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Learning, leading beyond the classroom

Heather Hintz first met her Thrivent financial advisor, Kyle Debertin, at a Bismarck, North Dakota shopping mall play area. While her children played, Heather and Kyle, who is market director in the Midwest Rockies Advisor Group, talked about finances.

But it was in Heather’s classroom where their advisor-client relationship blossomed. “I taught his daughter,” Heather recalls. “He and his family were very involved in our school and hosted breakfasts for teachers, sponsored by Thrivent.”

“By having that bond and a shared student, we really connected on a personal level. I became invested in his family, and he became invested in mine.”

From baby steps to bigger strides

Years before Heather crossed paths with Kyle, she and her husband, Trenton, purchased their first life insurance policies in 2011. Doing so was somewhat of a leap of faith. “We were just out of college, had student loan debt, had recently gotten married, and were trying to save to buy a house,” she recalls. “But we were young and healthy and knew that's the time to start.”

Those early life insurance policies were crucial in helping the Hintzes lay their financial foundation. And as their family grew to include three daughters, so did their need for financial protection. Kyle was there to guide them.

“He really cares about my family and wants to see my husband and I succeed at our financial goals and set our daughters up for success,” Heather says. “He takes the time to help us get where we want to go, one step at a time. And think about things beyond the next five years, like retirement.”

To tackle that goal, Kyle helped Heather establish a Roth IRA. Having that piece of her strategy in place was so meaningful to her, she invited Kyle to speak on retirement plans and other financial topics to fellow teachers at her school, Robert Miller Elementary.

“Heather's an advocate of teachers understanding their finances and planning for their future in this area—especially since pensions and retirement income in education can be very confusing,” Kyle says.

A common connection: Purpose

A few years ago, thanks to a tip from Kyle, Heather decided to dive in and learn more about Thrivent and its unique membership benefits. She liked what she saw.

“Thrivent's mission connected with my purpose in life and the values my family tries to live out—being generous, giving, thinking about others,” she says.

The Thrivent Action Teams program especially spoke to Heather. “The opportunity to … do good in the community was something I just couldn't pass up.”

Thrivent Action Teams, available to clients with membership, empower people to make an impact in their communities at the grassroots level. Clients supply the people power by recruiting volunteer teams of friends, family and community members to host fundraisers, educational events or service activities.

Thrivent provides up to $250 in seed money as well as promotional support and other resources, including “Live Generously” team T-shirts. Together, leaders and their teams bring their projects to life, limited only by their imagination.

And Heather had plenty of ideas up her sleeve.

UPLIFTing teachers in tough times

The COVID-19 pandemic was taking its toll on teachers. And Heather, like many of her colleagues, was at the point of burnout.

Instead of calling it quits, Heather created a Thrivent Action Team to help her launch a spiritual and emotional support group to give her coworkers the platform and power to reset, build each other up and praise God. The group, appropriately called UPLIFT, meets monthly.

“When you get a group of educators together who are struggling and they're able to focus on their mindset and turn everything negative into a positive, it really can impact the culture of the school, as well as each individual,” Heather says. “Thrivent Action Team dollars helped make UPLIFT possible.”

Heather used her Thrivent Action Team’s seed money to purchase refreshments for multiple meetings and journals for staff to capture heartfelt Scriptures, prayers for students and personal reflections.

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Teachers | Heather’s Story | Follow Your Heart with Thrivent

Opening eyes and hearts at home … and in school

North Dakota winters are brutal—especially for kids who lack warm winter essentials, like boots and snow pants. “My children have never gone without boots and snow pants, so for them to learn there were kids at their school and in their classrooms who didn’t have those items, it was a shock to them,” she says. 

Heather saw this as an opportunity to teach her daughters about generosity. She created a Thrivent Action Team to help secure the much-needed winter apparel and took her daughters shopping for them.

“It was really powerful when we went to the store and they had to focus on buying for others and buying nothing for themselves,” she says. “But, once they got into it and figured out how many pairs of snow pants and pairs of boots they could purchase, they had a really fun time.”

It also was emotionally rewarding to see her daughters “puff up with pride” when they delivered the items to the school social worker. “This was just a small step, but that’s how generosity really starts,” Heather says. “When you take small steps, those acts of kindness grow and grow.”

In Heather’s case, those small steps extended into her classroom.

“We don't have a lot of resources in schools nor a lot of money for extras. Thrivent Action Teams have given me the opportunity to bring projects to my classroom and to my students that I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do,” she says. "Thrivent has helped me bring generosity to my community."

More than a place to live; a place to give

Heather describes "community" as a place where people give back to help others in need—not just a place to live. Thrivent Action Teams have helped her amplify the impact of her actions in the Bismarck area and teach others life lessons in generosity.

“I am proud and excited to be a Thrivent client because the company does great things—not just in our community, but nationwide. And it feels really good to be a part of something that you know has a greater purpose.”

Illustrative hand holding a mint color heart

Real clients. Real stories.

Whether it's their faith, families or communities, Thrivent clients use our financial advice for something bigger than money. Watch their stories and get inspired to follow your heart.

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Get guidance on your financial journey

Everyone’s financial journey is different. Perhaps you’re just starting your professional career and saving to buy a home or start a family. Or maybe you’re further along in life wanting to create long-term strategy.

Like Heather’s experience, a Thrivent financial advisor takes a holistic look at your financial situation. They’ll intentionally learn about your core values, help you align your financial decisions with those values, and identify habits that may be setting you back.

Their goal is to understand your vision and needs to make sure every aspect of your financial life—from your budget to your investment strategy—gets you where you want to be.

It’s never too soon nor too late to embark on your financial journey or seek empowering advice. To learn more or get started, connect with a financial advisor.

Thrivent membership: The power to do more—with purpose

Heather started her financial journey with Thrivent by purchasing life insurance, but it didn’t take long until she started to unleash the full power of membership with Thrivent.

Thrivent’s unique membership programs—including Thrivent Actions Teams, Heather’s favorite—help eligible clients:

  • Spread the joy of generosity where they live, work and worship through volunteering and monetary giving opportunities.
  • Gain greater financial clarity to navigate their own financial journeys, thanks to valuable tools and resources.
  • Provide care and comfort to loved ones during difficult times with step-by-step guides and resources.

It’s always a great time to explore the benefits of membership and apply to become a member.

Working together, we amplify impact and lift up communities.

Member benefits and programs are not guaranteed contractual benefits. The interpretation of the provisions of these benefits and programs is at the sole discretion of Thrivent. Thrivent reserves the right to change, modify, discontinue, or refuse to provide any of the membership benefits or any part of them, at any time.

You should only purchase and keep insurance and annuity products that best meet the financial security needs of you and your family and never purchase or keep any insurance or annuity products to be eligible for nonguaranteed membership benefits.

The client’s experience may not be the same as other clients and does not indicate future performance or success.