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Start 'em young: Kids get volunteering lessons
27 July 2006
by Jennifer Reeger

The Rev. Chris Livermore, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood, gives the children participating in Vacation Bible School a tour of a trailer that church volunteers are taking to Mississippi to continue Hurricane Katrina relief. (Sean Stipp/Tribune-Review)The Rev. Chris Livermore, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood, gives the children participating in Vacation Bible School a tour of a trailer that church volunteers are taking to Mississippi to continue Hurricane Katrina relief. (Sean Stipp/Tribune-Review)
Pittsburgh, USA: On Saturday, the third-graders will be heading to Moss Point, Mississippi, to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina along with other members of Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood.

"We're going to help those people who got attacked by Katrina," said Shane, who is 8 years old.

"It would be a good experience for me and him because we've never really done anything like this before," 9-year-old Chance said.

The youngsters are among four kids heading to the Gulf Coast with their families as part of the trip.

Shane is going with his parents. His father, the Rev. Chris Livermore, is pastor of Christ United Methodist Church.

Chance will be going with his mother, brother and godmother.

Chris Livermore went down with five other pastors a few weeks after Katrina hit, mucking out houses and lining up places to send volunteers later. He said other churches have sent volunteers during the past several months.

Now it's his congregation's turn.

They'll leave Saturday morning -- 28 people in all -- in a caravan of cars and trucks and a trailer full of food, supplies and tools.

They'll be based out of Dantzler Memorial First United Methodist Church in Moss Point. They'll sleep on the floor and take direction from church leaders there on where help is needed.

They'll purchase most of the supplies they need while they are in Mississippi. But they are taking 3,000 pounds of food donated by Bower Hill Community Church in Mt. Lebanon, Allegheny County, to feed volunteers and supply food banks.

The volunteers will be doing roofing, hanging drywall, painting and cleaning.

"There are still some places that have not been touched," Livermore said.

The trip hasn't only touched those who are going. More than 100 kids at the church's vacation Bible school this week have been learning about emergency situations.

They've had various guest speakers from Westmoreland County 911, Mutual Aid Ambulance Service, the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

"We're trying to instill within the children the fact that we all need to be a part of helping one another," said Sharon Young, who directs the Vacation Bible School.

The kids made cards and tied the edges of fleece blankets that the volunteers will take down to Mississippi.

On Thursday, the kids got a look at some of the tools and the trailer that the volunteers will be taking. They also got to see Shane and Chance wearing their volunteer T-shirts.

"I think it's really important for the children to see the other children taking part," Young said.