So, a year on and we find ourselves back in lockdown. The good news for JPII participants is our communities need volunteers now more than ever. Our church doors might be closed, but our parishes are as busy and active as ever. We can join that movement of kind and generous people supporting those around us, and who Pope Francis calls the “Saints next Door”. We might need to think outside the box a little, but are still plenty of ways to earn your Pope John Paul II Award while adhering to government restrictions and keeping safe. Read on for some ideas, and remember, sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that mean the most…
“We can’t all do great things. But we can do little things with great love” – Mother Teresa
Social Awareness Hours:
- Check-in with someone you know who is vulnerable or cocooning. A phone-call could mean the world.
- Help a neighbour – do shopping, cut a lawn, wash windows, or teach them how to use WhatsApp or Zoom.
- Send a letter or card to someone in a nursing home or other residential setting, or living alone.
- Help, encourage or thank our front line heroes in any way you can (don’t forget your parish priest!)
- Bake or cook for your neighbours, or for someone who might appreciate it.
- Help at home – babysitting, home-schooling, cooking, washing, cleaning.
- Support friends who are finding life under the restrictions difficult.
- Organise or take part in a fundraiser for your favourite charity, like Focus Ireland’s Virtual Camino.
- Help some local community effort – making masks etc.
- Is there an environmental initiative or campaign you can join or do from home?
- Is there a social justice initiative you can take on from home? Be a voice for the marginalised.
- Take part in other online initiatives eg. Trócaire’s Game Changers
- Easiest credits ever: just follow @tuamyouthministry on Facebook or Instagram.
- Write an article, reflection or poem for ‘New Dawn’ (max. 600 words) or for this website!
- Get creative for Feast Days: St Brigid’s Cross (1 February), Palm Cross (28 March), May Altar (1 May).
- Offer to help cleaning your church or local graveyard (maybe in the summer).
- Offer to help your parish with their online streaming or music (when restrictions relax a little).
- Offer to help your parish with their social media.
- Take time to enjoy the beauty of nature – make an album of photographs and reflect on it.
- Join one of our online groups – check out our online NUA programme!
Have an idea that isn’t mentioned here? Let us know about it below or on social media!