From fixing cars and building beds to recognizing teachers and giving board games away, the recipients of the first Live Generously® Award exemplify what it means to live a life of service and generosity.
Earlier this year, in celebration of National Volunteer Week (April 16-22), Thrivent clients nominated family, friends, neighbors or colleagues who embrace a life of generosity and have helped meet a community need or charitable cause in the past year. More than 1,300 nominations were received.
“This inaugural award is a wonderful way to recognize and honor inspirational volunteers, people who are making a meaningful difference in their communities,” says Tricia Brown, vice president, Membership, at Thrivent. “Thank you to all the nominated volunteers and our clients who shared their amazing stories.”
The honorees each received a Live Generously® tote, travel mug, hat and Thrivent frame with a printed certificate. Thrivent made a $1,000 donation to the organization of each honoree’s choosing from the
Here are short stories about each of the winners and the difference their generosity makes.
Jeremy Jensen of Moorhead, Minnesota
Nominated by James Osvold of Fargo, North Dakota
Jeremy Jensen co-founded Fix It Forward Ministry as a way to voluntarily help fix cars at no charge for people, especially single moms, who cannot afford the repairs. Along with a team of volunteers and donated funds, Jeremy has helped repair more than 900 cars and given away 409 cars to those in need of transportation in the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Christopher Roberts of Madison, Wisconsin
Nominated by Christina Roberts of Madison, Wisconsin
Chris Roberts is a part-time school bus driver and has seen firsthand the dedication of teachers. He wanted to give back, so he raised money to invite five teachers to participate in a retreat. He created gift bags and handmade cards with the help of his daughter, facilitated a day of personal prayer/group discussion, and hired a massage therapist for a day of renewal for the teachers.
Hayden Slade of Portersville, Pennsylvania
Nominated by Jennifer Slade of Portersville, Pennsylvania
Hayden Slade was just 13 years old when he and his friend, Grady Smith, started their own nonprofit Games to Give. They loved playing board games and wanted to give games to children in need, cancer patients and deployed U.S. troops. Since founding the organization, they have collected and given away more than 3,000 games, and more than 1,000 of those games were in the past year. A recent high school graduate, Hayden plans to continue the work in his college community.
Ed Copher Jr. of Midlothian, Illinois
Nominated by: Dave King of Oak Forest, Illinois
Ed Copher volunteers with his local Oak Forest Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. It’s a nonprofit that builds, assembles and delivers beds to children ages 3-17 who don’t have a safe place to sleep. He and his team of volunteers raise funds for materials, and they invite others to join them in the building process. They deliver a bed frame, mattress, sheets, pillows and a comforter at no charge. The goal: No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.