I want to share today a crowdfunding page of a family my wife and I personally know. The Suchomskis are a wonderfulfamily in every way. Their youngest son, Leo, has been diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. Leo just underwent a surgery to have a large tumor removed and is currently being administered chemotherapy. See all the information here.
100% of the donations which go to the crowdfunding page will go to this joyful, loving, and passionate Catholic family. While they have health insurance there will no doubt be many costs associated with the ongoing treatment and any future complications related to childhood cancer.
…more than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions by the time they’re 45 years old. Chemo and radiation have many known long-term side effects including reduced kidney function, heart or lung problems, delayed growth or development, potential infertility and sometimes even secondary cancers later in life. Childhood cancer is truly a lifelong battle, and Leo’s life will never be the same because of it.
As Catholics, we are called to give alms, especially during Lent. Some people don’t have the time or ability to donate their time, services, or blood and would rather donate money to worthy causes. I just became aware of good resource to go to where one can pick and choose authentic Catholic causes to donate to where 100% of the donation goes to the specific cause.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Thanks to a post on Catholic Memes, I became aware for the first time of MISSIOwhich is a list of various Catholic missions around the world as chosen by the Pontifical Mission Societies under the pope. There are opportunities for your money to go to farm animals for families, clean water for children, new classrooms, building of parishes for new Catholic communities, Catholic pregnancy centers and much more. It makes donating so easy. Also, the site accepts donations in any amount so even if someone doesn’t have much to give, they can easily give in proportion to their own situation.
Looking at this list, the goals of each mission are pretty low too. How fun would it be to be very rich and anonymously go to this site and just give money to each mission for each to complete its goal. I love stories where like someone goes to a toy store right before Christmas and pays for all the toys on hold to be picked up. If I was Bill Gates, that’s what I’d be doing regularly.
A few of my faves are listed below–although there’s a TON to choose from and I didn’t even look at every single one! Along with it is the amount raised/fundraising goal.
It’s so exciting to know that a little money can go to so much good with the click of a mouse. How I pray that all these causes reach their goals. ☩
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
-2 Cor. 9:6-7
While The View typically serves as a school of ignorant popular thought, they recently aired a noteworthy segment. The daytime show hosted the Order of Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary which is one of the few traditionally black religious orders in the country. This order of impressive women is stationed in Harlem and does powerful work evangelizing the downtrodden and feeding the poor among many other things. These heroic women (along with nuns across the world) are fighting on the front lines against despair in ways we could never imagine. Nuns in the trenches of society, doing the necessary dirty work of the Church, are too easily forgotten about by even Catholics. So it’s refreshing when women like this catch a break.
Whoopi Goldberg surprises these joyful sisters with $10,000, a brand new Toyota Sienna (to transport food to their food pantry), and a year’s worth of fuel. The jubilation shown by the women makes it hard not to smile because they are not excited for themselves, they are excited for the people they will be able to help. In an era when celebrities accumulate the value of this one-time prize in minutes to spend on themselves, there is a palpable feeling of satisfaction seeing a cause so worthy being acknowledged.
I can see the high-budget action scene now: A sweaty man with a 5 o’clock shadow and loosened tie approaches a pretty woman keeping to herself in a dimly lit brothel, “how much for an hour?” whispers the married man into her ear. “NUN OF YOUR BUSINESS” Sister Maria shouts right before delivering a series of Jackie Chan-style martial arts blows sending the John flying across the room as she cartwheels out of the window and into her idling Aston Martin. As she peels out, a dozen elite spec. ops sisters in black tactical gear rappel from high interior rafters to swoop up children just moments from being sold off to the highest bidder.
Perhaps that scene would be taking some pretty extreme creative liberties, but this real life story could still be made into a movie nonetheless. According the Huffington Post and the Thomas Reuters Foundation, there is an “army” of nuns that are posing as prostitutes to “infiltrate” brothels in attempt to save children before they are sold into slavery. This operation of women religious has now expanded to 140 countries.
An army of religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries, its chairman said on Wednesday.
John Studzinski, an investment banker and philanthropist who chairs Talitha Kum, said the network of 1,100 sisters currently operates in about 80 countries but the demand for efforts to combat trafficking and slavery was rising globally.
“I’m not trying to be sensational but I’m trying to underscore the fact this is a world that has lost innocence … where dark forces are active,” said Studzinski, a vice chairman of U.S. investment bank The Blackstone Group.
He told of one woman enslaved as a prostitute who was locked up for a week without food, forced to eat own her faeces, when she failed to have sex with a target of 12 clients a day.
In another extreme case, one woman was forced to have sex with a group of 10 men at the same time.
Studzinski said the religious sisters working to combat trafficking would go to all lengths to rescue women, often dressing up as prostitutes and going out on the street to integrate themselves into brothels.
“They work in brothels. No one knows they are there.”
The sisters were also proactive on trying to save children being sold into slavery by their parents, setting up a network of homes in Africa as well as in the Philippines, Brazil and India to shelter such children.
He said the religious sisters of Talitha Kum raised money to purchase these children.
“This is a new network of houses for children around the world who would otherwise be sold into slavery. It is shocking but it is real,” he said.
Nuns are profoundly wonderful and amazing. They do so many good works that most people either don’t or couldn’t do. Pray for increased vocations!
St. Nicholas of Myra, as the patron of prostitutes and trafficked people, please pray for the women risking their lives, that they stay safe on their noble endeavor to free children from evil. Also intercede for the children who find themselves in these awful situations, that they may be delivered from evil and find love and joy in their own lives by the grace of God.
Netflix just added The Drop Box and everyone should see it. This documentary features protestant minister Lee Jong-rak and his wife at his church called Jusarang (“God’s Love”) in South Korea. After having a son with severe disabilities and having to sell their home to pay the medical bills, Lee and his wife began making it their mission to take care of other children that society deemed unnecessary in a country that has high rates of abandonment, often ending in death. People began leaving babies at the front of Jusarang (also their home) and the couple would care for them–some with mental or physical disabilities, some not. Because some children would be left in the cold, he created a “drop box” that people could safely place their baby in. Sometimes it would be an injured child or, in one case shown, it was a baby just an hour old still with blood and an umbilical cord attached. He said he has cut so many umbilical cords he can’t keep count anymore.
The love that is displayed for these children can only be described as Christ-like. Taking care of your own child with a disability is very hard and takes extreme patience and sacrifice–how many people could do that for a stranger’s child? Lee and his wife feed, clothe, and care for all the children. Some stay with them for a long time, some get adopted. Their house has become a sort of large family. They giggle, play, and roughhouse with their “siblings” there. They are given a joyful life. They call Lee “papa”. They are kept warm. They are healthy. They are happy. They are raised in a prayerful and grateful Christian household. They have real futures.
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
His and his wife’s story is an amazing display of God’s love working through people. There’s sad moments in the film but they are balanced out by tearful joy the viewer feels thanks to the redemptive power of the love this couple shows for every single child that is placed at their doorstep. In fact, it’s so moving that the director of this film was moved to conversion after making the movie (link below). Check out the trailer above for an idea of what it’s like.