SAN BERNARDINO—During a Lenten Mass at Holy Rosary Academy this year, Father Hieu Trong Nguyen explained to the students the season of Lent is a time for sacrifices. It is a time to give up something and give to someone else. Father Hieu challenged the students to pick a charity and raise money for that charity during Lent. He promised that he would also donate money to help any class that took on the Lenten challenge.
When the third graders came back from Mass that day they excitedly began talking about which charity they wanted to choose. There were so many choices that their teacher, Ms. Ruiz, encouraged them to put the choice to a vote. Some students wanted to help the homeless, some wanted to help sick children and others wanted to help people with cancer. When someone finally suggested helping animals the students knew that God was calling for their help. In a quick class vote the students found the charity they would spend the next 40 days raising money for, the San Bernardino Humane Society.
Ms. Ruiz explained to the students that they were to earn the money they wanted to donate and put in the jar, not just ask for a hand out. At home students started doing extra chores to help get money to donate; some students would even give their whole allowance. Just as Father Hieu promised, he came to visit and put in his own donation. The students were so happy to know that they were working towards helping those animals in need.
When the Humane Society came for a class visit with a special little dog named Halley Sue, the students were happy to give them $106.88. The students were proud that they had accepted Father Hieu’s Lenten challenge and in doing so learned how to sacrifice and help others in need.