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40 Acts of Kindness

Feeding God’s Sheep during Lent and beyond

Published on


Dean Quinn

Many people choose to “give up” something for Lent but, in February 2018, when Dean Quinn heard Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, our founder and chief executive, interviewed by Father Dave on Busted Halo, he was inspired to instead “give something” as part of his Lenten observance that year. As Dean explained to us “I'm sort of a fan of the giving up something and taking on something.”

“I was moved by Mary’s Meals mission, vision and values,” Dean says: “Upon hearing Magnus speak about the hungry children Mary’s Meals was providing a daily meal for, I thought of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25; ’I was hungry and you gave me food…whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did for me’.

“When I heard that $19.50 feeds a child for an entire school year I immediately thought this is what I will do, what I will give, for Lent! I will make a daily donation of $19.50 every day.”

Dean considered making a single donation of $780 to cover the 40 days of Lent. “I can do the math,” he explained.  Instead he decided to make a daily donation of $19.50, taking a moment each day during Lent to pray for the children he hoped would benefit from each contribution, and for all hungry children.

Dean says: “I have never been hungry or not known where my next meal is coming from – and this realization is part of the reason why supporting Mary’s Meals’ work with some of the world’s poorest children is so important to me.”

When we recently touched based with Dean, we found out that he has been doing this for Lent every year, now providing $25.20 a day. However, his commitment to Mary’s Meals does not end on Easter. After that first Lent Dean decided that on a weekly basis he would donate for a child for a year. He does this every Tuesday morning. Before he donates, he makes it a practice it is to pray for the children who are served by Mary's Meals and for Mary's Meals in general.

Child smiling

 Dean also speaks to RCIA groups about Mary’s Meals.  He shares his conversion story and what keeps him connected to God and the church.  He relates how God was drawing him to the Eucharist his whole life and that He is doing exactly that with everyone in RCIA. He discussed how God is feeding him with the Eucharist. He thinks about the passage from John 21:7 where Jesus asks Peter three times to feed His sheep.  That message strongly resonates with Dean and he told us “For me, Mary’s Meals is a perfect, perfect way to do that.”

Dean’s commitment to “feed God’s sheep” ensures that many hungry children can enjoy daily meals in their place of education. Dean hopes to continue to broaden support for our mission by reaching out to others and inviting them to become part of the Mary’s Meals movement.

The kindness and generosity of supporters like Dean enable us to keep our promise of a nutritious daily meal to those children already enrolled in our school feeding program and – as funds allow – reach out to the next hungry child waiting for Mary’s Meals.