Archbishops Philip Tartaglia and Leo Cushley, together with SCIAF’s Bishop President Joseph Toal, have put their full support behind the WEE BOX Lent appeal and urged people to give generously.
Once again, SCIAF has Aid Match funding so for every £1 you give to the WEE BOX appeal between 5th February and 4th May, the UK government will give £1, too. This extra money will give more of the world’s poorest people the help they need to build a better future for themselves and their families, changing lives now and in the future.
The bishops have called on Catholics in schools and parishes across Scotland to do everything they can to make this year’s appeal a great success.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Scotland and SCIAF board member, encouraged people to be generous in what is now a “staple feature” of this season. “The WEE BOX appeal has become a staple feature of Lent in households across the land in recent years and it is a popular and simple way of fundraising,” he said. “This year, I would encourage everyone to be especially generous – maybe put some silver coins in with the coppers, and maybe even a bank note or two!
“The pledge from the UK Government to double the amount raised during the appeal is an extra incentive to be generous, in the sure and certain knowledge that donations given during this Year of Mercy will express mercy and solidarity to some of the world’s neediest people.”
Meanwhile, fellow SCIAF board member, Archbishop Leo Cushley reiterated the impact of the UK government’s initiative. “The three pillars of a Lent well lived are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I’m therefore delighted to hear that the UK government will match every pound given to the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund’s 2016 Lenten campaign. So if you give £1 to SCIAF, it’s £2 that will make its way towards some of the globe’s most needy families and communities. Donation doubled: so that’s WEE BOX – big impact!”
Bishop Joseph Toal, SCIAF’s president, added that although SCIAF’s box is small, the impact it can have is very large. “Money raised through the WEE BOX Lenten appeal allows crops to be grown and land to be worked more effectively and efficiently, supporting and sustaining families in many parts of the world.
“I hope boxes will be filled throughout Lent across Scotland,” he said.
SCIAF director, Alistair Dutton, spoke of the bishops’ support for this year’s WEE BOX Lent appeal, explaining how it underlines the importance they place on SCIAF’s work within the life of the Church in Scotland. “I know this will encourage many more people to increase their support for SCIAF and join us in our life-changing work in solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable people throughout the world.”
This year the appeal focuses on Ethiopian cattle herders whose very existence is threatened by drought and the onset of climate change.
SCIAF is giving goats and other animals to herders whose cattle died in recent droughts, as well as help to dig wells and ponds, and small loans and training to start up small businesses so they can earn money, feed their families and become self-sufficient.
To get a SCIAF WEE BOX or for more on the appeal please visit www.theweebox.org.uk or call 0141 354 5555.