Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome Ariana Wakeman


 Lutheran Volunteer Corp Leader September Newsletter Highlights Wilmington and Lutheran Community Services and placement Ariana Wakeman!

Wilmington Commissioning Service

The Wilmington LSC welcomed the new LVC Volunteers this month.  The commissioning was held at the home of Bill and Nancy Fuson and was a delightful event!  We blessed the Volunteers with a sending blessing that encourages them to begin their year with grace, hope, trust, peace and love.

The Volunteers also had an opportunity to meet their Host Families. LSC members, congregational supporters, host families and a placement supervisor were in attendance.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Volunteers as they begin their year!


Wilmington Volunteers: Back row, left to right:  Ben Arbeiter, Kristan VanDomelen, Sascha Beilert, Ariana Wakeman, Daniel Guntermann. Front row, left to right:  Tamara Siburg, Maren Hopkins, Karrah Johnston, Ngozi Edeh

Volunteer and Placement Site Spotlight 
Ariana Wakeman and Lutheran Community Services in Wilmington 

UntitledAriana : "I joined LVC because I believed it would provide me with valuable experience to further my career, an opportunity to give back and help others, and a chance to grow through my work and LVC's core practices.
I appreciate the opportunity to work directly with those who are affected by issues of social justice. Each person I have met has something valuable to offer the world, yet unfortunately they often do not have a voice. I really enjoy meeting a variety of people and learning from each of them.

My only expectation was that I would be put to good use at Lutheran Community Services (LCS) and that I would be able to truly serve others.  I am lucky to work with such wonderful staff and volunteers. I enjoy the work I do every day, and am looking forward to continuing to learn about the program and my role at LCS.

My time at LCS has confirmed for me that I am indeed passionate about this field.  Daily interactions with clients helps me to build people skills which will be important in any other social work job I may pursue. I have also been able to learn some about the ins and outs of a non-profit and have begun to establish some helpful connections.
Sandy Betley from Lutheran Community Services: LCS has been blessed to have an LVC volunteer since 1996…that’s 17 years! The LVC volunteer provides a very needed additional pair of hands to assist with our food and housing programs.  This assistance

requires both physical and emotional stamina as situations exacerbating needs are often heartbreaking and because the  people in need just keep coming and coming.   We have often noticed that the LVCr is able to provide a fresh perspective and some rather “outside the box” solutions to problems that we have been too busy to figure out how to address, so we highly value their input.

LCS Mission Statement of Sharing God’s Blessings by Helping Others In Need, resonates with the core LVC principles of social justice, intentional living, and sustainability in that we are all in this world together and it is our responsibility to reach out to and care for one another and all of God’s creatures and creation if we hope for the world to continue.

Welcome aboard Ari...we look forward to working with you over the next year, and we hope you look the same. We know this is going to be a great time for us both with you here!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


On Wednesday, September 18th I had the pleasure of joining several hundred RSVP volunteers, staff, guests and friends at the Chase Center on the Riverfront for their Annual Outstanding Senior Service Awards. What made the event even more special that day, is that I was escorting one of my own volunteers, who just happen to be the big winner that day, Hortense Priest.
A full house at the 2013 RSVP Awards

I hate to say "winner" because as you look around the room, they are all winners. Each and every one of them. As a volunteer coordinator, I always find myself torn with the idea of nominating someone for an award. How do you choose when you love everyone so much? But here we are and here she is dressed in her lovely read coat and hat and taking it all in stride.

Here is the narrative that won Hortense the award. I hope you enjoy learning a bit about her as I did. She is a lovely and humble person.

Outstanding Senior Service Award - RSVP
Hortense Priest
Lutheran Community Services is proud to nominate Hortense Priest of Wilmington, Delaware for the 2013 RSVP Outstanding Senior Service Award. 

Cousin Sylvia, Vol Cor Cher Frampton & Hortense Priest
Hortense has been a valuable individual on the volunteer roster for decades working in several areas at LCS.  Her primary roles have been working at our weekly produce distribution at St. Stephen’sChurch outside on 13th Street every Wednesday.

Her other primary role has been to pick up bread weekly from a local super market and bring it to the St. Stephen’s Pantry on Broom Street.

Hortense’s time with us has been invaluable in calculation as you rarely get volunteers who are as dedicated and are as reliable as she is. Her weekly work with the produce distribution help us to provide much needed fresh fruits and vegetables to our clients that they normally do not receive at our pantry.  This program helps more than 150 people each week, and Hortense is there regardless of the weather conditions (severe heat or cold, rain, snow) to help distribute the food. Without Hortense and our volunteers to count on each and every week, this program would not be possible.  

