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Local church lends a hand to Iraqi citizens

November 30, 1999|By ErIN CUNNINGHAM

What: Donations are being collected for Iraqi citizens

Where: Grace United Methodist Church, 712 Church St. in Hagerstown

Contact: For more details, call 301-739-1925 or send e-mail to graceumc-hagerstown@verizon.net.

HAGERSTOWN

About five months after their pastor left to serve in Iraq as a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, parishioners at Hagerstown's Grace United Methodist Church are looking to serve in a different way.

They are collecting needed items, like shoes and medicine, for Iraqi citizens.

Gladys Stoup, an administrative assistant at the church, said because the Rev. Clark D. Carr has been serving as a chaplain of the 58th Infantry Brigade Combat Team since June, the congregation decided to get involved. Carr will serve there for one year.

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Being collected at the church this month are shoes for youth, women and men, soccer balls, vitamins and medicine, like children's Tylenol. The collection is part of the Hearts for Baghdad Program that provides supplies to Iraqi citizens, Stoup said.

Needed footwear includes children's tennis shoes and sandals, and athletic and work shoes for youth, women and men. The shoes should be new, but not expensive, according to information provided by Hearts for Baghdad.

Prenatal, children and adult vitamins also are needed, along with ibuprofen, diflucan, naproxen and children's Tylenol.

Next month, paper, rulers, pencils, crayons, glue sticks and other school supplies will be collected at the church and packaged into kits, she said. Backpacks also will be collected.

Cash donations also will be accepted to help defray the cost of shipping.

Stoup said the gifts will be dedicated Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day, before they are shipped to Iraq. The church's interim pastor, the Rev. David Brosnan, will honor veterans during that day's service and dedicate the donations brought in for the Hearts of Baghdad Program.

Congregation members said they are able to keep in touch with Carr through e-mails, and they remember him often through prayers. But parishioners wanted a more tangible way to lend their support, Stoup said.

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