Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will will be put into our lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
How did this totally volunteer-led charity movement come about? Well, in today’s world of technology, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with information, media messaging, and other distractions that compete with your time and attention and conflict with the messages of Christ, all of which are rooted in love. This ever-increasing environment of conflicts has resulted in materialism replacing spiritual values, young men and women questioning absolute truth, and a growing indifference toward religion.
The Holy Spirit imposed on the heart of one individual an idea of overcoming these challenges and occurrences by inspiring young adults to make loving Works of Mercy an active part of their lives. Could a movement based upon the extension of Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy help engage the younger generation and ignite their faith? Could we meet young adults right where they are, using social media and technology to put a focus on serving rather than distracting us from it?
The idea was shared with dozens of others and discussed with pastors, family, and friends, and eventually in focus groups, gaining momentum and excitement. The generosity movement concept, blessed by Pope Francis, reached the Vatican! In June of 2016, a meeting took place with Archbishop Konrad Krejewski, Pope Francis’ Almoner to His Holiness, Chief of Charity. With blessings to move forward, the idea was taken to Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School where it was met with such enthusiasm by students. The scheduled half-hour meeting turned into an hour and a half! The concept took flight and became a young adult, social media movement — the beginnings of Uprise. In June 2017, the enthusiasm of Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI, accelerated further support as a laity-driven volunteer social media movement.