Though our diocese is not financially wealthy, Bishop Barnes each year designates about $150,000 to funding some projects aimed at alleviating poverty, promoting healthy living and making life more bearable to the poor and needy. This funding project, called the Sacrificial Giving Grant (SGG) by the Bishop, has been in place since 1995.
The Sacrificial Giving Grant (SGG) is divided into the Local SGG and the International SGG.
The Local SGG is given to support local projects within the Diocese of San Bernardino. This includes parish food pantries, approved crisis-pregnancy centers, organizations helping the homeless, immigrants and those who have nobody to help them, programs aimed at educating /promoting education of the poor and the marginalized.
During the 2013 Local SGG cycle, the projects and organizations funded include Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Riverside; Providence in the Desert Education project in Coachella Valley; Reach Out Morongo Basin project in Twentynine Palms; St. Anne Family Assistance Program in Running Springs; St. Vincent de Paul Society in Needles; Mary’s Mercy Center in San Bernardino; OLPH Food Pantry in Riverside; The Galilee Center in Thermal; St. James Food Pantry in Perris; Christ the Good Shepherd Parish Pantry in Adelanto; Central City Lutheran Mission in San Bernardino; St. Ann Catholic Church Pantry in Needles; Sacred Heart Catholic Church pantry in Anza; St. Frances de Sales Church Pantry in Riverside; Elsinore Valley Pregnancy Resource Center in Lake Elsinore; REACH Project in Rialto; St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Pantry in Riverside; Birth Choice of Temecula; Birth Choice of the Desert in La Quinta; Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Pantry in San Bernardino; Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Conference of St. Peter & St. Paul in Alta Loma; St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Pantry in Desert Hot Springs; Corpus Christi Catholic Church Pantry in Corona; Hand to Hand Community Services in San Bernardino; Operation Safe House Inc. in Riverside; Our Lady of Hope Parish Food Pantry in San Bernardino; The Lord’s Table Project in Victorville and Chaffey Joint Union High School in Ontario.
The International SGG is given to support projects outside the USA that have some connection to our diocese through volunteers, someone from another country who may be working in our diocese or a religious community in the country. Some of the funded projects include Mother of Perpetual Help Center in Thailand, Educational Sponsorship Program in India, Clean Water Project in Ukpor, Nigeria; Catholic Education Project in Cameroon; Education in Anapra, Cuidad Juarez; The Well-Baby Clinic in the Dominican Republic; Sanas Para El Tiempo Libre De Ninos & Jovenes in Tacna, Peru; Agusan del Norte/Caraga Region Outreach in the Philippines; Bore-hole Water project in Sefwi Humjibre Ghana; UmuigboUSA- Sunday clinics in Mbaise, Nigeria; Educational Project for Tribal students in Dhaka, Bangledesh; Templo del Senor de la Clemencia Project in Mexicali; Healthcare and Educational Project in Ameke, Nigeria; Foundation for Worldwide Health in Nicaragua/San Bernardino.
As we celebrate Christmas, a time of love, sharing and giving, the Sacrificial Giving Grants of the Diocese remind us all to be generous with our less privileged brothers and sisters, to reach out in love to those who are in need and not to turn away from those who may have no other person to care for them. We may be that one, whom God has sent at this time to reach out to our neighbor in need. May we all work together as God’s family to impact the lives of others with hope.
Sr. Chilee Okoko, DMDM, is the Director of the Ministry of Life, Dignity and Justice for the Diocese of San Bernardino.