Nursing student helps neighbors at Cedar Haven

Just three doors down from Emily Pleiss’ house, a wonderful opportunity was waiting for her to bring joy and good health to her neighbors. Emily lives close to The Lutheran Home: Cedar Haven in Mankato, Minn., and often noticed residents enjoying the outdoors at the assisted living community. When she needed a volunteer experience for a college class, she walked over to inquire.

Read More

At Hope Residence, residents become family

Pat’s bright red hair, amazing smile and contagious laugh lit up the halls at Hope Residence in Belle Plaine, Minn. She loved life, which made it all the more difficult when she passed away in the fall.
Becca Lambrecht met Pat two years ago, when Becca started as a direct support professional (DSP) at Hope Residence. She knew instantly they would be friends, but she didn’t realize how deep that bond went.

Read More

Caring around the clock

When friends or family visit a loved one who has dementia, Heritage Homes resident assistant Pam Evans can relate. Her husband, Robert, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple years ago, at a fairly young age. He continues to live at home with Pam, who cares for him before and after her full-time job serving older adults in assisted living.

Read More

‘One big happy memory’ — 25 Years of JCM

When the Lord inspired volunteers in the greater La Crosse and Onalaska area of Wisconsin to start a Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) program, He provided all the things they needed to make the special needs ministry a reality — teachers, supplies, facilities, a bus to carry students.

Read More

Spelling out God's love, one letter at a time

For years, the things Gavin Schultz wanted to say were trapped inside him. Autism silenced him, even though his mind and his heart were filled with messages of God’s love. Then one day, God and his family set him on a new path. Now, at age 17, Gavin is an ambassador for an autism advocacy nonprofit and a public speaker.

Read More

Special needs, special situation, a very special solution

Doug McKinnon rarely visited the doctor. The 65-yearold typically shrugged off health concerns until one day last November, he couldn’t ignore them. Doug was found driving erratically — his son Steven in the car — two hours from their northern Minnesota home. While talking to Doug, the police officer
sensed something was very wrong. Emergency room doctors at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minn., determined Doug had suffered multiple strokes, causing vascular dementia.

Read More

Chaplains enrich daily life at senior living with God's love

It’s early on a Wednesday, and Pastor Mark Bartsch is in his office reading correspondence and gathering his thoughts for the day ahead. Soon it will be time for daily devotion in the dining room, then the popular Wednesday worship service he leads at Heritage Homes in Watertown, Wis., where he
is the full-time chaplain.

Read More

Taking stock of blessings

Born into the German baking dynasty that founded Winona’s Mahlke Baking Co. in 1895, Dean Mahlke
was legally blind from a young age. Vision problems dogged him at school and everywhere.

“I shouldn’t even be here. I should have been hit by a truck,” he said.

But it would be a bus, not a truck, that played a large role in his life.

Read More