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Operation Rice Bowl raises over $4,000

Laura Vilim | Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The results from the first Operation Rice Bowl to be held on the Notre Dame campus in recent years show the program was hugely successful in raising money for Catholic charities around the world, organizers said.The program, which ended with the Lenten season, raised slightly over $4,000. Seventy-five percent of the money will be donated to the work of the Catholic Relief Services to help fund development projects in 40 countries around the world. These projects include agricultural enrichment, water and sanitation, maternal/child health, microfinance and job training. The remaining 25 percent of the proceeds remain in the local diocese to fund programs dedicated to alleviating poverty and hunger.Because this is the first year the program was held on campus, co-chairs Brin Anderson and Julia Miller-Lemon were unsure of what outcome to expect. “As a first-year project, the success of the campaign was really, really encouraging,” Miller-Lemon said. “All of the support that we got from individual donors, HPC and the individual class councils was amazing.”As an incentive to raise money, Operation Rice Bowl earmarked a $300 dorm improvement prize for the dorm with the best participation. This year that dorm was Howard Hall, which has chosen to donate its prize back to the project. Other dorms also made significant contributions to the project not only by raising money but also by holding special events to raise awareness about the Rice Bowl, Anderson said.In addition to participation through the dorms, individuals involved with other aspects of the University also helped with the fundraiser. “The overwhelming support from the entire Notre Dame community was so inspiring – faculty, staff, law students, MBA students and of course, undergraduate students all supported the campaign,” Anderson said. “It’s this kind of support that really helped to make the campaign successful.”The Notre Dame faculty and students that participate in the program make up one of the over 14,000 schools, parishes and community faith groups across the nation that are also part of the project. Operation Rice Bowl began in 1975 when a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi and a Protestant minister in Pennsylvania brought their communities together to combat hunger. In 1977, Operation Rice Bowl became the official program of the Catholic Relief Services during the Lenten season.Due to the success of the program here, Anderson and Miller-Lemon hope to continue to support the programs of Operation Rice Bowl in the years to come. “Because it was such a success, I definitely hope that Operation Rice Bowl can become an annual tradition here at Notre Dame,” Anderson said. “I feel that because Operation Rice Bowl has developed a name for itself this year at Notre Dame that the tradition can continue and will improve each year.””Seeing all of the people who were so willing to help out and give to such a worthy cause was just great,” Miller-Lemon said. “It’s really a tribute to the heart of the ND community that it can unite in the support of such a worthy cause.”