poor, gaining
a clearer understanding of them and growing in
Education: To understand
and empathize with the poor, it is necessary
to learn about their condition. Through
Operation Rice Bowl, the student learns
about the reality of the poor through stories,
facts, and sharing. The teacher is provided
with lesson plans and resources.
Alms are a special way of building solidarity.
Operation Rice Bowl alms help the poor grow
their own food, increase their income, and
escape abject poverty. Operation Rice Bowl is
a simple yet effective program that enables
teachers to educate and inspire students to
solidarity with the poor.
Operation Rice Bowl
projects are designed to alleviate suffering
in the short term while laying a foundation
for permanent change. Twenty-five percent of
the alms given to Operation Rice Bowl during
Lent remains in the diocese for local poverty
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Work of Human Hands is a
project initiated by CRS that provides vital,
fair income to third world people by selling
the handicrafts in North America. Work of
Human Hands works with artisans who would
otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This
effort helps improve the economic situations
of an estimated 50,000 handcrafters by
providing income that can pay for nutritious
food, education, health care and housing. Work
of Human Hands encourages crafters to develop
their skills and helps craft groups establish
self-sustaining business the provide steady
employment. The mission of WHH is to glorify
God by serving people; to help the poor in
obedience to the teaching of Jesus; to be sign
of God's continuing love and care. The
sponsoring of a WHH craft fair is one way to
help meet human needs around the world. Parish
festivals, Christmas bazaars, school projects, and other events are perfect opportunities to
sponsor a sale of international Handicrafts.
There is no risk or cost to your parish or
organization to participate.
Your school can take
part in the program by ordering a free Work of
Human Hands education kit. The kit offers high
school lesson plans that focus on Catholic
Social Teaching, consumer rights and
responsibilities,and worker justice. Through a
variety of stories and activities, students
- Develop a greater
understanding of what life is like for
many people in developing countries.
- Recognize that
work is a basic human need and right.
- Understand that
they can produce social change by the
choices they make as consumers.
- Understand the
interrelatedness of employers and
employees and the responsibilities each
has toward the other.
- Develop a fuller
knowledge and appreciation of the people
and culture of developing countries.
Students can supplement
their learning by holding a sale themselves
and broadening the awareness of the
whole school community.
To order a Work of
Human Hands educational kit, please e-mail
your parish or school name, diocese, and
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Fast Hunger Awareness Program
That Last a Lifetime
experiential hunger awareness program, Food
Fast challenge participants to help reduce
world hunger and poverty through prayer,
reflection and action. Food Fast calls
participants to make an active commitment to
their brothers and sisters around the world
who are hungry and join in solidarity with
other members of the human family.
Participants of Food Fast
participants enhance their understanding about
the root causes of hunger and its impact on
people around the world. The experience of
fasting in solidarity with the poor provides
participants with first-hand knowledge of what
it feels like to be hungry and raises
awareness can raise the consciousness of
others about the issue of hunger and things we
can do to help.
Food Fast is designed
for youth in grades 8-12 and can be used in
high schools, youth ministry, and religious
education programs. College campuses and young
adult groups can also adapt the materials for
How Does Your
Support of This Program Make a Difference?
Participation in Food
Fast raises the awareness of community members
and others by the example of the participants.
Some groups collect canned foods during their
fast to donate to a local food pantry. In
addition, the money saved by not eating can be
shared with those in need. Food Fast
contributions sent to CRS are used for food
security, hunger relief programs.
Food Fast was first
developed in 1987. The program was revised in
1995 and has grown from 420 groups
participating in that pilot year to over 1,200
groups in 1998. In preparation for the Jubilee
and the Year of Charity 1999, the Pontifical
Council Cor Unum selected Food Fast as one of
the 100 Plus Projects of the Holy Father.
These projects are chosen because they foster
charity through solidarity, and promote
development and progress that unites people of
goodwill and highlights those in need.
Can I Get More
Information or Guidance About This Program?
Materials for this
program include a detailed Coordinator's
manual with a poster, checklist, activity
instructions, and worksheets to use and
prepare for your event. Buttons and prayer
cards are available in bulk quantities for the
participants. Call 1-800-222-0025 for your
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Catholic Relief Services and Equal Exchange
invite you to visit a new website, www.crsfairtrade.org,
where you will find information about the CRS
Coffee Project, a parish-based
initiative that offers people in the United
States a way to live their faith in solidarity
with farming communities around the world,
simply by buying and drinking fair trade
coffee, tea and cocoa.
The Catholic community has always been
vital to Equal Exchange's success in building
fair trade for small-scale farmers and their
families. Numerous religious orders are
lenders and investors with the company and
over 300 Catholic parishes, schools and
organizations have ordered coffee, tea, and
cocoa through Equal Exchange. Catholic Relief
Services looks forward to expanding that
number and joining with the more than 7,000
places of worship across the United States who
are connecting faith and fair trade through
Equal Exchange's Interfaith Program and
partnerships with faith-based relief and
development organizations such as Lutheran
World Relief and the United Methodist
Committee on Relief.
Through the CRS Coffee Project, Catholics
and others of good will in the United States
can express their faith and values by making
conscious consumer choices, ones that place
people and the environment ahead of profits,
and by amplifying the voices of coffee farmers
around the world.
- SERVE fair
trade coffee, tea and cocoa after
mass and at special parish events.
- SELL the
products to parishioners, for use
at home, or as fundraising
projects for the parish.
- EDUCATE about
fair trade and other economic
justice issues in Sunday school,
small faith communities, at parish
council meetings, youth gatherings
and other events.
- ADVOCATE for
just trade policies and practices,
- SPEAK to local
businesses about offering fairly
traded coffee, tea and cocoa from
Together CRS and Equal Exchange are
committed to increasing the demand for fair
trade coffee in the United States, supporting
the development of small-scale farmers in
coffee growing regions, and connecting
communities in the United States with
communities around the world. The CRS Coffee
Project provides an excellent way to make this
commitment tangible, one cup at a time.
For more information about the CRS
Coffee Project and how to order fair trade
coffee, tea, and cocoa, visit
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STEP: Steps Toward
Eliminating Poverty is the name of
the new anti-hunger, anti-poverty program of
the Diocese of Joliet’s Peace and Social
Justice Ministry. Four key aspects or
“steps” in the struggle against poverty
are included in STEP … prayer, education,
charity and justice. (read