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March 2021

Welcome to LVC's e-NEWS, part of our new community engagement platform! We're responding to the request for more regular and quick-read updates, and look forward to your feedback.


Local Support Networks Are Back!

When LVC welcomed its new president in 2018, one of her first questions was about alumni and community support.  After learning local support groups were disbanded years before, LVC bumped LSNs onto the high priority list.  With agreement from alumni and friends that LVC's future depends on the enthusiasm of its networks, and after stabilizing the organization, LVC's RE-BUILD begins in April! READ MORE AND REGISTER FOR UPCOMING ZOOMS HERE.

The Application is LIVE for Volunteering: Next Round, April 15!

The first group of LVC applicants jumped into the Placement interviewing process this month. Sign up, or forward the application to prospective Volunteers you know. And remember, service is not just for college grads, and you need not have had college at all. Over 21, gap year, in between jobs, on sabbatical, retired... service advances discernment of vocation, exploration of intentional community, spiritual and leadership development at any life stage. FIND THE APPLICATION HERE.

Placements Surge

At the start of COVID-19, many Placements opted out due to financial uncertainty and anticipated instability.  LVC asked partners to withdraw if they were not sure they could maintain a Volunteer for the duration of the program.  In 2020, we had 38 Placements, and already for 2021, we have 60 positions.  The number of Volunteer applicants is up by about 10 from last year this time, and as usual, we're monitoring trends for the term starting in August.  It's a strong start that we hope will maintain. 

Volunteering Continues During COVID-19

Thirty-eight LVC Volunteers are living in community in DC, Baltimore, Wilmington, Omaha, and Twin Cities. They stared COVID-19 in the face and said, let's do this. Or, perhaps that will be the story when this is all over.  Volunteers entered the program with a range of emotions, trepidations, and uncertainty. They are weathering the pandemic with caution, care, and grace.  Each is serving based on their Placement's COVID protocol, which could be remotely, a hybrid of remote and in-person, or completely in person if a position is considered essential and direct-service. The Volunteer year began with a Zoom orientation from their LVC houses, and continues with monthly program day Zooms bringing all Volunteers together to learn about a different social justice topic each month.  For the first time, we welcomed four virtual-only Volunteers, one whose five-month term completed and left her with an observation:

--Marissa Clark, LVC '21

"Even virtual, my time at LVC gave me so much more than my previous in-person service experience. I've felt closer to staff, more in community with other Volunteers, and feel I've grown to know others more intimately than when I served with another organization in person. Plus -- I was hoping I could maintain my anger and discontent; but talking with other Volunteers and seeing LVC values in action has given me hope for our country." 



VOLUNTEERS Samrawit Pitches the CEO

Volunteer Samrawit Stoner doesn't just like her Placement at Bread for the City in Washington, DC, she loves it.  She has embraced the mission so much that she sees a future career in their work and its city-wide impact on poverty.  Plus, she had an idea, which she pitched to the CEO, who listened.

PLACEMENTS Grace Lutheran Church: Serve Where You Are

Placement partner Grace Lutheran Church in Omaha, NE takes its serve where you are mission to heart. The emerging needs in its surrounding blocks are where its mission has blossomed.

PROGRAMS Health Disparities in Marginalized Communities

Dr. Tabari Baker was one of seven March Program Day panelists who elevated health disparities in marginalized populations as a red alert during COVID-19, with the seven panelists offering just as many perspectives.

ALUMNI Serve For a Year, Commit For a Lifetime 

Katie and Jeremy Schroeder met as LVC Volunteers, married, and continue to find multiple ways to serve LVC and their own community, on the road to justice, living out values they still embrace.

STAFF Acting on Equity and Isms

Lutheran Services in American selected LVC president Deirdre Bagley as Frontline Hero in February 2021, and interviewed her to learn how LVC advances its Journey to Inclusive Community.  As many organizations look for ways to increase diversity, equity and inclusion while also dismantling institutional “isms” in society—racism, sexism, heterosexism, and the like—LVC is approaching the issue with a different lens.

FOUNDERS' FAREWELL Charles Solem and Dale McDaniel

LVC's president, Deirdre Bagley, met Chuck two years ago when she visited the sacred place where LVC was founded -- Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC -- to give an update to founders and supporters. Though wheelchair-bound, Chuck was there, smiling and warm, sharing his memories of LVC history, proudly pointing out his wife and son in the room. Dale was there too, keeping an alert eye on Chuck's needs, so he could tell when Chuck was ready to be wheeled out.  Though Dale had more mobility, he was 79 at the time.  They were friends, and both left us within months of each other.  We'll miss their sweet spirits, and are ever-blessed by their legacies and LVC creation.  Charles Solem Obituary.  Dale McDaniel Obituary.



Rental Housing Needed  Though Volunteer enrollment has declined over the decade for service programs nationally, it stabilized this year for LVC, and there might be a need for additional housing in August 2021. If you have access to affordable housing in our program cities for at least three Volunteers, please contact program director Shae Agee at sagee@lutheranvolunteercorps.org.  

Panelists for Monthly Program Days  Are you an expert, practitioner, or enthusiast on a social justice topic you can share with Volunteers the first Friday of the month?  We've covered food security, voting rights, activism, self-care, equity, healthcare disparities, and environment, and we're inviting alumni and Placements to sign up for this year-long leadership series broadening Volunteer understanding of the justice landscape.  Contact program director Shae Agee, sagee@lutheranvolunteercorps.org.  

Fundraising Enthusiasts  If you're already an LVC donor (thank you!), or intend to become one, you can help us grow financial support in your region by being part of the soon-to-be-formed National Development Committee.  If interested, contact president Deirdre Bagley at dbagley@lutheranvolunteercorps.org. 

Local Support Needed! Register for a Local Support Network Zoom meeting for our RE-BUILD kickoff starting in April.  See the Zoom schedule for LVC cities HERE.


Lutheran Volunteer Corps
1226 Vermont Avenue NW  | Washington, District of Columbia 20005
202-387-3222 | operations@lutheranvolunteercorps.org

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