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Veterans day weekend: BSU Lutheran Center offers BSU veterans free babysitting tonight

Jim "PJ" Holthus was not sure exactly how he came up with the idea, but when he did, he knew it was the right thing to do.

Holthus, a pastor at Bemidji State University's Lutheran Campus Ministry, is offering all BSU students who are also military veterans free child care from 6-10 tonight.

In the weeks leading up to Veterans Day, Holthus worked with Robin Mattson, president of the BSU Veterans Club, in planning a way the ministry could help students who have served or are currently serving in the military.

"I thought of the idea of babysitting this summer after wondering if anyone was going to do anything for the vets," Holthus said. "I thought parents would want a night off to go to a movie or catch up on some shopping."

Several BSU students have volunteered to help babysit tonight. According to Holthus, many of the students are studying to become professionals in early childhood education, social work or education.

As of Thursday evening, 10 children are signed up to spend an evening at the ministry center. Holthus said the student volunteers can babysit as many as to 20 children.

Dinner will not be served, but a light snack will be provided.

Holthus added that parents will be asked to fill out an information form before leaving their children at the center.

In addition to the free child care, Holthus contacted Bemidji Theater Manager Duane Black, who offered to donate 10 pairs of movie theater tickets to BSU student veterans.

Children dropped off at the center can choose to participate in boxing gifts for Operation Christmas Child, which gives gifts to people in Haiti.

The BSU Lutheran Campus Ministry is located at 1221 Birchmont Drive N.E. For more information, contact the Lutheran Campus Center at 751-5326.