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A holiday lesson from our youth

What would Christmas be without young people? It would be dull, boring. And less inspirational, perhaps. As the holiday approaches, we reflect on all of the ways our local youth have given of their time and talents to make the season brighter.

It’s not news that young people sing for their parents in a multitude of seasonal concerts. But, beyond that, our youth do a lot to make their larger community a better place at Christmas time.

_ In Athens, the high school band played Christmas carols for seniors at the assisted living center in the village, while the choir sang carols at both this facility and at other retirement homes across the Wausau metro area. The Student Council collected food for the Athens food pantry that serves the needy. Fourth and fifth graders, as well, helped out. They collected items for the Athens Circle of Joy. The high school National Honor Society rang bells for the Salvation Army in front of two retail stores, A & L Oil and Heartland Cenex.

_ Marathon High School student council students rang Salvation Army bells at four Wausau retail establishments. Members of the high school band and choir performed Christmas music at Holly Day held at St. Anthony Spirituality Center. Marathon Area Elementary School second graders raised money for the People’s State Bank Giving Tree. High school FBLA members and a youth group from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church sang carols for seniors at the Copper Leaf Assisted Living and other locations.

_ Stratford High School choir students sang with the Marshfi eld Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir in a public performance. High school students brought hats, mittens, toys, hygiene products and non-perishable food products to school for the needy. The school’s FFA Elves rang bells for the Salvation Army and delivered fruit to a local school pantry. Another student rang bells for the Salvation Army at the Pro Vision C Store.

_ Edgar Middle School students sorted food at the Salvation Army in Edgar and fanned out across Wausau ringing bells for the charity. High school students collected food items at the Marshfield Zoo “Winter Wonderland” and brought home boxes of non-perishable food items for the Edgar/Marathon Circle of Joy. Students visited the senior housing in the village to wish the residents a happy holiday.

This list of activities, not comprehensive, tells a story how youth in our local villages view the holiday season as a time for volunteering, giving and service.

We could all learn a little bit from this generous spirit.