Wednesday, November 14, 2012

News You Can Use - December 2012

News You Can Use Prepared by Steve Tindall
For Your Church Newsletter
From Lutheran Community Services                   December 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.

Help Everyone Have a Holiday Meal ...
Start a Food Drive Today!

Demand for food assistance has been so great that we are planning to call on year-end food drives to help keep our food programs going. Last year (2011), we helped 69,400 people with emergency food assistance. By year-end 2012, we expect to help nearly 84,000 people. That is a 20 percent increase in food clients. More food clients means we need more food.  We didn’t budget for this kind of increase, but rather than scale back our food programs we focused on ways to obtain food without cost. That’s a mighty tall order, but we are hoping that food drives will help fill it. This is especially important during the holiday season – from now until New Year’s – when we are the recipient of large and small food drives, and when many folks are looking for ways to give to and help the needy families among us.

Would you consider conducting a food drive? It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to run a food drive. First, identify who you would appeal to. Think beyond your church. You can start a food drive with your neighbors, your family, your work place, your gym, school, club or scouting group. We have a detailed guide which explains exactly how to conduct a successful food drive, and we would love to share it with you. We also have bags to fill up and lists of items that we need the most – things like tuna fish, peanut butter, and rice. If you are interested in starting a food drive, contact LCS Volunteer Coordinator Cher Frampton at 302 654 8886 x107 or via email at

Click and Save/Share Invite with Friends!
Graphic Design by: Jeff Batt

Snapshot of a Housing Client

An elderly couple who have been homeowners (with a mortgage) for 15 years are living on a small limited income and raising a niece and nephew. The husband is preparing for a lung transplant. While all this was going on, their car broke down and they got behind in their mortgage. They applied to LCS for housing assistance and we were able to help them with the money they needed to pay their mortgage, avoid homelessness, and remain in their home.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards

We love all of our volunteers, without them we could not do the critically import work we do. We also do not like to play favorites, because every bit, large or small plays an important role in the operations here at LCS. But once in a while we do have the opportunity to have our volunteers recognized in a special way for all of their contributions.

LCS is about people and with people comes stories and those stories leave a legacy. LCS has been around for over 50 years, and that means many people have passed through our doors and much legacy behind it. One such individual was recently acknowledged for his legacy, one that he continues to grow here at LCS.

A few months ago I received an email from the State Office of Volunteerism asking us to get our nominations in for the 2012 Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards. I thought that out of the hundreds of volunteers we have, surely someone was worthy of nominating, but who? Since I was the new kid on the block, I thought it best to hand this question over to the rest of the staff. One name came back strongly; Donald (Don) Schaeffer. I knew Don as the quiet, humble guy who worked in our St. Stephen's pantry. He was kind and always seemed to be in control over what was going on down there. A regular face I learned to recognize quickly, but I didn't know much else about him. So it was time to do some home work.

Don Schaeffer and Kristie Augenblick
working at the St. Stephen's Pantry.
Photo by: Jeff Batt
I asked Don to come up for an interview and was amazed at what I found out. He not only worked for us, but he also volunteered for St. Francis Hospital every Monday putting information packets together for the past 30 years; and for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped through the Library of Congress repairing machines so the blind could listen to books on tape for the past 30 years. Don has been working with us off and on for the past 25 years. Between all three organizations he volunteers five days a week, it is his full-time job. He felt what he does is "no big deal" and when asked "What has the work here meant to you?" His answer was "Keeps me busy and active, gives me a reason to get up." When I asked him "What has kept you here all these years?" His answer was "You gotta do something, cannot just sit around." So he is not one to be praised for his work, nor does he keep score.

I sent the nomination in, not knowing if we had any shot at this, but felt if anyone deserved an award, certainly it was Don.

Don Schaeffer recieves his award from Governor Jack
Markell and First Lady Carla Markell
Photo by: Jeff Batt
Finally in mid-September I got the call I was waiting and hoping for; Don won an award and would be going to the award ceremony! I was told there was a record breaker for entries this year and that the competition was tough. (Insert the Volunteer Coordinator Happy Dance here.)  So on October 25th Don went to the 2012 Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards that were held at the Dover Down's Hotel in Dover, DE. His photo was shown up on a large screen, the Governor spoke about him, he was given a plaque and had his picture taken with the Governor and First Lady.

Don not being a very public guy or one to take any credit, handled all of this pretty well. We are thrilled for him and I think he understands this really was not so much about him, as it was about representing all of the volunteers at LCS. It gave us a chance to show off who we are and what we are all about. So we really are grateful that Don was "Willing to take one for the team!"

After all of the nominations were made public we found out that two other volunteers from LCS were also awarded by the Governor for their roles in other organizations. Nancy Goyda, who has volunteered with LCS since 1980 and has previously served on its board was awarded for her work with Family Promise, an organization that that is dedicated to providing shelter for homeless families in Northern New Castle County.

Nancy Goyda poses with Governor Jack
Markell and First Lady Carla Markell.
Photo by: Jeff Batt
Marge Altergott was part of a group award for her work with Secret Garden from the Delaware Center for Horticulture delivering educational programming about the environment to the Ministry of Caring Daycare Center. You are all building a great legacy to leave behind one day. One I think might be pretty hard for others to keep up with!

To Don, Nancy and Marge: Congratulations on your awards and thank you for all of your continued efforts here at LCS!

Have a story about your experience with LCS you would like to share, please contact me! Why did you start volunteering for LCS? How long have you volunteered for LCS? What has volunteering for LCS meant to you? Do you know of anyone who should be recognized for their efforts at LCS? Send your stories or suggestions to