John Kerr may have moved across the Atlantic, but he is never far from his roots through the work of Mary's Meals.

John Kerr is currently volunteering with Mary’s Meals for the 2018 Mission Appeals Cooperative Program in Brooklyn and Queens.

“I first heard about Mary's Meals from a friend from Glasgow who was visiting New York and stayed with us for a few days. Later on, my sister spoke to me about it as she was organizing a fund raiser in Glasgow. One thing I have in common with Magnus is being part of a happy committed Christian family,” says John

John Kerr is the eldest of eight children, five girls and three boys. “We grew up in a very poor neighborhood in Glasgow's East End. Both my parents were very involved in the community, proposing initiatives geared to helping all members of the community. In our home we had a corner of our living room dedicated as the ‘Providence Corner’. People stopped by our home to drop off clothing, housewares and anything that might be useful for people in need. Others would come and go through the items and take whatever they could use. Eventually, we were given a large metal container from the back of an 18-wheeler. At that point we could store furniture, refrigerators, tables etc., all goods that we were able to pass on to anyone in the community who had a need.”

John’s family lived a life of ‘giving’, making a big impression on him and playing a huge role in his actions today.  

John is an avid fan of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club. The club was founded in 1888 by Irish Marist Brother Walfrid with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the immigrant Irish population in the East End of Glasgow by raising money for the charity Walfrid had instituted, the Poor Children's Dinner Table. “The club became very successful and has a worldwide supporter base.  In North America alone there are more than 80 official supporter’s clubs, with annual conventions alternating between Las Vegas and Canada. The club has maintained its charitable work and has an official charity named Foundation CFC. This charity has been involved in many fund-raising events for Mary's Meals. This year the Foundation has embarked on a program to build ‘67 Kitchens’ – a campaign to reach thousands of desperately hungry children with a daily meal in school.”

John has many personal links to Africa, as he lived and volunteered, for two and a half years, in a remote village in Cameroon. John explains: “I helped with the construction of a primary school, and with installing the water supply and electricity for the hospital built by volunteers. I was there in my early twenties and my experience was very profound and of great value to my future development and education. All these factors make my association with Mary's Meals relevant and rewarding. Supporting Mary’s Meals gives me the opportunity to stay in touch with Africa and all the countries where the work is being done.”

John believes in this message: “The story of Mary's Meals is one that can uplift people and provide them with hope and good news in a world bombarded with negativity and conflict. It is a simple message and offers a simple way to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Giving people the chance to participate through donations and prayers helps them to feel like they are part of the solution.”

John is volunteering for Mary’s Meals in the New York area and is currently participating in Mission Appeals at local parishes in Brooklyn and Queens. 

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