Some might consider Thrivent members Gary and Lynn Benevides of the small New England town of Rockville, Connecticut, all-star volunteers.
Each week they cook and serve lunch at a local soup kitchen. On Thursdays and Fridays they're delivering meals for the town's Meals on Wheels program. The remainder of their time is spent volunteering through their church, Trinity Lutheran, of Vernon, Connecticut.
And those are their local commitments. For the past eight years, they have worked with Haiti Marycare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting medical and dental clinics.
For Gary and Lynn, their commitment to service was an intentional choice made years ago: "It has never been a matter of making time to volunteer," Lynn says. "Volunteering has been the priority and making time for other opportunities has been the challenge. When you volunteer with your entire family, it becomes even easier. The rewards you experience are astounding."
Making the most of membership
Each year, the Benevides family plans how to use their Thrivent member benefits to multiply their efforts. Gary, Lynn and their two adult daughters – also Thrivent members – direct Choice Dollars® to their church. "These dollars are used for outreach in our community, nationally and around the world," Lynn says.
And since 2014, Gary and Lynn have led 11 Thrivent Action Team projects.
"Without Thrivent's commitment to outreach, our efforts to support people in need would be difficult at best," Lynn says. "We are so thankful for the support from Thrivent that allows us to make a difference in people's lives."
Make a plan to give back in 2019
Intentionally planning and evaluating volunteer commitments – just as you do your budget and your health – will help you make service a priority this year and in years to come.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Set a date. Check your calendar and schedule time for your volunteer activity or service project. Once it’s on the calendar, it becomes a lot easier to keep the commitment.
- Review your giving programs. Many companies have volunteer time off, workplace giving and giving matches. Don’t forget about Thrivent's member benefits, designed to inspire generosity.
- Bring along others. Everything is more fun when you do it with friends! Invite neighbors, colleagues and friends to join you. If you're leading a Thrivent Action Team, don't forget the Thrivent Action Team Hub has an invitation tool to make bringing along others easy!
- Share your success. Inspire others to take action by sharing your stories and pictures. Don’t forget to use #LiveGenerously to easily share how you've made the most of your benefits.
You can count on Thrivent to help increase your impact through these programs:
Lead a Thrivent Action Team.
Invite a group of friends and family to join you for a fundraiser, educational event or other service activity to help meet the needs in your community. Once your application to lead a Thrivent Action Team is approved, we'll send you a Thrivent Action Kit which includes $250 in seed money to help you get started, Live Generously T-shirts and items to help you promote your project. Visit the Thrivent Action Team Hub to get ideas and inspiration for your next project.
Build homes, strong communities.
There are opportunities in your neighborhood, across the country and around the world to help provide safe, stable housing through the Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent partnership. Find out more about domestic and international build programs and how you can save on trip-related expenses.
Boost your charitable giving!
Find one – or more – of the thousands of organizations enrolled in the Thrivent Choice® program. Eligible Thrivent members also can recommend which enrolled organizations receive Thrivent charitable outreach funds through the Thrivent Choice® program. All Thrivent members are able to nominate organizations. Thrivent members can also make online donations and Thrivent will cover all the online processing fees so 100% of your donations goes to the organizations.
Not a member yet? Learn more about why Thrivent is different.