SOMEWHERE BETWEEN cooking too much, eating too much and watching too much football, we'll all give thanks for our myriad blessings. We'll remember family, friends, health and plenty in our grateful recital. But let us not forget to be thankful for the generosity of our neighbors. Savage and Laurel are indeed blessed with gracious, giving folk. Consider these examples.
The members of Girl Scout Troop 538, now fourth-graders at Bollman Bridge Elementary School, have been together since kindergarten. They've grown from Daisies to Brownies to full-fledged Scouts during those years.
Girl Scouts engage in a community service project at least once a year. This year, troop member Allison Smith came up with the idea of selling pins to collect money for charity. The enameled jewelry, made by a woman who once was homeless, depicts houses and children playing. Soon the Scouts were selling pins: to their teachers, at booths at the school's craft fair, and at the fall family day late last month. The troop sold all 50 pins.
Half the money collected was profit for the troop's charity. The pin company, Pins by Lucinda, requires that proceeds from the sale of the house-shaped pins support a homeless or a charitable organization.
Bonnie Grooms, a Scout mother who also volunteers at Bread of Life, a food pantry at First Baptist Church of Savage, suggested donating the money there. . The girls agreed. "They could identify with it," said Lynn Bale, assistant troop leader. "It's here, it's home."
On Saturday, the troop stopped by the church to give Bread of Life Director Jacky Waller a check for more than $300 for perishables. The girls looked around the pantry, which is set up much like a grocery store. They kidded each other, then formally presented Waller with the check. Before they left, Waller gave each girl a thank-you box of cookies.
Kudos and thank you to Allison Smith, Courtney Marino, Marina Metzler, Courtney Bale, Michelle Chambers, Kristina McHale, Taylor Zick, Brooke Grooms and Shannon Nabors.
The pantry's shelves are well stocked now. Patuxent Valley Middle School, the pantry's most generous contributor, recently brought the accumulation from its fall food drive, said Waller.
Waller does have a wish list. The pantry is a sufficiently complex operation to require a computer. She hopes some generous neighbor planning to upgrade might donate one to her group. And although she has enough freezer space, she is borrowing refrigerator space from the church's kitchen; she needs a refrigerator for the pantry's use alone.
The food pantry is open two nights and two mornings a week throughout the year. It also opens for emergencies.
Information about Bread of Life: the church office, 301-725-3944.
Anyone who has passed through Savage has seen the beautiful brick church at Baltimore and Foundry streets. Savage United Methodist Church is a charming architectural gem that's been in Savage for more than a century. During that time, it has been a popular venue for community activities, from the preschool in the basement to the 50-year tenure of a Boy Scout troop.
"Service is the rent we pay for being here," says congregation member Molly Gordon about the communitywide use of the church's facilities. In that generous spirit, Gordon, her spouse, Fred Wehland, and the church invite everyone to a Coffeehouse from 7: 30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the church. The purpose isn't to raise money, said Gordon; it's to provide a night on which families can enjoy themselves. Gordon got approval from the church board to hold this event and immediately enlisted musicians Mark Rager, Bonnie Treiber and Jack Treiber. In an ironic twist, Gordon will be unable to attend. "When we asked the musicians, they said they could do it any night but Friday the 3rd. I couldn't do it the 4th because I'm running my company's holiday party. Then they told me that I didn't really have to be there," said Gordon.
Gordon and Wehland hope to provide a pleasant evening for families to enjoy good music, an evening out and each other. Craft and game areas will be set up for the younger set. Starbucks in Laurel has donated several pounds of coffee, and church members are making cakes and snacks. Bluegrass and contemporary music will be played, and holiday favorites will be sung. Stop by the church for a good time.
Not only does the Savage Community Association keep the town aware of zoning and life issues, it also throws good parties. From the Savage Fest in June to the Halloween party, this dedicated group of volunteers makes everyone's life better. This month, the SCA will use the proceeds from the fall yard sale to purchase a holiday tree for Carroll Baldwin Hall, the old stone community center in the heart of Savage.
The tree will be officially dedicated at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Carroll Baldwin Hall, at Baltimore and Foundry streets. Come listen to music, drink hot cocoa and learn who won the prizes for best-decorated homes in town. The Holiday Decorating Contest, sponsored jointly by the SCA and Historic Savage Mill, features $1,000 in prize money in a dozen categories. Entrants can call 301-953-1309 for more details and for an entry form.
Those seeking another indoor holiday event can attend a performance of "A Christmas Carol" at 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18 and at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 19 in Carroll Baldwin Hall. Come enjoy this holiday favorite; tickets are $4.
Pub Date: 11/25/99