Fair helps people put their faith in action

March 27, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Flanders, an 18-month-old black Labrador, represents Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Catoctin Region, Sunday while co-coordinator Cheryl Matczak of Damascus, Va., tries to drum up volunteers during the Faith in Action Fair at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Winter Street Elementary School could use clothes for students.

Food Resources needs personal-care items such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

And Flanders and his buddies could use some hard chew toys and treats.

Flanders, a black Labrador, was representing Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Catoctin Region, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown’s biannual Faith in Action Fair.

About 11 organizations were represented at the fair, which the church sponsors to give local residents ideas about how they can help their community through volunteering and donations.

“Come and think how to put your faith in action, whatever your faith may be,” organizer Fanny Crawford said.

Many of the approximately 35 parishioners at Sunday’s service attended the one-hour fair at the church off Cearfoss Pike, northwest of Hagerstown, and some other people stopped by, she said.

Crawford also was filling in for Rebecca Shaw, a Winter Street Elementary School teacher who organizes a clothing drive for the school in Hagerstown’s West End.

Clothing in general is needed, but specifically socks (children’s small, medium and large white socks) and underwear (boys’ and girls’ sizes 4 to 16), Crawford said.

For people who cannot raise puppies to help the blind and visually impaired, donations of toys and treats are welcome, said Cheryl Matczak, co-coordinator for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Catoctin Region.

The dogs are mainly Labradors, with some golden retrievers and German shepherds, so the group is looking for hard chew toys and low-fat dry treats.

Rachel Pagan, 30, of Hagerstown, talked to Matczak about how she could help the dogs through volunteering and donations.

Pagan’s grandmother, Elizabeth Carlson, said she was interested in Washington County Community Mediation Services.

Carlson, 85, said she used to be a volunteer case worker for a Martinsburg, W.Va., shelter and was a volunteer chaplain for hospice in the Eastern Panhandle.

Carlson said she also donates books to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which had a table at the fair.

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