Denison youth give thanks by giving back - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Denison youth give thanks by giving back

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Waples Church lend a hand at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. (KTEN) Waples Church lend a hand at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. (KTEN)
Waples Memorial Church youth help decorate for the Christmas season. (KTEN) Waples Memorial Church youth help decorate for the Christmas season. (KTEN)
Selecting Christmas decorations at Waples Memorial Church in Denison. (KTEN) Selecting Christmas decorations at Waples Memorial Church in Denison. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- The youth ministry at Waples Memorial United Methodist Church in Denison is giving back before the holidays.

"Missions and serving the community has always been what's most important to Waples," said Pastor Cheryl Murphy.

Her ministry is staying true to that pledge with their Thanksgiving lock-in. Waples youth participated in community service projects all day Sunday and into Monday morning, when they packaged turkey dinners at the Helping Hands Food Pantry.

"It makes me feel good, because not everybody has what I have," said youth member Jenna Mathews. "Just seeing this makes it like so much real. So I just want to be thankful for what I have and help out as much as I can."

"I like being able to grow relationships with each other and with God through helping our community and serving others who aren't as fortunate as we are," added youth member Abby Errico. 

The kids decorated the church for the holidays, made dinner for residents at the Grayson County Shelter, and then went to the shelter to serve it themselves.

"To teach our young people to be able to do that, I think it's just extremely important," Pastor Murphy said. "It kind of shows the heart of the church."

Having the youth at Waples take a leading role in serving others isn't something new.

"They always have a heart to serve, and they always come when we have activities and participation and ways for them to volunteer and serve their community," youth director Jamie Weems explained.

The church aims to be the light on Main Street, and to give that light to all who are in need.

"The holidays are hard for a lot of people... people who struggle financially or people who don't have homes," Weems said. "Hopefully we can give them a little bit of light and be there to help them have a little more holiday spirit."

"It gives you a lot of gratification to be able to help others and just know that you're helping people that don't have exactly what you have," Errico added.

Jamie Weems summed it up this way:

"We just hope they know that Jesus loves them and that we love them."

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