I have a dear friend in New Orleans named Laura. She is raising two amazing children. I wanted to share with all of you the story of her son Ethan and his Lenten commitment. This article ran in the Times Picayune on Thursday March 18th.
St. Andrew student gives during Lent
Facebook page aids animal shelter
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Sometimes, what you give is more important than what you give up.
During Lent, it's common practice for Catholics to "give up" something, whether it's eating candy, drinking soft drinks or fighting with your brother. When we were growing up, my sister and I would count down the minutes until Easter, when we were free to eat as many chocolate bunnies as possible.
I admit that we were missing the point. The "giving up" is about changing your ways, and not just until Easter.
It's about what you give, not what you give up. Ethan Carroll is 9, and his Lenten journey is proof that you can give a lot if your heart is set on it.
Ethan and his dad, Tim, decided to do something meaningful as they prepared for Easter.
"We were looking for something to do for Lent, something a little bit different," Tim Carroll said. Ethan loves animals, and so he thought he would like to volunteer to help at the St. Tammany Parish Humane Society.
"We called, but you have to be 16 to volunteer," Carroll said. The Humane Society, not wanting to turn down a good deed, suggested a fundraiser. And the Carrolls, being in tune with the times, turned to just the place where they could get the word out.
"What we did was set up an Ethan Carroll Lent Project group on Facebook," Carroll said. "We sent it to friends and asked for donations."
The power of social networking has been a big hit.
"We started about three weeks ago, and we have 95 members in the group, including a couple of teachers I know from when I was in school (at Holy Cross High School)," Carroll said. "Some people are mailing the checks directly to the Humane Society in Ethan's name."
Ethan, a student at St. Andrew the Apostle in Algiers, just wants to help animals who need someone to love them. His effort is reaching far and wide.
"We have all kinds of people" who want to help, Carroll said. "We invited people we know, then they invited others they know. So we have people from all over the state and Mississippi."
"We have been surprised by how quickly everyone joined the group. We thought it would be low-key, but it took off quickly. The response on donations has been amazing. We had donations two days after we started it. The project will be up and running through Easter."
According to Ethan's Facebook group, the Humane Society is need of "Purina food, blankets, toys, bleach, gloves, other cleaning supplies and anything you can think of that a pet care facility may need.
"We're trying to spread out as much as possible. They rely strictly on donations," Carroll said.
"We don't want to handle the money, so we ask it be shipped directly to them (the Humane Society)."
If you want to help Ethan's Lent project, visit his Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.hp?gid=376655452924&ref=mf.
I encourage everyone to support his project this Lenten season.