About 400 Christian teens gathering in Lansing from around the Lower Peninsula lent a helping hand to the needy at service agencies around the city.

The work was part of the annual event called "The Gathering" that takes place between Christmas and New Year's Day. The gathering has gone on for 29 years, but organizer Jim Kroll said this is the first time it had that kind of service component.

The Lansing State Journal said the participating teens were from Evangelical Lutheran and Episcopal churches.

The teens were working at the City Rescue Mission, Gateway Community Services, Mid-Michigan Food Bank, Shared Pregnancy Women's Center and Bethlehem Lutheran church's quilting ministry.

The conference also included music, speakers, small-group activities and other recreational events.

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