Become a Parish Volunteer and help eradicate poverty

Interested in making a difference to the World’s poorest communities? Join CAFOD as a parish volunteer and discover fantastic ways to make that difference. Two of our volunteers, Jill and John,  share the opportunities they gained from volunteering at CAFOD. You too can sign up today and get active in your parish.

Jill and John’s journey to becoming a parish volunteers

There are many reasons why parishioners choose to volunteer for CAFOD, from wanting to take concrete action to making the most of their free time.

Jill Cass, parish Volunteer from St Theresa of the Infant Jesus in BIGGIN HILL, at the Share the Journey walk last June 2018 in Hartley

Jill Cass, parish Volunteer from St Theresa of the Infant Jesus in Biggin Hill, at the Share the Journey walk last June 2018 in Hartley

Jill Cass became a volunteer in her parish by accident four years ago, when she had to fill in for someone else. “I have been a CAFOD volunteers for four years. In the past we had relied on a speaker at mass for Family Fast Day but one day we could not get one so I thought I would do it and that’s how I became a volunteer,” she says.

Since then, Jill has enjoyed being an active member of her community and has helped with a range of activities, from coordinating CAFOD’s Family Fast Days to helping other volunteers speak at mass.

On the other hand, a long time supporter of CAFOD, John Vine decided to become an active parish volunteer after retiring.

“I have supported CAFOD financially for as long as I can remember but when I retired I felt I needed to do more to follow St James’s exhortation to do something and not just talk about it.  So I decided to become our parish representative and set up a small parish group to help fundraise and support campaigns,” he says.

Interested in volunteering with CAFOD? Find out more

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Organising Your Own Soup Lunch for Harvest Fast Day

6 October 2017 marks this year’s Harvest Fast Day, which serves to generate funds to support our partners in El Salvador to fight injustices there. Sidney Magdaong, a CAFOD intern, describes how you can get involved by making your own soup lunch.

With Harvest Day approach quickly, many of our volunteers are hard at work as ever to make this Fast Day a successful one. A successful Fast Day derives from successful fundraising, and CAFOD provides several fundraising resources to kick-start the process. One of the best ways you can get involved in the effort is by organising your own soup lunch.

Discover more ways you can volunteer for this year’s Fast Day

soup lunch blog

CAFOD staff and volunteers enjoying their own soup lunch

How do I get started? Organising a soup lunch always starts with a plan: first, you will need a team who can help. you can ask your friends and family to help buy ingredients and cook a variety of soups (make sure that the cooks abide by food safety guidelines, and ensure that all soups are labelled clearly for those with allergies!). To save on costs, ask your local supermarket or bakery if they would be willing to donate any supplies that can help out. Working alongside your community goes a long way, and it brings people together in the process.

Check out our how-to guide, which summarizes how you can get started

Second, the venue must be decided.  Soup lunches can be done at your own home, as long as there is enough room for everyone to fit! If you decide to host the soup lunch at your school or your parish, make sure you ask for permission beforehand, and if they can provide you with the necessary catering services.

After that, you’re almost set! The only thing left to do is to spread the word about your event. CAFOD has advertising resources that can help make your soup lunch a successful one. Put up posters around your community, invite your friends and family, etc.; anything it takes to get people involved. Donations from your soup lunch can then be sent to CAFOD, which will tremendously fuel our efforts to support our partners in El Salvador.

Learn more about the message that CAFOD is sending to farmers in El Salvador

Thus, the most important thing to keep in mind is the mission that you are serving.

04 Tuesday Endimel y Marti-14

Martir, an El Salvadorian farmer and partner to CAFOD, holding his crop

Sharing a soup lunch with your community resembles the community that CAFOD is striving to provide for the many El Salvadorian farmers who are struggling to yield fruitful harvests. Through the giving of yourself and of your community, you are planting new, fresh seeds for farmers in El Salvador, thus reaping crops that will provide a better life and stronger hope for them.