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Youth strives to help community

Baldwinsville fifth-grader Ellyn Gibbs has a mission - to involve herself in the community in order to help others in need. Last year, as a fourth-grader at Elden Elementary, she helped coordinate a fundraiser at the school for Haitian earthquake victims.

This year, she was thinking locally when she approached Meredith Riggs, the school's social worker, about helping the Rescue Mission for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"This year I wanted to do something for the local community," she said.

With Riggs' help, the fifth-grade philanthropist coordinated a service project for the fifth-grade classrooms to brighten Thanksgiving Day for those who ate their holiday meal at the Rescue Mission. Students created colorful placemats for the diners.

For Christmas, nine classes in the building are decorating bags that the organization will use to deliver meals to elderly and homebound people in the area.

"I want to brighten up their day," Gibbs said of those who will receive the bags. She's now brainstorming other service projects she might be able to do inside and outside of school.

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