21st annual Fast for Social Action

MERRIMACK – It’s happening again! T-shirt colors have been picked out, themes and songs chosen, food drives are being set up and sign ups have begun.

This year we celebrate our 21st anniversary of the Fast held at St. John Neumann and past alumni are welcome to participate or visit.

On the weekend of March 24-25 dozens of teens from local communities will take part in a 30-hour fast to raise awareness and funds to help local nonprofit agencies whose mission is to help the less fortunate in the area.

Over the last 20 years, over 1,600 participants have raised over $376,708 to aid the various agencies. In addition over 82,636 pounds of food has been collected for the parish’s food pantry.

The fast starts after lunch on March 24 and for the next 30 hours, the participants will consume only water and juice. That evening more than 70 teens from Greater Nashua and over a dozen adults will spend the next 24 hours in the St. John Neumann Church hall.

Friday evening will consist of games and activities to break the ice. In addition, guest speakers from the agencies who will benefit from the Fast will educate the teens on who their agencies benefit and how the funds raised through the Fast will help the agency. The night will end with a prayer service, and then the teens’ bed-down in the hall under the watchful eyes of the adult chaperones.

Saturday will bring more games, activities and guest speakers, along with trips to local supermarkets to buy food for the parish food pantry. The weekend will end with an evening Mass, which will be followed by the “Break-fast” potluck dinner.

A list of local agencies was compiled by the Fast planning team and during January, the St. John Neumann Parish community voted on this year’s six recipient agencies. The agencies that will benefit from this year’s Fast are: Nashua Special Olympics, Joseph’s Closet, Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven, Alzheimer’s Association, Bridges and D.A.R.E.

There are various ways the local community can help out, including sponsoring fasters, donating to local food drives, helping out with chaperoning, driving teens to local supermarkets and, of course actually doing the fast.

To donate, participate or for more information, call 880-0825, email youth@sjnnh.org or visit sjnnh.org.