Let It Grow: Helping Others in Need

By Deirdre Koenen

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, September 30, 2011

Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011

On the morning of Saturday, Sept.  24, local farmers set up their stands at the Main South Farmers Market in Worcester.  Customers milled around the lot, admiring the vibrant and fresh assortments of fruits, veggies and other merchandise adorning the tables. The farmers market provides the opportunity for the people of Worcester to interact with these farmers who supply them with the freshest choice of produce, and it also presents an ideal campaigning situation for the organization known as Oxfam.

   Oxfam America is an international relief and developmental organization dedicated to the creation of enduring solutions for the devastating hunger, poverty, and injustice in our world. A vital component in the fight against poverty lies in dealing with the justice system. Laws, policies, and institutions all have a significant impact on poverty, and Oxfam America strives to raise awareness and respect for the impoverished people whom these laws affect. This massive organization works with locally and nationally based groups, providing funding and support for their projects.

   Established at one of the tables at the South Main Farmers Market, with an abundance of informational papers and smiling faces was the Holy Cross Oxfam group. Led by seniors Caitlin DiMaina, Carly Dominick-Sobol, and Taylor Marek, this club works to uphold the mission of Oxfam America.

   The Holy Cross students' presence at the Farmers Market on Saturday aimed to raise awareness for Oxfam's GROW campaign, which focuses on achieving an improved food system.  Tabling at farmers markets is part of the campaign outreach leading up to World Food Day on October 16.  The theme "Invest at the World Farmer's Table" promotes the support of local farmers in order to catalyze economic growth, sustainability, and food security.  The main goal for GROW is to be present at 50 farmers markets across the nation and to establish stronger affiliations with the small farmers of the country.  The Holy Cross students' table on Saturday played its part in turning this goal into a reality.

    Besides spreading the word about the GROW campaign, the Oxfam club entreated the customers at the market to sign a petition against the cut of life-saving aid. This petition pleads with Congress to protect the foreign aid programs which literally save the lives of the world's poor by helping them free themselves from the clutches of hunger and poverty.  Despite the fact that our world produces enough food to feed everyone on the planet, millions of people still go hungry every day. The GROW campaign seeks to build a system that will put an end to this deplorable state by feeding and sustaining everyone.

   The Oxfam club at Holy Cross works to do its part in promoting this campaign and raising awareness of these issues of worldwide hunger and poverty. The group's three presidents are all actively involved in Oxfam and eager to share their enthusiasm. Contagiously passionate about the work of Oxfam America, Caitlin DiMaina commented, "I'm so excited for the Holy Cross Oxfam America Club this year because I know we have superb energy and enthusiasm from our co-presidents, Carly and Taylor, and the resources from the Oxfam America headquarters in Boston. I believe that with a good base of club membership, together we have the capacity to organize a small but strong grassroots movement in the Holy Cross/Worcester community that will support the GROW Campaign's call for sufficient food security, and Oxfam America's mission overall in working to end poverty and injustice."

   One of the club's goals this year is to build a strong and dedicated membership base and really raise awareness of Oxfam America. Many people have never heard of Oxfam, and many people are unaware of the horrific extent of the poverty crisis abroad.  Many more are ignorant of the legislature's involvement in the issue, and the great importance and necessity of foreign aid.

   Everyone should know about these issues that are impacting our world and our fellow man. Each and every one of us has the potential to do something about this situation. Oxfam asks us, "What will you do?"

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