Girls carry water in large basins on their heads.
Girls in Ghana carry water home on their heads.

Give Alms Over Lent: Collection Cup Craft

Families in developing countries who collect water from ponds and streams typically carry it back to their homes in buckets or jugs. This Lenten season, you can get into the spirit of almsgiving by making a paper water cup using the origami pattern and instructions below. Use your cup to collect the money you will donate to help poor families in developing countries this Lent.

Materials Needed

To get started, you will need:

  • A large, square piece of paper. If you have a standard 8.5×11 piece of paper, you can cut the bottom off to make all edges the same length.
  • Your own two hands!


  1.  Take a large, square piece of paper and turn it so it looks like a diamond.
  2.  Fold the diamond in half to form a triangle.
  3.  With the long edge down, fold the left corner diagonally across the center so the tip meets the right edge.
  4.  Repeat step 3 for the right corner, folding it diagonally across the center so the tip meets the left edge of the triangle. It should overlap the side you folded in step 3.
  5.  Fold the front-top corner down toward you.
  6.  Fold the rear-top corner backward away from you. Use your fingers to widen the opening at the top to complete your cup. Decorate the outside to remind you of what we celebrate during this holy season.
Folding instructions for an origami paper cup.
This origami paper cup is the perfect activity to kick off Lent!

Closing Prayer

End with this prayer for generosity from St. Ignatius:

Dear Lord,
teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and
not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will.

Did you make a collection cup? We would love to see how you decorated it! Tag us @crosscatholic on Instagram or Facebook.

Make Cross Catholic Outreach Your Lent Charity

This Lent, Cross Catholic Outreach ministry partners are providing material and spiritual aid to families around the world, but we need your help. As you pray, fast and give this Lenten season, would you consider making a gift to Cross Catholic Outreach to support our work in developing countries? Browse our Easter Catalog for other giving opportunities that include clean water wells, safe housing, providing education, and meeting the most urgent needs of children and families.

Give Alms to Make a Difference