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With Thrivent Choice, You Can Help Others Without Leaving Home
March 28, 2016 | Meg McCormick, excerpted from Thrivent magazine
Providing wood to heat homes. Giving Bibles to young children. Turning a parking lot into a community garden.
Those sound like typical volunteer efforts. But all this work and more is accomplished through Thrivent Choice®, one of Thrivent Financial’s charitable grant programs.
It allows eligible members to recommend where Thrivent should donate portions of its charitable outreach funds each year.
Here are three ways Thrivent Choice has made a difference.
A helping hand
Helping one another is one of the defining characteristics of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Lake Mary, Florida.
"We're all about community," says Dennis McGavok, the congregation's director of operations. "Our Thrivent Choice funding always seems to come in when there is a community need that we aren't sure how we can support."
Thrivent Choice grant funds have provided more than $25,465 to Holy Cross.
The money has been used in a many ways, including providing support to the Oasis – a place for people in need to do their laundry, study, shower and more – and Hand In Hand ministries, established by a church member to provide recovery services in a residential program.
What would you call a kit containing sheets, towels and utensils for families? STUFF!
That's also the name of a program of Community Lutheran Partners (CLP) in Wheeling, West Virginia.
STUFF serves five communities in the West Virginia–Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It provides kits to women transitioning from prison, women and children from abusive homes, youth aging out of the foster care system and others.
Each STUFF kit contains sheets, towels, a set of pots and pans, laundry detergent, cooking and eating utensils, pillows and a laundry basket.
"We only use new items," said CLP Executive Director Sherri Schafer. "It's important to tell people that they are worthwhile and to give them items that represent a fresh start."
Thrivent Choice grant funds have provided more than $7,000 since 2010 for Community Lutheran Partners.
Honoring the lost
A strong desire to provide comfort and reassurance to the loved ones who've lost members of the military inspired David Larson and his family to create Flags for Fallen Military (FFM).
"Regardless of one's political or philosophical views, the families of those who've fallen are deserving of our respect and empathy," says Larson.
The organization, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, reaches out to families and offers flags and flagpoles to be installed at no cost.
FFM has installed more than 375 flags and flagpoles in roughly three dozen states, bringing comfort to thousands of family members and friends.
Thrivent Choice grant funds have provided more than $6,600 for Flags for Fallen Military.
Visit Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to see program details and recommend where you’d like Choice Dollars® to go.
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