Girl Scouts make sure Santa visits poor families WEST COUNTY -- Clarksville * Highland * Glenelg * Lisbon

NEIGHBORS

December 24, 1992|By SALLY BUCKLER

When you were a child, did you always think Santa Claus arrived silently? At our house, when four young children went to bed Christmas Eve, we could hear bells outside, and sometimes we even heard a "Ho, ho, ho!"

My mother told us to be quiet and go to sleep, so Santa could bring our presents. We worried that he wouldn't stop at our house, because Dad was outside putting the car in the garage. But Santa always came silently when we were asleep, and early Christmas morning there was almost more noisy excitement than my sisters, brother and I could bear.

We were very lucky children, and we didn't have a clue until years later that not all children were as fortunate.

Some thoughtful Girl Scouts from Community 54 in western Howard County are aware of their advantages and have become Silent Santas for the second year in a row. They have collected toys, stockings and stocking stuffers.

Last Monday they gave these gifts to Grassroots to distribute to needy families. "Santa" will give the gifts to children who otherwise couldn't have Christmas morning excitement.

The scouts are members of Troop 1046, led by Pam Wright and Amy Burns. The troop asked the people at Grassroots for a wish list, and then made an angel tree for a Girl Scout Community meeting, which is attended by leaders.

Leaders took paper angels and stockings from the tree and returned to their next meeting with large and small gifts from their troops. The result was a carload full of gifts.

All the scouts worked on sewing and filling stockings for each child in Grassroots. Senior Scouts Beth Hendershot and Rachel Wright, both 17, worked on sorting the gifts, decorating the stockings, and sending thank you notes to participating Girl Scout troops.

The girls had a tour of the Grassroots facilities. Leader Pam Wright says that this was an important facet to the community service project, a goal of Girl Scouting. Seeing firsthand what Grassroots does made them even more aware of their good fortune.

Troop 1046's goal is to make their Silent Santa project a year-round effort. This year they collected double the gifts they had last year, but they want to do even better. They are grateful for the incredible support of the community, including the 200 scouts in the Bushy Park cluster. They attended a Girl Scout holiday party and brought mittens, socks, and other gifts for the stockings.

The other members of Troop 1046 are Allison Burns, Marla Conley, Kelly Geilfillan, Kari Holman, Kriston Jaworski, Lacey McCann, Bridget McKay, Erin O'Connor, Marissa Popkin, Jennifer Schaberle, Sheri Scoville, Sarah Wright and Valerie Zichiak.

* At Christmas, Christians all over the world gather in celebration the birth of Jesus. Members of the clergy invite you to meet with your neighbors to worship at Christmas this year. Churches filled with flowers, greens, and song help to make this a special time of year. Here are some events celebrating Christmas that you may attend.

Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church has a Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service for the family tonight at 7:30 p.m. (410-442-1204). At Lisbon United Methodist Church, the family Christmas Eve celebration at 7 p.m. and the Christmas Eve scripture and carols at 11 p.m. are both candlelight services (410-489-7245).

Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church in Clarksville will have Christmas music at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. today. The early service is for families and features the Children's Tone Chimes. At 11 p.m., the candlelight Christmas Eve ceremony for adults begins.

Members of Glenelg United Methodist Church on Burnt Woods Road in Glenelg will see the annual Sunday School production at 7 p.m. tonight. Each Sunday school class will perform a skit, and then the children will present the Christmas story. At 11 p.m., they will hear the Bell Choir perform, and the church will be filled with the sounds of caroling during the candlelight service (410-489-7260).

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at Union Chapel celebrates tonight with a Christmas pageant and Holy Communion family service at 5 p.m. At 10:30 p.m., church members will sing carols before the 11 p.m. festival and Holy Eucharist. The number at the church office for the Rev. Harry Brunett is 489-4035.

St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville has many Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses you may attend. The earliest begins tonight at 4 p.m. in both the church and the school auditorium. There is a carol service in the church followed by Mass at 5:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. tonight, there is another Carol Service, followed by Mass with the contemporary Music Group. The final Christmas Eve ceremonies begin at 11:30 p.m., with a Carol Service before Midnight Mass. There are Masses Christmas Day at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. (531-6040).

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