Making an impact
The youth group of Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, 604 Fourth St., Catasauqua, has a 20-year history of participating in the local community. The teens and their groups have always held fundraisers because they follow their belief they will be personally rewarded by giving to others.
Since the beginning, the youth group has participated in the 30-Hour Famine, raising dollars to help World Vision’s initiative to combat global hunger. The group donated their funds to an orphanage in Ethiopia. In 2013, they sponsored a child in South Africa and have maintained their monthly support commitment.
Many of the youth group members do not live in Catasauqua, but they have had an impact on the community under Pastor Brian Riedy’s leadership.
This year, the nine members of the youth group contributed $1,659 locally and more than $2,400 globally. In February, the $586 collected as part of Souper Bowl of Caring was used to stock the shelves at Catasauqua Community Food Bank.
In March, the youth group offered its wait staff and cleanup services to Christ Lutheran in Allentown; it netted them a $500 paycheck. The funds were donated to World Vision and Jake’s Dragon Foundation. The latter nonprofit provides support to families living with pediatric cancer. A representative of Jake’s Dragon personally came to a meeting to thank this special group of kids.
On Easter weekend, the group collected food and stocked the borough’s food bank. They held a free community Easter egg hunt. The whole weekend was coordinated and organized while the youth group completed the 30-hour fast.
In May, they sponsored the well-received taco and potato bar and donated $800 to the Public Library of Catasauqua.
Every year, the group sponsors the junior Victorian tea. The fun event allows every young girl or boy to dress in a Victorian outfit. The money raised supports Linathi, their South African sister, and her family.
Diane Czar is the youth activity coordinator.
“The group does a lot together. It’s not just fundraising every day,” she said.
On the first and third Sunday of every month, they gather around 5 p.m. to have dinner together. It’s a great time for each of them to talk with their peers and learn how to live their beliefs.
In appreciation for the gift to the library, Sandra Arden, Catasauqua library director, put on a special showing for them on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
“They had a choice and picked Apollo 11 for the feature showing,” she said.
The movie was the original footage from the moon adventure.
“A friend of mine from church, Gary Becker, told me that NASA was releasing a remastered documentary in 70mm. I went on the waiting list,” she said.
Becker has a list of credits, including his time as director of the planetarium at Dieruff High School, Allentown. He is now an adjunct professor at Moravian College, teaching astronomy.
“Gary helped us get a copy of this film,” Arden said.
According to Arden, the sharp, clear pictures makes one feel they are actually experiencing the events. The repeated depictions seen on television are blurry and reflect the technology of the times.
“These pictures were sharp and clear,” Arden added.
The latest youth group’s project is directed inward. Members are looking for bean bag chairs for their youth room — conversing about the ways of the world is much more comfortable in bean bag chairs.
Have a donation for the youth room? Call the church office at 610-264-2641.