By Shirley Shuman
In addition to the regular Vacation Bible School lessons, games, and music, those attending Shiloh Church VBS last week were asked to do a community service project, according to Kristy Veltre, VBS director. Bethany Wine, Shiloh Fellowship assistant youth leader, explained how the group chose donating to the local animal shelter as their project.
“This year we wanted our teens to decide what our service project for VBS would be,” Wine said. “After presenting it to the youth group, Leah Payne presented our local animal shelter as an option. The teens voted, and it was almost unanimous for the animal shelter. Later, Ema Veltre suggested that we make the donation in honor of Tom Tichner.”
The VBS director noted that Tichner was a frequent visitor to the Shiloh Church Outreach on Elk Street in Gassaway. “ Tom was a tremendous help with our outreach, and he was all about community. He brought in all kinds of donations, often food for our free-food shelves. Our kids got to know him through his visits, and they learned he was a regular donor and helper at the animal shelter. They decided they could honor his memory by donating to one of his favorite places,” she said.
Tichner’s widow, Edie, was pleased with the VBS attendees’ decision to honor her late husband. ”It’s very touching to me,” she said. “It helps keep his memory alive. He had a passion for the animal shelter.”
Wine noted that all week, “the kids brought donations and at the end of the week, we had too many items to fit on the table.” She added, “We are very proud of the generosity and dedication that our students showed throughout the week.”
In addition to the students’ donations for the animal shelter, some adults also brought in items, VBS director Veltre explained. “We also had adults who wanted to help the kids with their project,” she said, “and of course we welcomed them.”
The Shiloh Church VBS attendees numbered “close to 50,” Veltre said, for a week concentrating on the theme “Babylon.” The director commented that the students “enjoyed the theme this summer.” The pastor of Shiloh Church is Eric Veltre.