What is Almsgiving?
Almsgiving is financial or material offering toward the poor. Caring for the needy and disenfranchised is mentioned in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Almsgiving can express a combination of both love of God with love of neighbor.
Periodically throughout the school year the CB community bring together the gift of alms for those in need. The almsgiving efforts are coordinated during Thanksgiving, Advent, Lent and in response to major emergencies or tragedies that affect our world. Almsgiving provides immediate relief to those who are suffering.
The word Advent means “coming.” It is during this time Christians anticipate the birth of Christ. Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas day. Advent, according to Second Vatican Council, is twofold in character. “It is a season to prepare Christians for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time.” Advent brings joy and hopeful expectation.
During the season of Advent the CB community participates in almsgiving. Our Advent almsgiving is student driven with the help of our campus service club: LaSallian Youth. Christian Brothers students sign up to buy a Christmas gift for K-3 Oakridge Elementary student. Gifts are gathered and wrapped by Lasallian Youth. The Lasallian Youth also put on a holiday celebration for the children at Oakridge. Gifts are new toys and books that are age appropriate. The generosity of the CB community is always appreciated by those in greatest need.
The word Lent comes from Middle English and means “spring.” Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is a forty-day liturgical season of fasting, special prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. During Lent Christians are challenged to renew themselves through contemplative introspection and participate in the sacrament of reconciliation.
During the Lenten almsgiving season the Christian Brothers community donates to our sister school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and to the Sacramento Food Bank Refugee Settlement Services. Each year the proceeds from the Family Dance are sent to our twinning school in Ethiopia. The needs of the school change year to year from science books to transportation. The proceeds are our CB contribution to their immediate school needs.
Locally our students donate to the Sacramento Food Bank Refugee Resettlement Services. Each class level is assigned household needs to donate to the newly settled refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Moldova, and other countries. Household needs include new bedsheets, towels, dish soap, mops, brooms etc. These donations are our way of welcoming the families to a new life in Sacramento.