Church steps in to take shelter duty

December 20, 1999

Editor's note: For these 12 days before Christmas, we will be recognizing individuals and groups who make the holidays better for others. This is the eighth in a series.

Shelter volunteersBy KERRY LYNN FRALEY / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

It's the week before Christmas and you've still got cookies to make, cards to send, presents to wrap, or maybe even buy.

cont. from front page

How about fitting in a shift at the cold weather shelter?

Members of the Social Ministry Committee at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Funkstown have to either recruit enough volunteers to operate the Hagerstown shelter that week or step in themselves, said Committee Chairwoman Cindy Harbaugh.

The 10-member committee took on the responsibility of covering the week of Dec. 12 to 19 at the Religious Efforts Assisting the Community's Homeless shelter on West Franklin Street, she said.


That meant coordinating its operation and scheduling all the volunteers necessary to run the shelter that week - to check people in, prepare and serve meals, pass out lunches, pick up and deliver the laundry, clean and stay overnight, Harbaugh said.

The committee shared responsibility for a week last winter with another local congregation to fill a last-minute gap, Harbaugh said.

It volunteered to take the week before Christmas this year because no other congregation had stepped in to cover it, she said.

The committee's mission is to take care of the needs of parishioners and the community all year long, Harbaugh said.

But the holiday season includes some special efforts, like helping operate the interfaith shelter, delivering flowers used to decorate the church to sick and shut-in church members on Christmas Day and treating the committee's adopted family to Christmas gifts, she said.

In addition to Harbaugh, committee members are Mary Layman, Gary Naugle, Doris Burdick, Ralph Burdick, Marie Royce, Melissa Crabtree, Frances Ecton, Debbie Reichard and Catherine Preftakes.

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