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The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic Church organizations that carry out international relief and solidarity efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for the poor; legal and support services for poor immigrants; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless.In the developing world, it is often hard for families to support themselves and their children. Sophie, a widow working in a village in Burkina Faso, was struggling to feed her family and pay for schooling for her children. Thanks to the help of Catholic Relief Services, one of the CRSC-supported organizations, her village was able to set up a Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC). Through the SILC, members contribute what they can afford, allowing them to pool their resources and save collectively. Members can then borrow money to meet pressing needs or develop business opportunities. Through the SILC, Sophie was able to take out a $200 loan to cover startup costs for her own canteen, a sum that would be nearly impossible for her to save. Her canteen has been very successful and began to pay off in only six months. Her community has benefited too, as she has been able to hire three assistants to work with her. Without the SILC and the work of CRS, it would have been nearly impossible for her, and others like her, to create a sustainable life for her and her family.
In keeping with the theme "Help Jesus in Disguise," the funds collected through the CRS Collection support vital Catholic programs that share in the Catholic mission of promoting the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.
In a statement dated September 10, 2013, the U.S. bishops stated their full support of CRS:
"The U.S. Catholic bishops stand firmly behind CRS in its commitment to promote and defend human dignity and the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and at every moment in between."
Funds acquired from the CRS Collection are distributed to these six organizations:Catholic Relief Services. . . for international relief and development.
Read a letter from the Chairman, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, about The Catholic Relief Services Collection (CRSC).
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