BSM has implemented a new way to look at philanthropy. A program called The Common Basket is a well-rounded approach to giving, emphasizing a balance of sharing time, talent and treasure.
"With all the cultural pressures our students face, our hope is that the Common Basket program will give them a solid foundation for their values surrounding money." - Director of Mission Lisa Lenhart-Murphy
What is the historical connection? The theme stems from a historical reference of students in Christian Brothers’ original schools sharing bread with each other at school. While some students would have plenty of bread to bring for lunch when at school, others did not. Those who were able to place extra bread into baskets, which were discretely positioned in the back of a room, did so. In turn, others were encouraged to anonymously take from the basket, if they needed to do so.
Will participating in these offerings teach students about philanthropy? We certainly hope so, but beyond practicing philanthropy, students also learn more about the concept, overall. The BSM faith formation department has developed curriculum, specific for each of the theology classes. Also, each Common Basket collection is hosted by one of BSM’s major academic departments.
What is an example of a project? In the past, the math department selected Kiva, an online micro-lending organization that empowers individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. BSM math teachers infused micro-lending lessons into the curriculum for each student to gain an understanding of this practice. After learning about Kiva, students were given an opportunity during Mass to make a donation toward this Common Basket project.
Where did we get the baskets used? The baskets that are used were brought back from Rwanda, where a couple of BSM teachers visited to study that country’s culture for curriculum enhancement.