By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recently honored three volunteers in the Davenport Diocese for their commitment to CRS and its Rice Bowl program.
Kent Ferris, director of the Social Action Office, was recognized for his work as CRS diocesan director. Teresa Dunbar, CRS Midwest relationship manager, said Ferris has led a “strong team of staff, volunteers and parish leaders who have been instrumental in promoting the work of the global church throughout the diocese.”
In addition, his wife Lori Ferris and diocesan volunteer Loxi Hopkins were recognized as “CRS Rice Bowl Superstars.” Lori Ferris also was recognized as a CRS Fair Trade Ambassador.
The Chicago staff of CRS selected Ferris and Hopkins as outstanding among the 57 dioceses that the Midwest Region of CRS covers.
“Everyone is a superstar, from the staff to volunteers to parish coordinators and the people who donated to CRS Rice Bowl,” Kent Ferris said. “Everyone made it happen.”
He noted that since the diocese introduced a Rice Bowl kickoff breakfast awareness of the program has increased and donations to the annual collection during Lent have increased. Of the total collected, 25 percent stays in the diocese.
“Loxi and Lori have done a lot of education and raised awareness throughout the diocese,” Kent said. He noted CRS Rice Bowl provides good educational information each year, which helps with promotion. Each year four different countries are featured in the promotional material. That includes information on the country itself and a recipe that can be made at home.
Lori Ferris’ Fair Trade recognition is for her work at Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine where she is a member, and also for her efforts diocesan wide to promote fair trade. “Both Lori and Clare (the couple’s daughter) have received training from CRS on fair trade and have promoted it across the diocese,” Kent Ferris said. When people know about the collections, they are more committed to giving money, he added.