Wednesday, January 21, 2015

LUTHERAN COMMUNITY SERVICES (DE) – 2014 Report to the Congregations

The continued strong support of individuals, our sponsoring congregations,  foundations and government agencies has allowed Lutheran Community Services to continue to carry out our mission of “Sharing God’s Blessings by Helping Others in Need.” 

The need for a safety net for people less fortunate than ourselves has not abated, and we have found that a great many people in Delaware continued to request help with basic necessities of life – food, shelter, and kindness.

In 2014, we selected  Growing Together as our annual theme, because it helps us describe how people are changed by services offered with the love of Christ, how volunteers grow through their service, and donors are enriched in their giving. Once again in 2014, we have provided close to 90,000 incidents of service: 

  • Services: food, homelessness prevention, smoking cessation vouchers, clothing and more.

  • Distributions occur regularly in 15 locations.We have been grateful for the work of over 400 volunteers.
  • Some new volunteers have used their experience with us to launch themselves into new jobs.  
  • One of our sponsoring congregations is offering food during evening hours; something we have dreamed about.

  • Every applicant for financial assistance has been offered free financial counseling with our partner agency, Clarifi. The number of people making use of this service increased by 60%!

  • Throughout the year we have continued to offer nutrition education and classes in conjunction with the UD Cooperative Extension Service and a Shop Rite nutritionist.
  • During the growing season many healthy veggies are donated by individuals. This year, one of our farmer friends planted a whole crop of corn just for donation!

You have probably heard that we have acquired a new building on Baynard Boulevard in Wilmington, and that renovations have commenced, with a hoped-for move-in date of late spring 2015 – just a few months away.  Meanwhile, the contractors are busy installing a new roof, new systems, new windows (including a stained glass one), walls, paint, carpet – in short everything. 

Recent photos taken this week of construction at the new building. Lot's of progress is being made!
Click on photos to enlarge.

The Capital Campaign Committee has been hard at work, and at this time, 80% of the funds needed have been pledged or received. Please join us in our push to the goal if you haven’t already. The move is destined to help us continue Growing Together to serve even more people in need with excellent services, accessibility, privacy, dignity, and, most importantly, the love of God.

We had wonderful support for our operating expenses through the annual Walk Run, which set records again in 2014, as well as our Gimme Shelter Golf Tournament (another record breaker) and our annual Room at the Table breakfast. Our challenge now is to maintain our flow of regular contributions, which go toward the everyday operating costs of the agency, as we ask for additional gifts to cover the expenses of our construction project. We hope that this spirit of giving continues in 2015.

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