Lutheran Settlement House and Partners Provide 200 Turkeys for Clients in Need
On Monday, November 21st, Councilmen Darrell L. Clarke and William T. Greenlee worked alongside Lutheran Settlement House volunteers, staff members and representatives from Aria Health Network and WalMart to provide turkeys and other Thanksgiving dinner essentials to those in need. The 10th annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway took place at Lutheran Settlement House (LSH) from 10AM to 11AM.
Lutheran Settlement House works with a variety of clients to assist them with their needs involving domestic violence, career and education services, medical advocacy, senior citizen services and homelessness. At the giveaway, clients lined up and were assisted by volunteers, including Clarke and Greenlee, in loading up carts and bags with turkeys, vegetables, breads and pies.
Christine Stutman, LSH’s new Executive Director, explained that many clients return to them for the giveaway.
“Most of the clients that we work with will come and get a Turkey basket from us,” Stutman said. “We’re working with clients who are at or below the poverty level, so this helps them make a Thanksgiving dinner.”
Stutman says that most of the clients who come to the giveaway are seniors, “but we do have people from our domestic violence program and the other programs that we run, so there are some families as well.”
Michelle Conley, Chief Nurse at Aria Health, is a board member at LSH and leads the charge in Aria Health’s food collection efforts.
“A lot of our nurses have volunteered here at Lutheran for a long time and a lot of our students have been involved, and within the last year I’ve become a board member here, so we are more than happy to support all of the endeavors of Lutheran Settlement,” Conley said.
The hospital sponsors a food drive each year to help provide these goods as well as other events and outreach that culminate in their collection of 200 bags of food to donate.
Conley has seen the work of the nursing department and herself affect the lives of clients and speaks highly of their partnership with LSH.
“We have a medical advocate who works in our ER, so we’ve partnered with Lutheran Settlement around that. And there was a particular client who came in who our security guard identified as having an issue with domestic violence,” Conley said. “She went on to go through the full continuum of services and she and her family are actually doing well now, where they were in a really bad position before. Had we not had that partnership with Lutheran, you can’t help but wonder how many people might fall through the cracks.”
Although Stutman has only been with LSH for a short period of time, she’s confident in the impact of their work.
“WalMart has been here for ten years. Darrell Clarke has been doing this for a number of years, and Greenlee [has] as well. Darrell Clarke’s office donates turkeys to us, Aria Health also donated food, and Wal Mart as well. I know that the families and the seniors that we serve are very poor and would not be able to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner without this help. I know just from experience and working at non-profits that it makes a difference.” •