Written June 2001

A story about Trinity and the youth of Trinity Lutheran Church

By

Leonard A. McHugh

The youth of Trinity Lutheran Church, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, are truly to be commended. Every year these kids host a 24-hour Rock-a-thon. They do this in order to raise money for different charities. In this Rock-a-thon they must keep a rocking chair moving for the 24-hour period. They request sponsors to donate money for each hour that they rock. This sounds simple, but it's not. I sat in one of those chairs for a few hours. It starts out like fun, but quickly becomes hard work. Often there is news media coverage of when a few kids get into trouble. In my opinion there is not enough news media attention of the wonderful things accomplished by our youth.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to participate in the 1999 Rock-a-thon.

Freedom Guide Dogs was the benefactor of the Rock-a-thon. The puppy sponsorship program gives the sponsors the right to name the dog.

The kids worked very hard and raised the funds to sponsor a dog. They then picked the name; of course it had to be Trinity.

What even became better was the fact that Freedom Guide Dogs did not have a puppy raiser that could take Trinity. One of the members of the Church volunteered to become Trinity's puppy raiser.

Because of this the kids did not just get to see a picture, but got to know and love that dog. This dog attended every Sunday school and Sunday worship service.

Several times I was tempted to take Indy to their service instead of going to my Church. I can only imagine what the Pastor might have said with two beautiful Black Labrador Retrievers attending the service. He might have said something like his service is going to the dogs!

The kids chose Freedom Guide Dogs as the most worthwhile organization. They heard the story of how Indy was placed with me. As I mentioned in the "Be careful for what you wish " ... story Freedom was the only school that would even consider placing a dog with me. At the time, my balance was very poor, and I had very little strength in my arms and hands. All of the well-known schools said that they didn't think I could handle a dog.

The youth of Trinity Lutheran Church also heard stories about some other people. These people were also provided with a dog when no other school would even consider them.

I know that any donation to the school is really needed; a $5,000 donation to sponsor a dog gives you the right to name the dog.

Something else that I found that was really nice was the vote taken by the kids. When the list of the proposed charities is presented to the kids, they vote on which one they want to support. I was told that the vote for Freedom Guide Dogs was unanimous.

If you would be interested in making a donation to this wonderful organization, please contact Freedom Guide Dogs at http://www.freedomguidedogs.org. Please tell them that you heard about Freedom Guide Dogs on my home page.

Thanks!

Lenny

[ Freedom Guide Dogs LOGO]

For more information on how you can help a blind person in need, send e-mail to Eric and Sharon Loori, Founders of Freedom Guide Dogs or call: 315-822-5132 or write to:

Freedom Guide Dogs
1210 Hardscrabble Road
Cassville, NY 13318


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