Monday, July 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Anne Graupner - Celebrating a Year of Service

“And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). That is what Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) had asked of Anne Graupner to do for one year here at LCS, far from her home in Germany, and I cannot think of anyone who has exemplified that more than Anne.

Goodbyes are always hard. But we have much to celebrate as it was a successful year for Anne and for LCS as we had the privilege of working with such a kind and loving person. We certainly hope she will take away with her as much as we have gained from her presence with us.

I managed to sit her down for an interview and photos, despite a bit of protest, she was a good sport in the end!  And while we will be getting a new volunteer from LVC at the end of August, to take over for Anne, she cannot be replaced. That person will simply be filling in the legacy that others have left behind even before Anne. None of our volunteers can ever be replaced. They are all so special us.

How are you feeling about leaving next week?
“I have a lot of mixed feelings. Some excitement, some sadness.”

What was your reaction when you found out you were coming to Delaware?
“I didn’t know where it was. I had to look it up on the internet.  My LVC’r roommate had a shirt that said –Dela-where?  And that described how I felt’. I liked the idea that it was on the east coast, close to the ocean and close to a lot of things. I did get to see Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC.”

What was life like when you first started to work at LCS?
“Culture shock! Especially during orientation. I had to work on improving my English, that was a real issue at first. Then figuring other things out. My room mates, the work...everything. I was really tired mentally.

Sandy and Aaron and everyone gave me so much support. There is such good communication in this office. The staff meetings are unlike bigger organization I have been involved in before. We are able to keep up with each other and what the current projects are. Despite a small staff there is a lot going on here and those meetings are often the only time we get to connect as a group. It still has a grass roots feeling despite all of the big projects.”

What has the work at LCS meant to you and have you found it fulfilling?
“It has meant a lot. It is the first time I have worked in direct services. Also has meant so much because of the people I work with, both the staff and all of the wonderful volunteers. I have really been impressed with how many volunteers LCS has and everything that they do. It has been shocking to see how many people are in need. It is frustrating to see."

Do you sense a lot of gratitude from the clients?
“It changes. Every client is different. Some hugs, some say thank you. But I was just happy when I saw that truck pull up and new I was providing assistance. I never expected anything from them.”

What would you change if you could? About LCS? About LVC About the USA?
“Cannot think of anything to change about LCS or LVC. But maybe tell people - Nothing big, but if everyone did something small, baby steps, give their time they could make big changes.”

Has the work at LCS changed your view of the world?
“I was not aware there where so many people in need of food and housing assistance.”
Are there similar programs to ours in your country?
“We have a good program, but not a lot of people are as much in need. More are covered by the government, so not as much of a need as here.”

What are you going to miss the most about your time here in Delaware and what are you taking back with you?
“Friends that I found here in Delaware. How much I liked working at LCS and lots of good experiences."

What are your plans when you get home?
"Looking for a job. I applied for several. I am going to take some time to readjust myself back to life in Germany."

Would you do it again? 

Cool Anne, so would we!
Thanks for a great year...we are going to miss you!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Poster Hangers Needed

 07/25/12 Update: Posters Are Out!!
Thank you to everyone who helped to get them out into the community!

There is nothing like coming back from a relaxing vacation to get you motivated at work. Translated this means; "I just returned from vacation and I am in a panic! I cannot find half of my folders that I know I left right here! I am also looking at this massive in-box of emails, schedules, stories I have to write and projects I must get to work on with unforgiving time lines and am developing a slight twitch in my left eye!"  Try saying that three times really fast. The aftermath of "holiday" is littered about my desk and now I must pay.

Fair enough, I am but our humble servant. I try to remind myself of this often, as does my mother.

People ask me all the time, "What do you need help with?" So here is what we have on the "help us please" menu right now...

We need help putting these 12"x16" posters out into the community for our upcoming Hunger Walk Run being held on September 15. Grocery stores, churches, store fronts, restaurants, community centers, anywhere there is foot traffic. Ideally, I would love to see folks take on about five posters each, but if you can only take on two, great! If you want to take on more, please call me!! If you have a friend willing to help out too, even better. Since they are not that big, they should not be a difficult sell to get hung up into windows.

So if you are one of those individuals who have been wanting to help out, or looking for something else to do with is your chance. This is an easy but very important mission. If this is the job for you, please contact me at to make arrangements to pick up your supply of posters from our Rodney Street office.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Cher Frampton
Volunteer Coordinator
(302) 654-8886, ext 107

News You Can Use

News You Can Use - Prepared by Steve Tindall
For Your Church Newsletter
From Lutheran Community Services                       August 2012

Editors: This information is prepared for church newsletter editors, secretaries and pastors. Your help in getting the word out is appreciated and will help LCS achieve its mission of “Sharing God’s blessings by helping others in need.” Comments about timing or content are welcome. Contact Steve Tindall ( 302 654 8886.


Staffers at the LCS FAITH Center went above and beyond for a client that was having trouble with raccoons this month. It’s not the typical kind of help we provide, but given the circumstances, it seemed like the right thing to do. Here’s what happened. An elderly lady from the Southbridge neighborhood called and said construction near her house had driven a family of raccoons into her attic and she couldn’t get them out. “I’m afraid they’ll fall through on my bed!” she said. She had called a lot of agencies in vain trying to find someone to help her. Finally, the city referred her to the LCS FAITH Center. Through many phone calls, FAITH Center staff helped her find a reliable firm to remove the raccoons and worked with the construction firm to assure that they wouldn’t be back. Our client was very pleased and slept well!

Youthful Volunteers at Work  

Over 50 young volunteers from the Del Tech Upward Bound Math & Science Program helped LCS program staff assemble 500 “healthy food boxes” as part of our nutrition initiative that provides specially selected foods to help low income people fight diet-related diseases. The boxes contain a variety of foods low in salt and carbohydrate, and high in protein and fiber. The diseases we are targeting include diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity and more. The kids pitched in with more enthusiasm than you can imagine and the job was done in no time.

Partnerships Help LCS Help More

Three new partnerships have resulted in new ways to assist our low income neighbors. First, we entered an arrangement with Clarifi, a firm which will provide financial counseling for our housing clients. Next, we have a new agreement with Ingleside Senior Center and Wilmington’s Licensing and Inspections Department whereby homeless seniors and seniors in unhealthy living environments may be referred to LCS. Finally, we have an agreement with the Westminster Presbyterian Furniture Outreach Program. Under this arrangement, many LCS housing clients will be eligible to receive dishes, linens and furniture for their new apartments.