Generosity in Action
Stories of Thrivent members making a difference.
Volunteers Build Tables
When Larry Turilli learned that Marcfirst needed some accessible picnic tables at its residences for people with developmental disabilities, he organized a Thrivent Action Team. He and his coworkers at AMBUCS (a nonprofit that builds wheelchair ramps and provides other mobility services) built two tables for the homes. Then the group led two more Thrivent Action Teams, building accessible tables for a park and raised garden beds for Marcfirst.
Church cooks up ways to feed neighbors
All Saints Lutheran Church has 75 active members, yet its kitchen ministry provides hundreds of meals each month to local residents.
How do they do it? Lots of volunteers and a commercially equipped kitchen.
Tim and Paige Vaughn, co-chairs of All Saints’ outreach committee, started the program. It’s managed by Dave Knowles, a former food service administrator, and Jeff Anderson, a chef. With a core of about 35 volunteers, they make 300 meals each month using fresh ingredients. The meals go to seniors who attend a fitness class at the church, another local church that serves people who are homeless, a county program that feeds seniors and people who are homebound, and All Saints members or others who may need a meal.
Anderson teaches the volunteers food preparation and safety skills. To support the ministry, many church members have led Thrivent Action Teams.
But All Saints wants to do more. “We’d like to work with other churches to prepare meals that they could keep in their freezers and use as needed,” Knowles says. “And we’re also interested in serving veterans and other community groups.”
Group Helps Town Stay Vibrant
TRIPP, SOUTH DAKOTA
From hosting Christmas celebrations and kickball tournaments to making snack packs for kids, members of the Tripp Action Group work hard to make their beloved town a good place to live. That includes tackling home improvements. Last summer, 30 volunteers painted the exterior of a home. Samantha Ziegler led a Thrivent Action Team that provided food and supplies.
Couple Combines Efforts for Bigger Impact
Hearing a plea on the news to help homeless veterans, Erica Fleischer and her fiancé, Mike Ivancic, felt called to action: They each would lead a Thrivent Action Team. Fleischer collected socks and Ivancic rounded up underwear, both greatly needed. Fleischer’s and Ivancic’s teams then packed blessing bags to be donated. The items were distributed at the Homeless Stand Down event held last January.
Family’s Christmas Focuses on Service
The Kiewel family does service projects during the year instead of exchanging Christmas gifts. This summer, they met at a park to fill backpacks with supplies for students in need and create care bags for teens in foster care. A list of needed items was shared beforehand so they could track what people were bringing. Brenda Dittrich led a Thrivent Action Team to help.