Generosity in Action
Examples of giving back at home and afar.
By Christine Mueller
Bringing Joy to Children AbroadMason City, Iowa
David Roman, 12, is on a quest to help bring joy to children in Bucaramanga, Colombia, who don’t have toys. Thrivent member Margaret Torkelson spearheaded a Thrivent Action Team to support his goal.
David, who lives with his grandparents, Scott Bleier and Luz Jaimes, buys and collects the toys, and has traveled to Bucaramanga twice to give them to the children. He does this in memory of his mom, who grew up there, but was killed in a car accident.
Last year, his goal was to visit Colombia during summer vacation. With the help of his grandparents, schoolmates and Trinity Lutheran Church members and staff, David collected more than 300 toys and filled boxes. The Thrivent Action Team helped with sorting, packing and postage to ship the toys to Miami. Scott and Luz took care of the shipment to Colombia.
Last August, David flew to Colombia to distribute the toys. David’s uncle, Sergio Roman, captured the joy brought to the Colombian children in a video titled David’s Project Continued 2019.
Guards Carry Food Omaha, Nebraska
Thrivent member Sue Ties led a group from the 126th Chemical Battalion U.S. Army National Guard to participate in the “Give Back and Give Thanks” food drive challenge. It was sponsored by Thrivent Member Network–Nebraska Region. The group collected 475 food items and carried them in their packs for more than four hours to donate them to the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.
Food for 40 FamiliesMelbourne, Florida
Instead of purchasing low-cost chrome books with his Thrivent Action Team, as originally intended, Thrivent member Joel Tooley responded to a more pressing need. His team raised more than a $1,000 in a day to buy and pack groceries for 40 nearby migrant farm-working families whose hours had been cut because of COVID-19. Now connected with a wholesaler for food, they hope to help many more families.
Love of SewingScottsdale, Arizona
Thrivent member Norma Schwartz led a Thrivent Action Team to get supplies for the Resurrection Lutheran Church quilters. In 10 years, the group made more than 2,700 quilts for local shelters and international relief organizations! During COVID-19, many in the group are sewing face masks at home and dropping them off in a bag on parishioners' doors.
Spreading Goodwill Powell, Wyoming
Thrivent member Linda Fischer led a Thrivent Action Team that filled bags with items like toilet paper, shampoo, detergent, toothpaste and other surprises for people who receive Meals on Wheels. In late March, the group wore gloves and masks, and sanitized all items before filling the bags for the quarterly delivery. They followed the drivers delivering meals and left the bags at their doors.