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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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We donated money to the Heifer Project so that a community could have a llama and a sheep. We bought shares of the llama and the sheep with spare change that members of the congragation donated.
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We participated in Walk for Water which is a hike that raises money so people in Burkina Faso (the third poorest country in the world) can have more wells. Women in that country walk a long way for their water each day, so by walking for water we are trying to help them not have to walk so far.
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We made symbolic monarch butterflies and sent them to the area of Mexico where the monarchs spend their winter.
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Students brought shoeboxes to school and we wrapped them with holiday paper. Families were asked to donate items such as shampoo, soap, washcloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, shaving supplies and combs. After collecting and sorting the donated items, students filled the shoeboxes making perosnal hygiene kits for homeless and needy people in Long Beach. The kits were distributed at a mission on Dec. 20. We made 40 kits for donation.
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Students made Christmas presents for the birds. They strung popcorn and berries to hang on the trees and bushes in the school garden. They also covered pinecones with shortening and peanut butter and then rolled them in birdseed, tied string around them and hung them from trees. They also used stale bagels cut in half and spread them with the birdseed and shortening mixture and hung them from branches through the hole in the middle.
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Over 50 placemats were donated to the Long Beach Rescue Mission by Los Cerritos Roots & Shoots students. Students colored 11X17 Thanksgiving related pictures which were glued onto construction paper and laminated to create placemats which were then delivered for Thanksgiving dinner.

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