Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Panhandling is a fact of life in every urban area, but some local leaders are working to make life easier for both the needy and local residents.
CHICAGO, IL (Catholic Online) - Many locals are made uncomfortable by panhandling, especially when panhandlers get aggressive. On rare occasion, assaults may occur. While most don't mind giving a dollar or two, it can be difficult for some to hand out money on a routine basis.
For the needy, help from the streets may seem to be the only option, but that isn't the case.
Now, Oak Park leaders have launched a campaign to help everyone this season. Cards will be made available in local stores for customers to take. If they are approached by panhandlers, they can give the card instead of money.
The card features information about local charities and other information that needy people will find useful. If they visit the local charities, they will receive more help than they would get just asking for change. The cards also offer free meals at local charitable establishments.
Officials hope that everyone will benefit from the new program, and plan to distribute the cards throughout the season.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.