This worry cannot be turned to joy by a kind word alone, but by the generous action of our benefactors who are continuing to support the 30th Annual ICSF Gala as we go virtual.
''Worry weighs down the heart, but a kind word gives it joy." (Proverbs 12:24)
There are a lot of unknowns right now that are causing anxiety and disruption. Focusing on the unknowns in life and letting fear take over our minds and hearts is terrifying. In this time of crisis in our world, we can turn inward and absorb all of this anxiety, consumed by fear and the unknown, or we can look outward and be the light. We can be the kind word that gives others joy. We can be the good deed that brings light and happiness to someone's day. Yes, in this time of crisis, we can bring joy.
The 30th Annual ICSF Gala was scheduled for April 2, 2020. As it became clear that this event was not going to happen, our thoughts first turned to fear. As the Catholic Schools Foundation's single largest fundraiser, thousands of low-income students are relying on this support to help provide them with a high-quality Catholic education. Not raising these funds would be catastrophic to already low-income families who are now facing lost wages and an even less certain financial future. However, this worry quickly turned to resolve. CSF cannot let these families down. We turned to our Board and donors to say the event must go on and it will go on, and transitioned the event to a virtual platform.
One of the hallmarks of our great nation and our Church is the manner in which we rally together in times of crisis. As we watch the COVID-19 pandemic strain our healthcare system, our economy and our education system, we also see people coming together in a spirit of generosity. In our schools specifically, we see communities supporting one another by providing meals for their families that are in need and by educators ensuring remote-learning is possible and effective for all students. During this trying time, we see the best in our people and our Church.
This rallying together is what we found as we moved our dinner to a virtual event. Our dinner chair, Mike Minogue, and his wife, Renee, and ICSF chair Peter Lynch stepped forward and doubled their already generous support to help establish an emergency fund to meet the needs of families served by the Inner City Scholarship Fund. Many have followed their lead and we are continuing to invite others to join with them in support.
Many families served by the Catholic Schools Foundations (CSF) Inner-City Scholarship Fund are living paycheck to paycheck and their incomes are at or below federal poverty guidelines. Now, during this crisis, their incomes, which are mostly from hourly service sector jobs, are facing significant pressure. Compounding this pressure is the fact that 65 percent of students are from single-parent homes and now children are unexpectedly home. This means that work, even when it is available, is potentially impossible. This worry cannot be turned to joy by a kind word alone, but by the generous action of our benefactors who are continuing to support the 30th Annual ICSF Gala as we go virtual.
During this period of uncertainty, it may help to focus on what we do know. We know that God is with us. We know that we can control how we respond and treat others. We know that we can be beacons of hope and light in this time of worry. Through our words and actions, we can give joy.
Please join us for a joy-filled night on April 2, 2020, at 7:30 when we celebrate so much that is good in our world and in our Catholic Schools.
You can register for this complimentary event at www.csfboston.org/2020dinner.
- Michael B. Reardon is executive director of the Catholic Schools Foundation, www.CSFBoston.org.