Average Joe Buckeye Blitz cont. Talked to a Sunday School class (7th and 8th graders) at St. Thomas Moore Church in Bowling Green, Ohio today about the famine and violence affecting youth their age in the Sudan currently. I asked them to consider a fundraising project (with a graphic display, etc.) to help generate funds for their “brothers and sisters” over there. A 7th grader volunteered to head the project and suggested maybe they could get a friendly fundraising competition going with a parish across town as well. I then went to Hicksville, Ohio where I talked to a Third Order Franciscan group there. Wonderful people. I told them of a model I researched at St. Blaze Parish in Bellingham, Massachussetts. (The parish there averages tithing a phenomenal 17% per parishioner.) They donate to an impoverished Native American Indian Reservation in New Mexico and a mission in a Third World country. Each month a woman at St. Blaze writes a story about how the tithing has helped, say, a little Indian girl get her first dress, or a family in the Third World who was able to buy a farm animal, or… One parishioner at St. Blaze said since the stories started appearing, giving tithing is no longer like impersonally: “just paying another bill.” I suggested maybe some area parishes could adopt the model and help in the Sudan at a grassroots level — because it seems our government (and majority American populace sentiment) is being slow to act amidst the absolutely horrific genocide there. I added if there was ever a “Pro-Life” issue, this would be one of them.