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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The 'Helper Class'

Students' coins add up to Christmas gifts

At Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Alliance, Ohio, members call their intermediate Sunday school students the "Helper Class." The kids love to do projects that help others.

Their favorite is "Coins for Kids," which takes place during Advent and Christmas. Here's how it works.

The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders decorate empty baby food jars by painting the lids red and attaching labels that say: "Coins for Kids." On the first Sunday of Advent, students speak at the beginning of worship. They ask members to throw their loose change in the jars after they do their Christmas shopping.

The jars are returned after Christmas — and then it's time for a "coins party." Students stay after church to count the mountain of change. Last year they collected $323.

Then the kids pile into cars for a shopping trip, where they pick out stuffed animals, games, hats, gloves and diapers for children at a local domestic violence and homeless
shelter.

The following Sunday, they attach a tag to each stuffed animal that says: "Jesus loves you, and we do too." A label with the church's name and address is attached to the tag. Members then deliver the gifts to the shelter.

As an added challenge last year, the class decided to buy a goat for a family in need through Heifer Project, a hunger organization (www.heiferproject.org). Parishioners rose to the challenge — $60 of the $323 donated helped the "Helping Class" buy its goat.


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