December 18, 2014

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Three girls raising funds for Lorain church

Three elementary school students are raising funds for First Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was destroyed in a fire on Thursday. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Three elementary school students are raising funds for First Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was destroyed in a fire on Thursday. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

LORAIN — Amid grief surrounding the destruction of a beloved Lorain church last week, a group of unlikely philanthropists has emerged.

They are three elementary school girls.

Since a fire burned through the First Evangelical Lutheran Church on Thursday morning, 7-year-old Alexis Faurot and two 6-year-old friends have begun planning how to raise donations to help make up for what the congregation has lost.

“She thinks it’s fun helping others. It’s nice to help others with money and food,” said Alexis’s mother, Andrea Faurot.

Donations are definitely needed. The church has hosted a monthly food drive for years from a pantry stocked with canned goods.

That is, until flames burned through the sanctuary, kitchen and roof.

The contents of the pantry were ruined, along with many relics — crosses, paintings and a $1 million organ. It was just two weeks before the church was scheduled to host the monthly food drive.

The three girls, with help from their parents, put together a donation box and this week they plan to set up funds through Fifth Third Bank so members of the community can donate.

“I want to teach (Alexis) the importance of giving back,” Faurot said of why she’s helping her daughter donate. Even though Alexis doesn’t attend First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Faurot said the 7-year-old feels “really bad for the people who don’t have food or money,” and wants to give back in any way she can.

For the Rev. Jimmy Madsen, it’s heartening to see community support in the days following the fire, especially because some of that support comes from such young sources.

“I’m really touched by the idea of young children (helping the church),” Madsen said, adding that many members of the community have donated food and money in the days following the fire.

Madsen said the church plans to host the monthly food pantry from the church parking lot next Thursday, right on schedule.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.