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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Birdhouses and grocery shelves

Try these ideas to help out

Not only do birds of a feather have a place to flock but Haitians are being helped, thanks to youth at McFarland [Wis.] Lutheran Church.

Sixth-graders joined with youth at the nearby Roman Catholic Church to support a maternity hospital in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Their teacher made birdhouses in the shape of a church or barn, which the class painted and decorated. One Sunday they sold 51 birdhouses for $20 each; 50 more were ordered. With help from Lutheran Brotherhood, they raised more than $2,000 for the hospital.

This is only one way youth reach out to those in need.

At Immanuel Lutheran Church, Evanston, Ill., they played store with their Giving Market. This is a store with a twist — the shelves are empty. Customers don't buy food, they fill the shelves.

By the end of its opening day, more than 400 pounds of food, paper products, soaps and detergents were donated for a food pantry. Since then the store has reopened twice and has taken in 700 pounds of groceries.

St. Luke Lutheran Church, Rockwood, Pa., also used Giving Market materials to lift up hunger needs (see resources). Classes were assigned a country to study. Each Sunday a storyteller shared information on mission or hunger needs in one of the countries.

They ended their project with a dinner where people brought food representing their country. Using Division for Global Mission resources (www.elca.org/dgm/resource/), each class shared a presentation on their country.

As part of the emphasis, children brought 150 pounds of food for a pantry and adults donated $500 to the ELCA Hunger Appeal.

Resources

* The Giving Market and Global Deli Program: Increases awareness of local and global hunger (ELCA Distribution Service, 800-328-4648; resource guide ISBN: 6000109172; accessory kit ISBN: 600010913X).

* Hungry Decisions: Enter the struggles of impoverished people with an on-line simulation game from Church World Service. Make decisions and see the consequences of those choices (www.churchworldservice.org/decisions/).


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