Have you ever experienced a disaster? Not the kind where you burn the turkey on Thanksgiving Day or even the time you sent a fundraising letter with all incorrect names. No, I mean a true disaster, such as a hurricane, fire, tornado, flood, earthquake or even a man-made disaster such as a factory explosion. Thankfully I have not and hopefully you haven't either, but the reality is there are disasters large and small, declared and undeclared, each and every year throughout the U.S. Whether they affect one person or thousands of families all disasters leave a path of destruction and heartache in their wake.
As a new staff member at Lutheran Services in America, my favorite part of the job, hands-down, is to meet our members. I don’t think there's a better way to understand an organization and how it operates than to visit in person. Recently, Alesia Frerichs, VP of Member Engagement, and I took a trip to Baltimore to visit the Kathryn's Kloset ministry of Diakon. Diakon, a member of LSA, is a social ministry organization that provides a range of senior services and programs and services for children, youth and families. They serve communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and annually touch the lives of 50,000-60,000 people.
With the blink of an eye, the 8 weeks of my fellowship with LSA have come to an end. This always seems to happen – I start out a semester or a summer thinking that I have all the time in the world, but when I look back on it I'm shocked at how quickly it ran by. I want to express my appreciation to the LSA staff for their immense support and guidance this summer, particularly my supervisors: Tania Hernandez-Anderson (Vice President of Marketing) and Deborah Hoesly (Vice President of Development).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equality for individuals' with disabilities. I personally have a mild cognitive disability called Cerebral Palsy. While this affects my fine motor skills as well as my mobility/walking abilities, my disability does not stop me from accomplishing my daily tasks. Over the years, the ADA has helped me overcome issues dealing with employment, transportation, and self-advocacy. However, there are challenges that the ADA has not addressed.
Earlier this month I was lucky enough to represent LSA at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Youth Gathering in Detroit, Michigan. The gathering brought together close to 30,000 youth, adults and volunteers from across the world to serve, reflect and raise awareness on issues like water, poverty, homelessness, hunger, disabilities, among others. I don’t think I have ever been in an event of this magnitude. From main gatherings at Ford Field Center to experiencing part of the Proclaim Community and Proclaim Justice activities, inspiration and impact radiated from every corner of the gathering.
Earlier this month, Bill Nolan from KenCrest Centers reflected on the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the people our network serves and the work of disability ministry. Today, we are honored to share a reflection from Linda Timmons, the President and CEO of Mosaic, an organization based in Omaha, Nebraska that provides a life of possibilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, supporting and empowering them in pursuit of their goals. Mosaic, a member of LSA, is an active member of the LSA Disability Network (LSA-DN). This post originally appeared on the Mosaic website on July 23, 2015.
Lutheran Services Iowa (LSI), a member of the LSA network, is releasing the results of a twelve-month study that tested the value of using a multi-channel advertising campaign in targeted geographic locations to attract new donors.
Imagine the energy, collective wisdom and ideas that came together when 17 LSA senior services providers met in Washington DC on July 17 to envision how wellness and care could be redefined to improve the lives of older Americans. As the largest faith-based non-profit group serving older adults in the United States, representing close to 200 Lutheran social ministry organizations that offer senior care, the LSA network has provided a broad range of care and support for seniors from all walks of life in all types of communities for decades.