Hortense Priest on stage with M&T Bank Vice President Joe Yacyshyn
We also count on Hortense to pick up day-old-bread, baked pastries/cakes and pies from the Acme at Trolley Square in Wilmington, each week to hand out to our clients at our St. Stephen’s pantry. Bread and baked goods are not part of our normal packing list, but it is so nice for us to be able to ask our clients “Would you like a loaf of bread, or a pie?”  Giving our clients the dignity of choice, plus a nice little treat now and then really makes their day and it makes our pantry volunteers happy too that they can give them a choice. We do not even call Hortense, she just shows up each week with the delivery. Without the reliability of Hortense picking these goodies up each and every week, this would not be possible.  St. Stephen’s pantry serves approximately 25,000 individuals each year.

In addition to all of the wonderful things that Hortense has done for LCS over the years, we wanted to share with you some of the fascinating things that she has done in and throughout her community over the years that makes her such an amazing person to us and to so many other people!

Volunteer activities & hobbies:
Hortense Priest on stage with M&T Bank Vice President Joe Yacyshyn

·     * City of Wilmington Clifford Brown Jazz Festival and Blues Festival – sell tickets & merchandise for 23 yrs.

·     *   Attend Thanksgiving Senior Ball at St. Anthony’s for 22 yrs. & Chairperson of the Activity for 7 yrs.

·     *  Member of Howard High School Class of 1952- organizes the events & facilitates ongoing communication between classmates

·      * Member of Mt. Joy United Methodist Church.  Her grandmother was a founding member & all family members have attended there since.- Volunteer for 5 yrs.

·     *  Member of AKA National Sorority serving the community (along with her daughter and her granddaughter).

·    * Member of the Woodlawn Library Adult Summer Reading Program

·    * Usher at Grand Opera for 17 yrs.

·    * Usher at DE Theater for 15 yrs.

·     * Usher at Wilmington Drama League for 12 yrs.

·      * Taught in the Delaware Public School System for 34 Years.

     During her interview for this nomination Hortense said,
      “I truly enjoy volunteering as a way of using my time to do my community service in helping    mankind and giving back to help someone else" 

 Thank you Hortense for all that you do for LCS and everywhere else!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

News You Can Use

For Your Church Newsletter        Prepared by Steve Tindall
From Lutheran Community Services                       October 2013

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.

New Lutheran Volunteer

Ariana Wakeman – or Ari for short – is our new Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) volunteer. At LCS, she will fill the position of Food and Shelter Assistant for one year. Her training is underway and soon she will be handling food and housing duties completely on her own. Ari is from the small town of Exeter, NH. She came to LCS after she graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in psychology. She is an active outdoors person. At Rhode Island, she rowed for URI’s Division 1 program. She also enjoys backpacking, climbing, and road biking. Welcome Ari!

More Than One in Five Children Go Hungry

In early September, the USDA announced that nearly 16 million children in America (or approximately one in five) face hunger. In both its housing and its food programs, LCS strives to meet the needs of kids. This is one of the reasons LCS puts so much emphasis on nutrition. Good nutrition among children has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle to good nutrition, and Delaware’s food security rate is among the lowest in the nation, ranking 48th, ahead of only Mississippi and Alabama.  LCS tries to help kids whenever it can, which is why we are able to help so many – about 50,000 last year. One of the really special things LCS does for kids is distribute handmade quilts (lovingly made and donated by Phyllis Milby) to families with small children. The supply is not unlimited so LCS is careful how many it gives away. Most of the time we give them to families that are troubled or disturbed. We find that these stressed moms and dads are often astonished and overwhelmed by the gift of a handmade item and the warm sentiment that it carries.

RSVP Award
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has awarded Hortense Priest – one of our long-time volunteers – with its annual Outstanding Senior Service Award for her work with LCS, Grand Opera, Woodlawn Library and many other agencies throughout the community. Congratulations, Hortense!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Greater Power

Every month we have a pastor/reverend from a different church write us a new and inspirational prayer to offer the recipients of our food services.  We place a copy of this prayer into each of the grocery bags we hand out. We feel that most who come to us are having a pretty rough time and could use some comforting words to help them through...every little bit helps.

Here is September's...

Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth,
Everything we have comes from You. Everything we need comes from your blessing. So this day we ask You to multiply the bread of life for us that we might feed our families. Strengthen our faith and help us to hold on to You when days are hard and darkness surrounds.

You are the way, the truth, and the life.
Help us.

Pastor Greg Johnson

Zion Lutheran Church [9/13]

Friday, September 6, 2013

Living in a Desert

Watch this video to see what it is like to find fresh and nutritious food in a city, when you rely on corner stores, limited incomes, public transportation or no transportation. It's like living in a desert.