Igniting generosity

Generosity Challenge inspires members to 'pass it on'

Four women cooking in kitchen as part of generosity challenge

Many kids grew up singing the words to "Pass It On" around the campfire: "It only takes a spark/ To get a fire going/ And soon all those around/ Can warm up in its glowing/ That's how it is with God's love/ Once you've experienced it/ You spread His love to ev'ryone/ You want to pass it on."

Thrivent Rocky Mountain Region Manager of Community Engagement Paul Olson was one of them. He took the words to heart and is working with the Rocky Mountain Thrivent Member Network to bring them to life.

Last October, in conjunction with Make a Difference Day, the Rocky Mountain Thrivent Member Network invited members to participate in a week-long Generosity Challenge to lend a hand to people in their communities by leading Thrivent Action Teams. The result was remarkable.

"In just a week, more than 120 members accepted the challenge and applied to lead teams," Olson recalls, "and their causes were as varied as the geographies they represented."

For example, one group in south Denver prepared and served a meal to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Another in northern Colorado raised funds for a family after the father was killed in a work accident. Members in a small Wyoming town held a community education event to support the local hospital. And Thrivent members in South Dakota hosted a service project at a local animal shelter.

New year, new challenge

The Rocky Mountain Thrivent Member Network is once again encouraging regional Thrivent members to roll up their sleeves, lend a hand and participate in the second annual Generosity Challenge, which will run throughout the month of October.

"We thought if we could inspire 120-plus individuals to lead Thrivent Action Teams in a week last year, imagine what kind of impact our members can make in a month," says Thrivent Member Network Specialist Kriss Porco. "We also wanted to make it easy for everyone to join in a regional movement. It's what makes Thrivent different from other financial services companies: We celebrate the positive change our members make in their communities. Essentially, we are raising the visibility of living generously and telling our members if you see a need, take action."

How to get involved

This year's Generosity Challenge runs throughout October. Here's how to get involved:

  • Lead a Thrivent Action Team – Gather friends, family, church or network members to raise funds or take action to make a difference in your community or another community in need. To apply:
    • Visit Thrivent.com/actionteam and select "Apply Now."
    • Complete the application and click "Submit." (Members of the Rocky Mountain Thrivent Member Network, be sure to specify the name of your nonprofit as the recipient and enter "RMR" as the project code.)
    • Once your activity is approved, you'll receive $250 in seed money from Thrivent to jump-start your event as well as a kit containing T-shirts, a banner and materials to help create visibility!
  • Bring informal ideas to life – Raking a homebound neighbor's yard, driving seniors to appointments or volunteering at a food shelf are all meaningful gestures of generosity.
  • Share your photos – Show others what you're doing. Your ideas may spark others to take action. If you're a member of the Rocky Mountain Network: Post photos at Facebook.com/TMNRockyMountain, or email them to RockyTMN@thrivent.com.