Thrivent member Amy Storm wears many hats as she takes her community by, well, storm. She and her husband, Ryan, and their three sons run a farm 10 miles outside of Ethan, South Dakota – the same farm Ryan grew up on.
She also owns a commercial photography business, volunteers at church, helps out with her sons' sports and other activities, serves on the local school board and – as if that weren't enough – is a first responder with the volunteer fire department.
So, in addition to photography equipment, she keeps a medical bag and firefighting gear in the car for emergencies. "Living in a remote rural area, people count on us to be there within minutes when their lives or livelihood could be at stake," she says.
Raising awareness among youth
You might say giving back comes naturally to Amy. And the multiple roles she holds expose her to additional opportunities to do so.
For example, in February 2017, Amy and her fellow firefighters hosted an event to ensure all 75 students at Ethan High School were certified in CPR through the American Red Cross. Amy led a Thrivent Action Team to promote and staff the event and cover expenses.
Seven months later, Amy received a call from a school counselor in a neighboring town who was spearheading a multi-school-district event, called Freshman Impact, and wanted to see if Amy was interested in participating.
Freshman Impact educates young teens on the consequences of distracted, drunk and drugged driving (as well as other issues, like suicide, social media sexting, human trafficking, teen violence and dating risks). The one-day prevention program includes realistic interactive learning stations, presentations, a simulated 911 call and ensuing crash scene, victim airlift and sentencing trial.
"This is real stuff our kids are dealing with, or could be," Amy says. "I have three boys myself – 17, 14 and 10 – so this matters to me a lot. And as a volunteer responder with the fire department, I see the effects of distracted or impaired driving firsthand."
"Our goal is to make our youth better people and more responsible community supporters." – Amy Storm
Amy formed a Thrivent Action Team of friends, family and first responders to staff the event and help feed and hydrate the more than 200 teens and volunteers who attended.
Freshman Impact was one of the most powerful programs Amy has been a part of. "At the end of the day, people walked away with heavy hearts. The mood was very somber. Many of the participants and volunteers were in tears, because everything seemed so real. The program was an awesome way for us to make our youth aware of the effects that one bad choice can have.
"We are so thankful for Thrivent to allow us to use seed money to help put this event on and hopefully, make teens aware of potential consequences," Amy continues. "Our goal is to make our youth better people and more responsible community supporters."
And Amy is a great role model.
Make a difference close to home
Is there an opportunity to raise awareness for a cause in your community? Or to empower, equip or inspire young people? Apply to lead a Thrivent Action Team to bring together a team of volunteers – friends, family and colleagues – to make a difference in your community.
Not a member yet? Learn more about why Thrivent is different.