We serve people through a ministry of love, compassion, and mercy in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ

Monthly Archives: May 2014

Auxiliaries: What They Are and Why You May Want to Join

Each spring, ALSM kicks off its annual Auxiliary Membership Campaign and materials are sent out to our congregations. In fact, if you haven’t yet received your copy of the 2014 Auxiliary Membership brochure, you will be seeing it soon! During the campaign, we invite you to join the auxiliary and help support the mission of ALSM. All gifts raised from the drive go directly to provide charitable care for those with limited resources.

You become a member of the ALSM Auxiliary simply by making a gift; however, we also invite you to give of your time, talents, and treasure by volunteering as an auxiliary member in Blair, Cambria, or Centre County.

If you’re like me, you might be busy with a family or with a full-time job or with involvement in many other activities that you feel as if you don’t have any free time to devote to something else. And when your time is valuable, you want to make sure that whatever free time you have is used for something meaningful.

As an ALSM auxiliary member, you can be as active as your schedule allows! You can join committees, attend meetings, participate in social activities, plan fundraising events, or just participate whenever you can. New members are always welcome. Gifts of any amount are sincerely appreciated.

The ALSM Auxiliary members truly help to make a difference in the lives of those we touch. You serve as a connection between our residents and our community. Membership is open to everyone.

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To give you an idea of the work of the auxiliaries, here are just a few of the many things they do:

•  Staff the ALSM gift shops at The Lutheran Home at Johnstown and The Oaks at Pleasant Gap.

• Organize and help at fundraising events such as the annual fashion show at The Oaks and Summer FunFest in Johnstown.

• Enrich the lives of our residents by reading to them, assisting them with crafts, and spending time visiting with them.

• Enjoy ALSM social events.

• Assist with the annual membership drive.

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One of the most important initiatives of the auxiliary is to raise funds to provide charitable care and purchase items that help provide some “extras” to those served by ALSM. One example is the Centre County Auxiliary, which saw a need for the residents at The Oaks to have more enrichment, so they provided funds to purchase special hand bell chimes that are easier to grasp. The chimes provide a wonderful opportunity for music therapy, and a group of female residents at The Oaks even formed a musical group – The Silver Belles – that practices on a regular basis and performs concerts!

In addition to the chimes, our auxiliaries have provided funds for patio furniture for our affordable housing communities, new lift chairs for our Senior Daily Living Centers, and metal benches for our Hillcrest residents.

I personally invite you to consider joining the ALSM Auxiliary. You can be as active as you like, whether it’s simply receiving our InTouch newsletter and keeping abreast of what’s happening, or taking a leadership role on one of our committees or programs. As a member, you’ll be invited to attend a number of ALSM’s programs and special events. As a member, you’ll gain the personal fulfillment that comes from helping the elderly or the less fortunate, and you’ll also help ALSM fulfill the mission that each of us who works here takes pride in – to serve people through a ministry of love, compassion, and mercy in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

For further questions about joining the auxiliary or to learn more about how you may help, please phone the advancement office at 814.696.4560 or email development@alsm.org. Thank you for your support!

Using Talents To Give Back

As ALSM team members we are very grateful for the wonderful opportunities we have to get to know the residents who reside in our communities. That is an aspect of most team members days that they will tell you brings them the most joy. Getting to know the people that we serve, the lives that ALSM touches. We recently had the opportunity to spend time with a few ALSM residents who enjoy filling their days with handmade gifts of love that they donate to make others lives better.

Caring for the Youngest and Most in Need

Mrs. Lucille Lilly is an 88 year-old resident of the Hillcrest apartments on the Hickory Commons campus. She welcomed us to spend time with her as she was knitting beautiful baby blankets. We are glad we visited with her that morning because the finished blankets were picked up later that day, destined to be given to local newborns in need. Mrs. Lilly donates blankets each year to Birthright and Catholic Charities.

We also learned that knitting is not her only passion: Lucille is a licensed amateur radio operator. She and her husband were very active and enjoyed communication “over the horizon” via short wave radio. What an interesting lady!

As we visited, Lucille shared why she makes and donates her quilts. “You don’t always just do for yourself. I like to help other people. We need to broaden our horizons and give of ourselves.” Lucille certainly reaches out and touches the lives of many little ones.

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Prayer Quilts Sewn and Given With Love

Marilyn Shaw and Mary Hardy have happily set themselves up in one of a quilting room at The Oaks at Pleasant Gap. There they assemble prayer quilts. Marilyn was a member of a prayer quilting club in San Francisco. When she moved to her new home in The Oaks (her 52nd move!), she brought with her a template for constructing the quilts, materials for making them, and a poem that she had written to express how much they mean to her. The ladies construct each quilt and attach strings to the quilt. They then ask other residents, team members, and guests at The Oaks to say a prayer and tie a knot in the strings on the quilt.

The ladies construct each quilt and attach strings to the quilt. They then ask other residents, team members, and guests at The Oaks to say a prayer and tie a knot in the strings on the quilt.

The day we visited the quilt room, they were finishing a prayer quilt for a fellow resident at The Oaks, one whose health was failing. When they presented him with his quilt, it came with prayers that had been offered for him from residents and team members of The Oaks. Even a few of us visitors were able to be a part of this special ministry. What a wonderful, comforting gift, full of love, this gentleman received! He has not been their only recipient. The ladies have donated quilts and prayers for both the older adults and children in the ALSM Generations Together program in Altoona. The participants were thrilled to receive these gifts and were happy to take such a treasure home with them.

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The quilts not only brighten someone’s day but they brighten their soul.