Youths spread goodwill - and peanut butter

At the start of the evening there were 43 loaves of bread, six jars of peanut butter and nine jars of jam. By the end there were more than 400 tasty sandwiches wrapped and packed for delivery to Food on the Corner, a Tsawwassen-based charity that serves soup and sandwich lunches in the Downtown Eastside every Saturday.

Who was behind this labour of love? Eighteen young people from three youth groups - Saviour Lutheran (Ladner), Benediction Lutheran (Tsawwassen) and Trinity Lutheran (Richmond) - pitched in for about 30 minutes in Saviour's fellowship hall to lend their many hands to this worthy cause.

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Before work began on the assembly lines, a little inspiration came from Hermann Glockl, co-founder of Food on the Corner, who spoke of how the charity began 30 years ago from one simple idea and grew with the help of a devoted contingent of volunteers. He stressed to the youth how important it is to not let negative thoughts dissuade you from pursuing a goal.

Self-described "newbie" Rick Lewall (who's been with Food on the Corner for 10 years) also told the group the outreach program is valued for its consistency. Those they serve can count on seeing their dedicated volunteers each week for nutritious food and a spiritual message.

Another highlight of the evening was a thought-provoking discussion led by Rev. Steven Naylor of Saviour Lutheran titled "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Media - What's a Christian youth to do?"

For today's technologcally savvy teens, the issue was especially topical in light of tragic cyber-bullying stories in the headlines. The youths learned social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with people, but it also has a dark side.

Wrapped in a message of God's love and forgiveness, Naylor told the youth it is smart to be careful when interacting with others.

"Be wary of new 'friends' you meet online," he said. "Take a step back and think before posting, because things put on the Internet last a long time."

The sandwich-makers included: Maya Bridger Denz, Sarah Cartlidge, Nathan Eastman, Clara Fenske, Emily Fenske, Mark Fenske, Sahel Ghaem, Spencer Hula, Dakota Lepine, Devon Phelan, Maija Phelan, Melissa Saji, Nick Simpson, Janelle Stein, Samuel Thornley, Stuart Thornley, Ka Wai Lee and Jamie Wu.

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