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We went to Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona to clean up trash along the creek.
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Our group went to a local retirement community (The Peaks) and made pinecone birdfeeders with some of the residents. We made the birdfeeders by stringing pinecones on string, speading them with peanut butter, and rolling them in birdseed. We then went outside to decorate trees with the pinecones along with garlands of popcorn, peanuts, cranberries, O cereals, and some bird seed cookies that we had made in advance. The residents were able to observe the birds enjoying their goodies.
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Members created recycled paper origami tree ornaments and sold them for $1. Each dollar plants a tree as part of American Forests' Global ReLeaf program. A certificate stating that a tree was planted in honor of the recipient was included with each ornament. We sold 180 ornaments thereby planting 180 trees this holiday.
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We decorated Roots & Shoots grocery bags with markers, beads, and sequins. Then we put them on display and sold them to members of the Black Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. We earned $165.00 for the local Rapid City Humane Society. We were able to help the local pet shelter, which was becoming overpopulated because of two recent large scale rescues of dogs and cats. We were able to provide decorative reusable grocery bags which helps the environment.
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The youth read a story about Stone Soup. The younger children acted out part of the story by placing clean river rocks in a large pot of water. Then the children and youth cut up vegetables and added them to a soup base that had been prepared earlier. We used a different, but similar looking pot! The vegetables were added to the soup base to make delicious vegetable soup. The children also prepared and baked rolls. The soup was taken to the Hillsboro Family Shelter.
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We sold baked goods to raise money to help a member of our church go on a mission trip to Russia.
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We made candles, lip balm, ornaments, wrapping paper, and pretzel sticks to use to wrap presents, stuff stockings, and hang on Christmas trees. In this way, we made Christmas a little more simple so everyone could get back to thinking about the real reason for Christmas. The candles were made from candle wax stubs that we melted down and then put into jars. The wrapping paper was made with potato stamps. We used the candles, lip balm, and pretzel sticks to make presents for all the Sunday school teachers.
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We made St. Nicholas Day Bags while our leader told us the story of St. Nicholas Day. It was a way to get back to the simpler pleasures of life, such as getting oranges in the middle of the winter. We also presented our project in front of the church congregation and gave each person a bag.
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We painted broken pots and set them around the church grounds (in gardens, etc.) with little bowls of water to give toads houses.
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We rolled pennies to raise money to adopt a cheetah through the National Zoo.

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