Thriving on Thrivent: Company's contributions aid in area development
If it takes a village to raise a child, does it take a Fortune 500 company to nurture a community? It certainly helps.
May 31 was proclaimed Thrivent Financial Day in Alexandria. Two dedications were performed for projects funded through charitable giving from the Lutheran based organization.
Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County has been gifted $700,000 from Thrivent since 2005, which has been used to support the building of eight homes. A dedication ceremony was performed last Thursday for the eighth house - the Magnuson family's home.
"It helped to have this catalyst to help us grow," said Lori Anderson, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County.
The second dedication was for the Healing Gardens at Grand Arbor, which benefited from a $100,000 donation to Knute Nelson. Brad Hewitt, president and CEO of Thrivent, traveled to Alexandria for the dedications.
Hewitt knows first-hand how therapeutic gardens can help with healing. He remembers how important it was for his father to have the opportunity to be outdoors while residing in a nursing home.
Hewitt said the Healing Gardens at Grand Arbor provide a place for residents to socialize. The garden features a fireplace, gazebo and grills. Residents also have the ability to cultivate their own garden plot.
Local Thrivent chapters determine which individuals or organizations are worthy pursuits in their areas. Although Thrivent is Christian based, funds are used for the entire community.
"There is a confusion about that," said Anderson. "We invite everyone."
Part of Thrivent's mission is to strengthen Christian communities through inspired generosity, said Hewitt.
"People who are interested in our mission serve the whole community," Hewitt said. "Active Christians are attracted to our mission."
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.