Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Easter Tradition of Giving...

The Monks began his first year of CCD this year...

{Backtrack: John + I were raised attending Catholic schools all of our lives, making all of our sacraments, etcetera. My in-laws are devout Polish Catholics + attend Mass every morning at 7:30am. As for my family: my father's side {Italian Catholic} these days, only set foot in Church on holidays + for baptisms. At the other extreme, my mother {raised Irish Catholic}, is now a Deacon in the Lutheran Church...not feeling "the love" 100% from the Catholic Church for having been divorced. Yeah, there is alot to like + dislike when it comes to religion and over the years those feelings + questions motivated John + I to explore Buddhism... Then we were Hare Krishna Devotees...and in more recent years, came to adopt some of the teachings of the Unitarian Universalist Church. I think our families had some expectations that we would give our children religious {ahem: Catholic...or atleast Christian} education...and so we are. However, as I recently mentioned, we consider ourselves to be sort of Religious Citizens of the Universe; with the plan being that we would buffer bits + pieces of our little folks' catechism lessons along the way when we felt it necessary...}Phew!...That just about brings us up to speed. And brings us to the present: our first opportunity to supplement CCD, as it pertains to Lent. The Monks came home from CCD a few weeks back, telling me about what he was going to "give up" for Lent. Mimi {my Mum, the Deacon} happened to be here + she immediately jumped at the opportunity to explain that Lent; well, it is not about what we don't is about the good we do. The expectation that during Lent, one should sacrifice because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for all people...well, I think that is one way to approach it. However, I alos believe that tributes can be made by living compassionately; in a spirit of love, sharing, friendship + many a religion inspire + instruct people to do. And from a Unitarian Universalist POV, I feel that Spring is the perfect season for acknowledging all things fresh + new...the rebirth of ourselves as the best "US" we can be.


My Mum's church has been working with an organization called Heifer for many years...and through a Lenten church fundraiser, my littles are enjoying collecting funds in their little cardboard barns {similar to UNICEF boxes} towards this effort. What is Heifer you ask?

** Heifer's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace. **
I am an atypical Vegan in that I do think that animals can live in harmony with humans; that we can provide them with love, safety, care + respect and that they can provide us with certain milks, eggs + wool in addition to work services. I thought a wonderful Easter tradition to begin this year would be to donate monies to this organization to purchase an animal through Heifer for a family in need in another country. I had been planning on a lower end donation that we could afford, like 20 chicks {for $20!}...however, my Mum was so ecstatic about the idea, she offered to help us so that we could donte a LAMB! I have placed a link to Heifer on the sidebar aswell as this link {I LOVE!} to Farm Sanctuary...either of these organizations would be so very happy to have any donation to help them continue their good works by helping end hunger, teaching people how to provide for themselves, how to love, respect + care for the animals who help us, treating these living beings with the dignity they deserve until the end of their days. While there won't be any meat of any kind on my Easter dinner table, we are planning to wait until Easter Day to tell the littles about the Lamb we donated to a family in need. We purchased a couple of t-shirts + books from Heifer for the little folk as well {much better than loads of candy, agreed?} to help explain the process of giving {...and so the Monk's can sport the T-shirt + tell the tale when he returns to school next week.} I am so super excited about this idea, the begining of this tradition + think that others of you might be too! So if you were not quite sure where or how a donation should be made... here it is! What Easter Traditions do you + your family practice this time of the year?

All the best as we approach this holiday + the spring season of all things new.


  1. What an awesomely cool new tradition you've found for your family. I wonder if I would be able to explain it to my 4-year-old because it's a wonderful idea. Thank you for the link!

  2. @Alicia
    Oh, I'm so glad to have had the chance to make this donation...and to spread the word about it!

    You know, it is amazing what kids can wrap their heads around...and even if you keep the idea "on file" for next year, it is a great something to do at anytime! I also love that modest donations can be made + are happily accepted...making us all feel like we can play a role in making the world a little better!


I would love to hear your thoughts...especially if they are nice! So post away friends, post away!