The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 16, 2012

Person of the Week: A season for giving: Helping the needy at Christmas is teen’s goal

JOHNSTOWN — Last year during the Christmas season, Shawn Gindlesberger oversaw the delivery of two carloads of donations to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Now, at 16, the Richland High School sophomore is just finishing this year’s drive and he’s hoping to top his previous collection.

“He’s on track to meet his goals,” his mother, Jeanne Gindlesberger, said.

He came upon the idea while searching for a service project to do as part of his confirmation process at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in Geistown.

“Me and my mom were thinking of an idea, and she came up with this, and I immediately started working on it,” the Johnstown teen said. “I wanted to do something that would help people. I wanted something that would be long term.”

Gindlesberger made fliers and passed them out to his family, friends and his Johns-town neighbors.

“I asked for anything that would make the less fortunate have a better Christmas,” he said.

Donations have included gifts for children and adults, cleaning supplies, groceries and personal items as well as monetary donations.

A neighbor, Mary Driggs, said she was impressed with Gindlesberger’s efforts.

“I can’t even tell you how many people he contacts,” she said. “He does it all on his own.

“In today’s world, so many young people are involved

in themselves and their activities.”

Sister Cindy Burns, CCW, director of high school religious education and confirmation preparation at the church, called Gindlesberger a really good kid.

“Shawn has done a wonderful job putting this whole thing together on his own,” she said.

“This turned out to be an absolutely wonderful project.”

Burns said she is pleased that he is doing the project again this year.

“It tells me that he is really embracing the meaning of service,” she said. “Not to do just the minimum, but to do it in its fullness.”

Jeanne Gindlesberger said she and her husband, Denny, are very proud of their son.

“He really put a lot into it,” she said. “He’s very kindhearted.”

For his efforts to help the less fortunate at this time of the year, Shawn Gindlesberger is our Person of the Week.

The teen is not sure that his efforts will be over when the last load is delivered to St. Vincent de Paul.

“I would love to do this every year,” he said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads