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Lending a hand to the underprivileged

MOOERS Although some 17-year-olds spend their time hanging out with friends and planning their next trip to the mall, some plan trips to help the less fortunate. Hannah LaPorte, a member of the Mooers United Methodist Church Youth Group and junior at Northeastern Clinton Central School, is planning her first mission trip to Albany. Her plan is to help support Jezreel International, a faith-based humanitarian aid ministry that gathers toys and clothing to send to people in need, anywhere in the world. Just one day [the idea] popped into my head, said LaPorte. I was like, Well, I really think the youth group and the church would like going down there. So, I set it up. I thought of it late summer, [but] didnt bring it up til about September, continued LaPorte. Its just kind of been on my mind and I couldnt drop the thought, so I just kind of went with it. Having previously lived in the Albany area, LaPorte was familiar with Jezreels mission, and volunteered her time helping them sort toys and clothing. LaPorte has chosen Friday, Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving, as the day to head to Albany for the mission trip. Also known as Black Friday to consumers, LaPorte has found quite the alternative to shopping. I picked the day ... because were all giving thanks that week, explained LaPorte. I mean, what better time to go down and help somebody out and volunteer? It just ... seemed to make sense to me to make it on a day where the day before you were out giving thanks [for] everything you have. Currently, LaPorte does not have a limit as to how many people can sign up to go on the trip. Honestly, if I could ... Id like half of Mooers to go, laughed LaPorte. I just think its an amazing thing and I loved the experience when I went and I know the people around here would love it, too. The plans for the mission trip includes leaving early in the morning, helping sort items donated to Jezreel at the Seed of Abraham Messianic Congregation, staying for their evening service and returning the same night. I think itll provide a great sense of togetherness and unity, said LaPorte. Maybe we can bring back some ideas to help bring us together up here, and help each other out. If interested in joining LaPorte on her mission trip, e-mail her at seekhisfacenothishand@yahoo.com or call the Rev. Al Johnson of Mooers UMC at 236-7129 before 7p.m. or e-mail mooersumc@yahoo.com. Anyone in the area is invited to attend and the deadline is the second week of November. She will also be holding a meeting Saturday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Mooers UMC, 12 East St. Those unable to attend the mission may visit Jezreel Internationals Web site at www.jezreelinternational.org/items.html for a list of care items to donate. LaPorte will make sure they get to Albany. Not only are we going to be able to help the people down there by sorting things out, were going to be able to help people internationally, said LaPorte. Thats an amazing goal in itself is just getting down there to do that. You come out with a sense of pride that you just helped do something, added LaPorte. Just small things like that make such huge difference and people dont see it sometimes. I like making a difference. And thats why I wanted to organize [this].

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