Thrivent lends a hand for others

Published 10:19 am Monday, May 4, 2009

Notice anything different about Austin?

It’s a better place today thanks to Thrivent For Lutherans’ Join Hands Day.

The Austin chapter of Thrivent Financial Services for Lutheran sponsored another Join Hands Day Saturday.

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Teams of volunteers went to the residences of the elderly to perform yard work and other chores.

The largest team assembled at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home, where they did more yard work, mulched trees and other plantings and helped prepare gardens for tilling and planting this spring.

“It’s great,” said Tim Carlson, president of the Austin chapter’s board of directors. “This is what Thrivent is all about.”

“We try to help in communities wherever there is a need,” Carlson said. “We have funds at our disposal that we support with supplemental funds to help families dealing with tragedies. Maybe, a family dealing with cancer or another medical complication or a loss.”

“We helped the victims of the flooding in Austin,” he said.

“We try to join others who are raising funds for someone in need and see if we can’t help boost the money available,” he said.

Volunteers from Our Savior’s, St. Olaf, St. John’s and Grace Lutheran churches in Austin participated.

The Mower County chapter of Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans also participated in their own Join Hands Day projects elsewhere in the county.

Join Hands Day is a national volunteer day sponsored by America’s fraternal benefit societies. The annual event generates awareness about what grassroots volunteerism can do in communities across the nation, while also bringing youth and adults together to build lasting friendships across generations.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its members have been strong supporters of the event since its start in 2000.

Thrivent chapters conduct nearly 3,000 Join Hands Day activities nationwide annually, resulting in nearly 590,000 volunteer hours of service.

The Austin chapter’s volunteers raised from 10 years old to senior citizen status. Men and women, individuals, couples and families were involved Saturday in Austin.

“We’ve got grandparents, parents and children here today working together and hopefully that will break down some the barriers between the different generations and help all to see that we are all in this together and that together we can make a difference in our communities,” Carlson said.

Last year, the Austin chapter’s volunteers assembled care packages to send to U.S. Armed Forces personnel serving overseas on the 2008 Join Hands Day event.

Last Saturday (April 25), Thrivent volunteers participated in the third annual Austin Community Pride Day city-wide cleanup effort.

According to Carlson, the volunteers numbered between 25 and 30 in Join Hands Day activities.

“Thrivent is a good organization and it’s great that they give back in all the communities where Join Hands Day events are held,” Carlson said.