Assembling LWR Personal Care Kits for displaced and refugee families. Hosting a prayer breakfast when a disaster strikes to raise funds for those affected overseas. Organizing a luncheon for the homeless and serving LWR Fair Trade. The ability to make a positive change, in the local community and abroad, is possible through Thrivent Financial’s newest volunteer program: Thrivent Action Teams.
Through this program, all benefit members are eligible to lead a fundraiser, service activity or educational event that helps to address an unmet need. Members also receive $250 in seed money to purchase supplies and promotional materials for approved service projects. In 2015, thanks to the generosity of Thrivent members, nearly 2,000 Thrivent Action Teams were led in support of the work of Lutheran World Relief! Thank you! Currently, Thrivent members are continuing to use their creativity to support LWR ministries:
SUZZANNE RYE, a member of Pins & Needles, a prayer shawl ministry of Hope United Parish, uses Thrivent Action Team seed money to buy materials for prayer shawls, Baby Care Kits and Quilts. Pins & Needles, along with Grace Circle and Grace Quilters meet at Grace Lutheran in Hanlontown, Iowa, to assemble the Baby Care Kits. The quilters at Bethlehem Lutheran in Manly, Iowa, use a Thrivent Action Team grant for their quilting group. The Sunday schools help assemble the Personal Care Kits. Pastor Linda Johnson Prestholt, who serves both congregations, also applies for Thrivent funds to buy supplies for the youth’s Easter breakfast following Easter worship. Last year they earned funds to travel to Detroit for the ELCA Youth Gathering. And in 2015, they collectively assembled 105 Quilts, five blankets, 37 Baby Care Kits, 72 Personal Care Kits and 56 School Kits.
KATHERINE TOOPS is an experienced sewer and member of the quilting group at St. John’s Lutheran Church in St. Donatus, Iowa. Along with other members of her quilting group, she is helping to grow the next generation of quilters by teaching junior high school students the art of sewing. Katherine partners with Thrivent members in the congregation, as well as St. Paul’s Lutheran in LaMotte, Iowa, to use Thrivent Action team seed money to help collect the materials needed to make quilts, kits and fleece tie blankets. The intergenerational Sunday school class participated in a School Kit assembly and St. John has made more than 300 LWR Quilts and Fleece Tied Blankets.
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SANDY PERRY is the leader of the Faithful Quilters at Faith Lutheran Church in Moline, Ill., and has coordinated two successful Thrivent Quilt & Kit Marathons in support of LWR. She is working on a third one! Sandy uses Thrivent Action Team seed money to purchase quilt and kit materials. Each marathon welcomes nonchurch members to participate in the fun and learn how important quilts and kits are to someone facing challenging circumstances. Last fall, Faith Lutheran had its first quilt blessing and dedicated 162 LWR Quilts and Kits. And they discovered a creative way to support the Quilt & Kit Shipping Fund that gives everyone a chance to participate! When completed, each quilt is assigned a name depending on its pattern. Names have included “Happy Feet” and “Grandma’s Garden.” An envelope, with the cost to ship it overseas, along with a message that reads “Will You Adopt Me?” is pinned to each quilt. In the first year, the Faithful Quilters raised $130.00, more than what was needed to ship each quilt overseas.
On behalf of Lutheran World Relief, we send our heartfelt thanks Suzzanne, Katherine and Sandy and to all Thrivent members, who have led Thrivent Action Teams in support of LWR programs. We encourage you visit lwr.org/get-involved/thrivent-action-team to learn more.