Thrivent Members Tell Their Stories on Capitol Hill
Thrivent members and employees went to Washington, D.C., last April to share their stories of volunteering with Thrivent to support causes and nonprofits important to them. It was part of an annual fraternal advocacy trip that Thrivent sponsors to help congressional leaders understand the impact that members and Thrivent are making locally.
“There’s nothing as powerful as connecting elected officials with Thrivent volunteers who are their constituents,” says Brian Casey, Thrivent’s director of Government Affairs.
The delegation included 19 members from Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, California, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York; a Thrivent Financial professional; a Community Engagement Team leader, a Thrivent Member Network specialist and three corporate employees, including Casey. Six members and employees from other fraternal benefit societies also participated. Essentially, members shared what it means to be part of a fraternal benefit society and sought the support of their legislators. They focused on their volunteer work with disaster relief and programs like Thrivent Action Teams and Habitat and Thrivent Partnership Projects.
“Government decisions have influence on Thrivent’s ability to achieve our mission,” Casey says. “Being a fraternal benefit society enables us to fund the structure and programs that our members use to make a difference for the causes and communities they care about. Without the current laws that support fraternal benefit societies, we wouldn’t be able to offer the programs that help meet local community needs.”
Members arrived in Washington, D.C., on April 2 and returned home on April 4. During their time there, participants received information and training for the meetings with legislators. They then met with their state’s congressional delegation on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. They also had the option of a Capitol tour.
“Bringing our members to Capitol Hill makes that connection from the district to the state to Washington, D.C.,” Casey says. “As a Thrivent employee, I can talk to public officials; but it’s much more meaningful when our volunteers share their stories. They’re the ones making the difference.”