UP Catholic 02 19 2016 E Edition Page 18

18 February 19, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org (CNA) - A gift of 40 dollars in Lent could help persecuted Christians and other refugees in the Middle East, thanks to the latest appeal from the Knights of Columbus. During the Lenten season, we recall Christs suffering and death, Knights of Co- lumbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Feb. 9. In turn, remembering and assisting those who are today suffering and dying for their belief in Christ is an excellent way to do food where it is most needed and to enter more deeply into the spirit of this season. Anderson noted the tradi- tional Lenten habit of making sacrifices. He said the Knights of Columbus wanted to pro- vide an opportunity for their sacrifice to make a difference - not only in their own life, but in the lives of others. The Catholic fraternal order is promoting its 40 Bucks for Lent donation campaign using the hashtag #40Bucks- ForLent to benefit its Christian Refugee Relief Fund. The Knights of Columbus began the relief fund in 2014. It has raised nearly $10 mil- lion for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, particularly those from Iraq and Syria fleeing the violence of ISIS. The fund helps provide housing, food, medical aid, education and other relief. In 2015, the Knights of Columbus helped bring a young Iraqi girl to the U.S. so she could receive specialized medical care. The fund also supports ef- forts to raise awareness about the refugees situation through television commercials and news stories. Anderson has testified on Capitol Hill about the refugee situation. He has also joined other U.S. leaders in asking the U.S. State Department to recognize the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians as fenocide. The Knights of Columbus has nearly 1.9 million mem- bers worldwide. Donations to the refugee relief fund are tax deductible. The Knights of Columbus said that 100 percent of all dona- tions support humanitarian assistance and awareness raising efforts. The Christian Refugee Relief Funds website is at www. ChristiansAtRisk.org. Locally, Knights of Colum- bus are also promoting 40 Cans for Lent. The initiative collects canned and other foods to aid the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In Marquette, Council 689 has baskets set up at St. Peter Ca- thedral and St. Michael Parish with the goal of raising 2,000 pounds of food. St. Vincent de Paul serves 1,300 families comprised of 3,000 people by purchasing $17,000 worth of food each month for residents of Gwinn and Marquette. Lent offers opportunity to help Middle East Christians

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