Angel to the rescue

Published: December 4, 2006 | 5126th good news item since 2003

Curiosity got the better of me. I simply had to meet the person offering to baby sit up to 40 children this Saturday at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lower Makefield so parents could go Christmas shopping “kid-free.” [Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

“Call 215-295-****,” (number changed) to reserve a spot, said the sign in front of the church at Big Oak and Pine Grove roads. The deadline is Thursday.

Who VOLUNTEERS for that kind of duty? Masochist? Martyr?

Get a load of this. She’s a busy working mom.

I mean very busy. Angel Miller, 42, is married to Kevin, mommy to Kyra, 9, and daughter to Mary Ann Doberenz, whom she helps run the family owned business in Penndel. Angel teaches Sunday school, does her own canning, bakes cookies from scratch, and I’ll be darned if she doesn’t collect dryer lint for art projects.

She doesn’t plan to just “sit” the kids from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. She’ll lead them and a team of adult and Boy Scout helpers in making crafts nice enough for gift giving.

You needn’t be a member of the church, but your kid needs to be potty-trained to participate. A fee of $20 for the first child and $7 for every additional one will cover the cost of munchies and materials.

Think of it. Scores of squirming, sticky-fingered monsters up to their eyeballs in foam board and glue. I roll my eyes, put my head in my hands and Angel laughs.

“It’ll be fun,” she assures me as she shows off the craft supplies, explaining how this or that bit of fluff or cardboard or wooden stick will be turned into something awesome.

Maybe she is goofy. Surely she lacks some faculty.

Oh sure, on some days, Angel confides. Most notably when the time needed to accomplish her to-do list exceeds the hours in a day. That’s what happened one day last week. She was stressing out, wondering out loud how to manage, when Kyra came to the rescue.

“Here, Mom. You could use this today,” she said handing over a neon-yellow cloth bracelet printed with the letters “WWJD.”

What would Jesus do?

For starters, he’d count his blessings, instead of all the cars backed up in this traffic jam or the loads of laundry waiting at home.

So why does a woman extend herself to others in this hectic season?

Because her faith teaches her, “We weren’t put here to struggle alone.” If you have the ability to help out, you ought to. She’s already finished her Christmas shopping.

Lots of other women from the small church must be finished, too. They’ll pitch in on Saturday to work with the kids. In addition to crafts, there’ll be a movie, games and snacks.

The congregation, led by Pastor Richard Reinemann, was founded in 1955. It’s still going strong, with a little more than 200 members — about 30 of them Sunday school students. They’re learning about the principles of Advent these days: hope, peace, love and joy.

Angel hopes there’ll be lots of children signed up for Saturday. She’s completely at peace with her decision to surround herself with children who have access to glue. She sees helping as an act of love and that always brings the helper joy.

Listen long enough to this girl and you start to believe it’s goofy NOT to do kiddie crafts on Saturday. When I left her, I was scratching my head.

Had I just met (an) Angel? Might be.

Published in Christmas
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