Common Basket collects donations for God’s Child Project


photo courtesy of Mr. Matthew McMerty-Brummer

A group from the God’s Child Project mission trip demonstrate the work that they did in Guatemala.

The Common Basket has always been an important part of Benilde-St. Margaret’s Masses. Like the tradition of the Christian Brothers, at each mass students and faculty gather together as a large community to help those in need. In the past, students have helped organizations like the American Brain Tumor Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, ALS-TDI, White Dove Foundation and School in Rwanda, and many others.

Students and teachers that went on the mission trip this past summer to Antigua, Guatemala worked with the World Language Department to support The God’s Child Project in the Common Basket. Those who went on the mission trip in the middle of July worked with The God’s Child Project organization to build six new houses and six outdoor kitchens for families in the impoverished neighborhoods of Antigua.

According to their website, “The God’s Child Project is a nonpolitical, international humanitarian organization that develops and administers health, education, family foster care, community development, and human rights protection systems in the world’s poorest nations.”

The God’s Child Project motto is: “Breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation,” and they strongly believe in it. The children of Antigua are encouraged to go to school everyday and learn as much as they can.

The God’s Child Project has set up a unique program where social workers from the organization go out onto the streets of impoverished cities and find young children who are not attending school. Social workers place these kids with a school and based on attendance and performance with academics, the kids can essentially earn a house for their family. In Antigua, God’s Child has seen a huge improvement in children getting an education, which will certainly better their families and their futures.

Human rights activist and founder of The God’s Child Project, Patrick Atkinson, came to BSM and spoke to students about his experience with The God’s Child Project. During language classes, Atkinson spoke about his life in college, where he graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and his current work in countries that are affected by immense poverty, like Guatemala. In 1991, Atkinson founded The God’s Child Project, which is now a multi-national charity.

The first thing that they always say is to please remember them, please keep them in our prayers. We want to continue that ongoing support.

— Spanish teacher Mr. Matthew McMerty-Brummer

The Mass at the end of October helped The God’s Child Project raise money and awareness for their cause. “In general the money is going to children’s education for The God’s Child Project. There are so many different aspects of their education; it could go towards school uniforms, school supplies, and medical care because there is also a clinic at the school,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Megan Hansen said. God’s Child estimates that 1,000 dollars will fund one child’s schooling for a year.

The students, faculty, and staff raised over $1,200 for God’s Child Project. “The first thing that they always say is to please remember them, please keep them in our prayers. We want to continue that ongoing support. We encourage everyone to try to learn as much about the people and the culture of Guatemala as possible,” Spanish teacher Mr. Matthew McMerty-Brummer said.