Letter from high school student

I know high school students are moved by my “Poverty & Prayer” presentations. I can feel it and see it in their faces. But I am not so sure how lasting or deep their desire to help the poor is. Today, I received a letter from a student that let me know the impact of the presentation sometimes has a lasting impact.

Dear Mr. Straub,

My name is Erin G_____ and I am a senior at Ursuline Academy [in St. Louis]. You may remember coming to my school two years ago on Ash Wednesday for our school prayer service. You introduced the Ursuline community to a poverty we never knew existed. From that moment, on that particular day, we all knew we wanted to help the cause. This past year to kick off our Lenten season we used the theme, “We must live simply, so others can simply live.” This theme was printed on sweatshirts and this was our fundraiser for your foundation. I am happy to inform you that we raised $438.34.

Please find enclosed our donation to the San Damiano Foundation.

We pray that God continues to bless you and your passion. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.


Erin G_______
Class of 2010

Giving our “Poverty and Prayer” presentations is an important part of our ministry. It truly astounds and encourages me to see how receptive teenagers are to the plight of the poor once they see the suffering for themselves. Last week in Minneapolis more than 600 high school boys sat motionless for ninety minutes, all their eyes riveted to the screen as the story of Sam and Esther unfolded before them. These film clips touch them deeply and most of the kids will not forget what they saw and will do something in response to the message we bring, namely it is there duty and responsibility as followers of Christ to comfort the sick and feed the hungry.


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