How about this for an economic stimulus plan: $250 from your local Catholic parish school?
That's what some families in Nashville have received from their pastor, Father Joseph Breen. Breen has set aside about $117,000 for an economic stimulus plan for his community, granting $250 per child for 270 families enrolled at St. Edward Elementary School.
The funds, reports the Tennessean, came from reserve funds and donations to be used for benevolent purposes. Many parishioners have lost jobs recently.
"Father Breen has been like my guardian angel. He looks out for our community like nobody else does," says Maricruz Figueroa, a mother of three.
It seems the giving spirit rubs off, too. Some families have came back to the priest and told him they didn't need the check. A total of $22,000 from 64 families that voluntarily rejected the check is going to tuition reimbursement and other charitable needs.
It seems the whole parish seems to understand intuitively what economist Daniel Finn told us in an interview to appear in the March issue of U.S. Catholic. He said that to stimulate the economy, money should be given to the poor (or organizations like Catholic Charities) because they tend to spend it all on immediate needs rather than save it.
May our lawmakers and all of us remember those who are truly in need during these tough times.