Friday, April 19, 2013

Room at the Table - Table Captain Bulletin/Update

LCS Room at the Table
 Free Fundraising Breakfast

Together We Can
                                                                 May 8, 2013

April 19, 2013

Hi Everyone. Only three weeks till show time! If you haven’t filled up your table, there’s still plenty of time to do so. It’s really not that hard as most people who are asked willingly accept.

Guests Lists Due Next Friday April 26

So far we have received six guest lists from table captains. Only 24 to go! If you still have some inviting to do to fill up your table, now is a great time to do it. We ask that you try to get your guest list back to us by April 26. That leaves us 10 days to work out the final seating arrangements. After you have turned in your list, you can still add or subtract names by calling or emailing us. Even on the day before the breakfast we can add a few more, because there’s definitely “Room at the Table.”

Why 14 Guests?

We asked that you get 14 confirmed guests at your table because experience has shown us that 20% of the people invited won’t show for a variety of reasons. But don’t let that stop you. If you can invite 15 or more guests, please do.  If there’s no room at your table we’ll find one nearby that does have room. In finalizing your list, don’t forget the people who said they would think about it or would get back to you. A quick check with those people may well turn up a few more guests for you.

New Gifts for Guests

Each of your table guests will receive a little gift from LCS at the breakfast. In the past, we’ve given away flower seeds, book markers, even hand lotion. This year’s gift will be something altogether different and will incorporate the theme of this year’s event – Together We Can. Sorry we can’t spill the beans about exactly what the gift is, but we think it’s fitting, of value, and carries our message.

Challenge Fund Going Well

We have asked people to make gifts in advance of the breakfast as a challenge to others. The response has been excellent. So far we have received over $67,000 for the Challenge Fund from 97 transactions. Outstanding!

Call Steve Tindall or Jean Warren at 302-654-8886 or email if you have questions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

News You Can Use - May 2013

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

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.

Kids Help!

In February and again in April a group of Tatnall students worked at the St. Stephen’s pantry and also unloaded and shelved about 9000 pounds of USDA food. On April 17th the eighth graders at Friends school distributed personal care products that they had collected and laundry detergent that we received from Katherine’s Kloset to St. Stephen’s food clients. Every Tuesday a group of 6th graders from Friends school stocks the pantry shelves and makes up bags of food in preparation for Wednesdays, which are our busiest days. Other schools also sponsor food drives.

Nutrition Classes Grow
in Popularity

LCS nutrition classes at Shiloh Baptist Church mobile pantry in Wilmington this winter were not well attended initially. But the small group who did attend the first meetings enjoyed the presentations by U. of D. extension school specialists so much that they brought their friends to the second class, and we went from 14 people to 34 people. They were waiting there before we arrived. The atmosphere was a great combination of information sharing and fun.  Participants commented  that they really enjoyed the class and learned from it. The goal of the program is to provide low income folks with the information about healthy eating on a budget.

St. Philips Pantry Organizers Honored

LCS will present its annual Social Ministry Award to Kris Dirks and Nancy Zinnato of St. Philips for their role in operating the St. Philips pantry programs at the ELCA DE MD Synod Celebrate Ministry Dinner in early May.

Clothing Distributions In Style

Program Director Sandy Betley told of a recent experience she had at our free monthly clothing distribution at St. Stephens:  “I noticed a young African American man who had found dress shoes, a suit jacket, and dress pants.  As he was leaving he said he needed them for an upcoming job interview.  Then he said that ‘His homey had hooked him up’ and walked me over to an eighth grade boy from Tatnall who he high-fived and joked with.   It was wonderful to see these two young men – whose lives may never have crossed otherwise – interacting with each other with such joy.  The Tatnall student clearly was thrilled at the help he was able to provide and just glowed when we talked about it later after the distribution was over.”

