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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Giving to others

Youth spread the Christmas message

Tis the season to hear the words "peace" and "good will." And kids put those words into practice.

Laura Hermanns, 12, was horrified by the events of Sept. 11 and wanted to call people together in peace and hope. So the member of Holy Communion Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis., wrote to the local newspaper, saying: "I would like to fold an origami peace crane for each person that lost their life on Sept. 11. They are symbols of hope and healing. Will you help me?"

Schools, churches and Scout troops quickly responded. Folding sessions were held at the library and YMCA. At presstime Laura had received more than 4,500 cranes, which are being strung together in a display that will circulate in Racine.

Laura hopes her peace message will then travel to other congregations, especially those that have lost loved ones to terrorism.

At Bethesda Lutheran Church, New Haven, Conn., fourth- and fifth-grade boys showed good will to other children. They made wooden Christmas ornaments and sold them at the church's bazaar. With matching funds from Aid Association for Lutherans, they sent $72 to Camp Knutson, a facility for children with special needs that they read about in The Lutheran (July 2000).

Another way to spread good will is the mitten tree. Youth at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Defiance, Ohio, put their tree up in October and decorated it with gloves, scarves and mittens. In November the items were delivered to a homeless shelter. The fifth- through eighth-grade classes stayed and served lunch at the shelter and helped stock the pantry shelves.

Last year the group also received an AAL grant to buy much-needed items for the shelter.


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