Friday, December 21st, 2007

Sharing the Christian spirit

By Shelley Grieshop

Jonny Dicke of Celina receives free Scotch tape from Bev Hurlburt of Wayne Stree. . .

It was a cold and gray evening but a couple hundred rolls of Scotch tape was all it took to break the chill and warm the hearts of Christmas shoppers in St. Marys on Tuesday.
The "elves," members of Wayne Street United Methodist Church in St. Marys, were putting into action their Random Acts of Kindness ministry as they distributed 350 free rolls of tape to customers scurrying in and out of stores at the St. Marys Square Plaza.
"This holiday season we just wanted to give people a simple gift, a roll of tape, a friendly smile and a warm hello," says Angie Myers, who is co-chairing the mission project with Bev Hurlburt.
The idea to do small, simple deeds for others is one the group plans to continue each month. The debut at Christmas time was purely coincidental, Myers says.
"It just happened that when we started looking at our opportunities to see what we could do, the holiday season was upon us," she says. "We do plan on continuing it indefinitely."
The response from shoppers was phenomenal, Hurlburt says.
"What an amazing night. All eight of us loved it," she says. "It was great to see the wonder on people's faces as they discovered we were not asking for money or had any kind of catch."
Several people were definitely caught off guard and shocked by the group's generosity.
"We handed a roll of tape to one mom, and her son, approximately 10 years old, was behind her. His eyes lit up and he said to me, 'Yes! Tape rules! Give me a high five!' And he and I high-fived," says Hurlburt.
A few weeks ago, the group intended to pass out coffee and hot chocolate at St. Marys' WinterFest celebration, but inclement weather and the timing of the rain date canceled the action.
Everyone involved in this week's project is now brainstorming on ideas to do next. The mission clan has high hopes for the project; they heard comments Tuesday night from a Celina church member who was impressed with their idea.
"We are thinking, wouldn't it be fabulous if this idea caught on?" Hurlburt says. "What a wonderful way to share kindness and love for others."
Hurlburt and Myers say they hope the project catches on and becomes a reminder to everyone that random acts of kindness should be done every day, all year long.
Additional online story on this date
WAPAKONETA - In one of the first tests of local swimming supremacy, Celina showed its mettle while Coldwater showed a lot of improvement.
Celina swept the meet featuring Coldwater, St. Marys, Wapakoneta, St. Henry and Parkway at the Wapakoneta YMCA on Thursday evening. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
Mercer County commissioners unanimously approved changing the zoning of a lakefront property from special parks to residential on Thursday, the next step required for the development of a new condominium project.
Gasoline about 65 cents more per gallon compared to last year
Expect to dole out more cash for traveling expenses this year than last holiday season.
It comes as no surprise to most Americans that gasoline prices are up from last Christmas - about 65 cents higher per gallon - across the country.
Children give home a secret facelift for the holidays
NEW BREMEN - Christmas came early for Terry and Carol Dick, but the special gift from their family needed no colorful wrapping paper or festive bows.
WAPAKONETA - The new Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) is on site and awaiting installation at the Auglaize County Neil Armstrong Airport.
VAN WERT - It wasn't exactly a thing of beauty, but the Celina Bulldogs girls basketball team did enough at both ends of the floor to pick up a big Western Buckeye League win hitting the road and defeating the Van Wert Cougars, 48-34, Thursday night at Van Wert High School.
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Versailles improves to 9-0 on the season with a 63-47 win at St. Henry on Thursday, raising its Midwest Athletic Conference record to 4-0.