LCS Gimme Shelter Golf Tournament:  May 17
To register for the tournament or to get tickets, contact Larry Friday at (302) 438-1290 or Or you can download forms from our website:  www.lcsde.or

LCS Room at the Table Fundraising Breakfast:  May 8
Each church has one or more Table Captains for our annual free fundraising breakfast. Or you can contact LCS Directly:  Steve Tindall at 654 8886, x105 or

Monday, April 15, 2013

Volunteer Job Openings - April 2013

Here are a few volunteer opportunities that we currently have open. Please contact Cher Frampton at (302) 654-8886, ext 107 or cframpton @ if you are interested in any of these openings.

Front Desk Receptionist - Opening Filled
We are currently looking for an individual to help work our front desk on Monday and Friday mornings/early afternoon at our Rodney Street location in Wilmington. We are looking for someone who has strong phone skills, is good with the public and greeting clients, volunteers, donors, or anyone coming through our doors.  
Some duties include:
-Keeping workspace tidy and notices up to date. 
-Explain/talk about LCS to visitors and invite them to monthly food for thought tours.
-Collect voice mails and answer phones
-Cover staff for lunch breaks
-Assist program staff as needed (Making copies, organizing files, shredding etc.) 

Movers Needed! (1 to 3 Openings)

We are looking for a few good strong men!

LCS is in need of movers to accompany scheduled appointments to the Westminster furniture garage to help load furniture for recipients onto their vehicles.

Frequency: 1 to 2 days a month.

We can work around the days that are best for you, but we need to schedule this during the week between 1 and 4pm.  Individuals must be in good health, and able to lift such items as beds, dressers, and tables. This program has been hugely successful in helping families acquire much needed furniture they otherwise are not able to obtain.

Food Drive Coordinators (Unlimited Openings)

Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the only times of the year food drives are needed. People are in need of food year round. But many do not think about this volunteering opportunity during the summer. LCS can provide you with step by step instructions on ideas of how to hold a food drive, or you can get creative and come up with ideas of your own.  Ask your church, schools, employers, boy scouts/girl scouts, community center, book club, family and friends to get involved. 

Food Drives are also an excellent way for high school students to earn their volunteer hours. They learn all about team work, time management, marketing, community and so much more. Every hour they put into planning, meeting and executing their food drive counts as volunteer hours. This has proven to be a very successful volunteer activity for both the students and LCS!

Walk Committee

We are looking for some fresh faces to join us on our Walk Committee. I promise you, you do not have to be in the greatest of shape to be on this committee, I surely am not! You simply have to have the desire to make a difference in your community to fight hunger in Delaware. No running required, unless you want to of course! The Hunger Walk Run 5K is being held on September 21, 2013 at Rockford Park in Wilmington. This is an all inclusive family event, where there is something for everyone. The first Walk Committee meeting will be held on Monday, March 25th, 4pm at our Rodney Street Office in Wilmington.
Committee members are responsible for ensuring the walk goes according to plan. Helps to determine the direction of the event, help establish new contacts in the community, and hopefully bring new ideas to the table. New members are welcome to jump at any time, so don't be shy! Give me a call today if you are interested!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"American Winter" Families Struggle to Survive Fall From Middle Class - NPR

Our LVC'r Extraordinaire Laurie Elseroad passed this article around to us and it is an eye opener. I hope it dispels the myths that we only serve wino's living under the railroad tracks (not that they don't deserve our help!) but that we also help every day people running into some not so everyday situations. Actually, in today's world, this is everyday now. This is the reality we are living in...

Source: NPR

'American Winter' Families Struggle To Survive Fall From Middle Class

It's a visual no parent wants to picture: a child describing what it's like to live in a house with no power for lights, heat or cooking. For many middle-class American parents, it's hard to imagine their family ever facing a situation like that. But a new HBO documentary suggests that many seemingly prosperous parents are only a few misfortunes away from dark houses and empty refrigerators.

Pam Thatcher and her family ultimately moved into her mother's two-bedroom apartment because they couldn't make rent.The film, American Winter, follows the personal stories of eight middle-class families in Portland, Ore., who were hit hard during the Great Recession. Once financially stable, they now find themselves struggling. Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz — known for their tell-all series Taxicab Confessions — show these families desperately trying to make ends meet during the winter of 2011, even as headlines everywhere indicate a recovery for America.

