A gift for the grandma who has everything

Getting a gift for Judy Putz could be a challenge. What’s the perfect thing for a hard worker who is generous with her time and likes to keep busy, a woman of faith for whom church is an important part of life? Her granddaughter, Jenna Putz, knew just the thing.

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Never far from the love of a friend at The Lutheran Home

Carman Meyer retired a decade ago, but every week she’s back at her former workplace in Belle Plaine. She didn’t want to leave Eunice. The pair met when Eunice moved to The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine with her dad in 1977.

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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.

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Seven years and one new congregation later, still volunteering

When Maria Muske began volunteering with Jesus Cares Ministries at 12 years old, she didn't think it would have much of an effect on her spiritual life. Seven years later, she has come to realize God didn’t bring her to JCM to help the participants; he brought them to help her.

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Bell sounds God’s saving love for all abilities

Emily Lillo had always wanted to ring the hand bell that signals the start of each Worship at the Cross service. But she’s  a volunteer, and typically the honor is given to a participant with special needs since Worship at the Cross is designed for people with cognitive impairments. She’d watched many others light up with the chance to sound the call to worship — not knowing she’d eventually get her turn.

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Nurse from The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine goes to camp

Jane Glende is a busy nurse, wife and mother who spends her days helping older adults at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. Her work has a predictable rhythm far removed from the lively atmosphere of a camp, but Jane happily pitched in at the Joy in Jesus retreat at Green Lake Bible Camp near Spicer, Minn. The annual camp-style retreats for people with developmental disabilities are hosted by Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) and the WELS Minnesota District Special Ministries.

“I decided to do it because it’s a completely different scope than what we have at the skilled nursing facility,” Jane said.

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Russian is the language of love for senior at Cedar Haven

It’s past 10 a.m., but Vasiliy Shevstov is slow to start his day. He’s waiting for someone special. When his visitor arrives and greets him in Russian, Vasiliy lights up.

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From an island in the Caribbean to New Friends in Wisconsin

Donessa Belgrave grew up in Grenada, an island country in the Caribbean. From this place of sun, sea and sand, her path led to Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC), where she is in the final semester of an early childhood education degree.

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Dennis appreciates seniors for their stories, jokes, smiles

After a successful four decades with American Family Insurance as a data center planner, Dennis Metcalf looked for something engaging to do in retirement. His daughter Laurie Rehm is the Administrator for Independent Living at Heritage Homes and told him the nonprofit senior living community in Watertown, Wis., could always use a hand

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Carol gets residents talking at St. Michael’s Assisted Living

Volunteer Carol Colbenson encourages residents in St. Michael’s Assisted Living to roll the dice. There’s no money on the line. Instead, the numbers correspond to a card with a discussion question like “Have you ever made homemade bread?” or “Have you ever driven a boat?”

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