Amy Kerstner is only 11, but age did not stop her from selling hot chocolate to Christmas customers in Hillsboro on Saturday to raise money for a church window restoration project.
“We talked about it at my church and I just wanted to do something to help,” Kerstner said. “I really like stained glass windows and think they are pretty. I want to see them fixed.”
Kerstner and her family attend Zion Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, where an extensive restoration project is needed to maintain the church that was built in 1954.
“We have plans to do a lot of maintenance and restoration when we come up with the money,” said church trustee Luke Lindsey. “There are just a lot of cracks in the walls, a few BB holes in the windows, and caulking that needs to be reworked.”
Lindsey said the task of fundraising for restoration actually began in summer, but a timeline for work to begin has not yet been set.
“It was entirely Amy’s own idea to raise money for stained glass windows,” Lindsey said. “Her efforts are really appreciated.”
But by the end of the day Saturday, Kerstner and friends Lynne Johnson, Skye and Tia Rivera, and Dora Nieto, earned $45 to contribute to the church window fund.
“There were some really nice people that gave me much more than the hot chocolate price,” she said. “They made donations when they found out what I was raising money for.”
Kerstner’s hot chocolate stand was conveniently located just outside of the former Molly’s on Main building in downtown Hillsboro. Inside the building, other members of Zion Lutheran Church sold baked goods and garage sale items to raise money for youth group activities.
“Amy really enjoys Wednesday night activities and Bible classes at the church,” her mother, Michelle Kerstner, said. “I am really not surprised that she wanted to help out.”
Michelle Kerstner said the current windows in the church were actually painted scenes, but her daughter wanted to raise enough money to replace them with real stained glass when restoration work began on the building.
Lindsey said anyone else wanting to make donations for church restoration could stop in anytime at the church at 106 N. Lincoln Str., Hillsboro.