Marlborough’s St. Stephen Church youth focus on helping others

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Creating housewarming gifts of cleaning supplies was one activity for youth of St. Stephen Lutheran Church at their Jan. 11 visit to Fresh Start Furniture Bank. (l to r) Aline Kaledjian, Caitlyn Gogan, Matt Haley, Grace Mueller, Jack Napoleone and Samantha Gogan
Photo/Barbara Parente

Marlborough – Snow tubing and a Games Night were on the January schedule for the youth of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough, but those social activities were sandwiched between events where they reach out and help others, something they are drawn to just about every month.

In December, teens joined friends from other churches that are part of Lutheran Interparish Youth to shop for and wrap Christmas gifts for children in need in central Massachusetts. Participating families and others in the congregation donated $525 for this event. 

A week later, the teens, younger kids and parents came together to wrap 215 sweatshirts in just 90 minutes, as a service to the Marlborough-based nonprofit, Sweats4Vets. Church members and friends also donated sweatshirts and wrapping paper. Sweats4Vets collects new Boston/New England sports-themed sweatshirts and wraps and distributes them to homeless veterans in the greater Boston and Worcester areas for Christmas. 

Jan. 11 was the date of a visit to Hudson’s Fresh Start Furniture Bank. St. Stephen youth had collected new pillows and shower curtain liners, but also brought supplies to create housewarming gifts with a bucket holding a broom, dustpan and cleaning products. They completed each present with a large bow. Fresh Start is a volunteer-based organization that provides free furniture and home goods to people in need.

Next on the teen calendar is a Youth vs. Adult Trivia Contest Friday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the church. Giving back, however, is never far from the minds of St. Stephen youth, as they are planning and raising funds for a mission trip to Maine in April.

For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page.