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Youth group helps parents get through hectic season

December 17, 1997

Youth group helps parents get through hectic season

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail is highlighting 12 different individuals or groups who make a difference to others during the holiday season.

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A few hours to shop for Christmas presents without the kids is every parent's dream.

That dream came true for a number of parents on Dec. 6, thanks to the FLYTE youth group at St. John's Lutheran Church in Martinsburg, W.Va.

For four hours that Saturday, the young members of FLYTE provided activities, stories, laps, cookies and whatever else their young charges needed.

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And they did it for free, handling up to two dozen children at a time during the afternoon.

"I got the idea from a newsletter from my parents' church," said Lisa Burnell, one of the group's advisers. "This was the first time we've tried it."

The teenagers made preparations, cutting out angels, Christmas stockings and other crafts for the younger children to work on during craft time.

"I spent most of my morning cutting out cardboard for ornaments but it was fun," said Jennifer Newman.

Dawn Reidy, one of the mothers who took advantage of the service, was happy to have a chance to shop without her two young sons, Joseph and Sean.

"This is really terrific of the young people to do this," she said. "It feels good leaving my children in good hands."

Gail Newman, FLYTE advisor, spent part of the day rocking to sleep one very young charge. In another room, children were making Christmas creations.

FLYTE members who participated on Dec. 6 included Ashley Pittsnogle, Allison Losh, Vicki Rigot, Laurie Loy, Kori Ashton, Kevin Newman, Eric Losh, Matt Losh, Jennifer Newman, Emily Burnell, Jesse Hall, Sean Palmer, Barbara Haarman, Beth Chapman and Kristen Haarman.

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