Diedre Melson, John Cox and Pam Thatcher are three of the parents featured in the film. All three are college-educated and at one point considered themselves middle class, a group the film refers to as the most endangered species in America.

Melson, Cox and Thatcher live in different neighborhoods, mingle in different circles and have different backgrounds. But in 2011 they all had one thing in common: Their financial struggle brought them to Portland's 211info emergency hotline.

"My husband, Brandon, went out to look for work, and I was stressing because I had very little diapers; I was worried about formula," Thatcher tells NPR. She is married with two young boys, and it was the first time she had found herself in need of assistance. "I went ahead and called [211info] and I was actually looking for help with rent or utilities."

For Cox, a housing crisis is what led him to seek help. American Winter shows him struggling to control his emotions when he has to ask his father for help paying the bills. Before he was laid off three years ago, Cox was an accountant who earned a nearly $60,000 salary. He had never really thought about social services or public assistance.

"I had a little bit of compassion for the folks [who rely on social services], but I never thought it would happen to me," he says. "In fact I was so oblivious to it, I didn't know how to go about getting the assistance."

As for Melson, she sometimes donated her plasma and often spent weekends picking up scrap metal to make ends meet.

Public And Private Shame

In American Winter, all three of these parents express a sense of shame at ending up in their current situation. "There's a stigma attached to people who ask for assistance," Melson explains. "People have the tendency to believe that there was something that you did to make yourself get in that situation and now you're begging, when in all actuality I don't think any of us here did anything particular to get into our situations. I think all of it was based on each of us basically losing our source of income."

Thatcher describes a different kind of stigma she felt during a trip to a church assistance center. She says people were talking about her wedding ring and her kids' clothing, suggesting that she was doing fine and didn't really need any help. "They sat right next to me and they were saying it as a normal conversation, as you and I are," she says. "And it killed me. It's already hard; it is already degrading. And for someone to sit there in a casual conversation and talk bad about you, it hurt me so much more."

But public shame wasn't the only source of pain for these unexpectedly impoverished parents. The sting of being unable to afford things for their children was particularly harsh: At one point in the film, Melson is shown talking with her son about a wrestling tournament he was invited to. It's a national competition in Nevada — and it costs $500.

"Unfortunately, he was not able to make it," Melson tells NPR. "And that has to be one of the hardest things as a parent, is to not to be able to provide those things for your child. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has gone by because you can't afford it. You feel like a failure."

Thatcher felt a similar sense of shortcoming around the holidays. "I know that we didn't have a Christmas," she says. "I know that I couldn't buy one gift. That was one Christmas that you can't buy your children anything, and that hurts so bad."

With so much shame surrounding their situations, some might wonder why American Winter's families agreed to be filmed.

"This is hard," Cox says, "but we're not doing this just for us. This is not happening just in Portland or just in Houston or just in Philadelphia. This is happening nationwide. And a lot of people think it's just them."

Melson adds that she wants people to talk about their struggles "especially if it's happening to them. We want them to become a community and to feel OK looking for help. Nobody asked to have this happen to them."

Still 'In Limbo'
Some of the parents are in better financial situations now than they were when the film was shot, but that doesn't mean they have regained their spot in the middle class. Cox, for instance, has managed not to lose his home to foreclosure — yet.

"We're still in the house," he says. "But right now I'm in limbo. I don't know where I'm going to be in 30 days. I've never considered it my house; I've always considered it my kid's house. Geral has Down syndrome, and I know I have to do something for him for when I'm not around, you know, when he gets older. And I gotta do things to make his life more comfortable. And I sit and worry about my kid. What's going to happen to him in 30 years when I'm not around? That is an absolute scary thought for me."
Melson and Thatcher murmur their agreement.

"It's really demoralizing," Cox says, "even though I still have the ability to, more or less, you know, keep my head up and think, 'Well, tomorrow's another day.' "