Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Celebrates 125 Years

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Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Celebrates 125 Years

Three couples received recognition for their caring service to others at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska’s (LFS; “Faith in Action” event on September 23.

The event’s keynote speaker was Steve Pemberton, Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice President of Walgreens and author of A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home which recounts his painful childhood in foster care. His story will soon be the focus of a major motion picture.

This year’s annual event celebrated “125 Years of Expressing God’s Love for All People.” Two special awards were presented for the first time. The Trinity Award and the Immanuel Award recognize the two Lutheran orphanages in Fremont and Omaha, which began 125 years of LFS human care for children and families.

Coyner and Donna Smith received the 2017 Douglas E. Parrott Faith in Action Award for a lifetime of commitment to “welcoming the stranger” with their generous gifts of time, talent and financial resources. The Smiths stepped forward with sizeable financial support to sustain the LFS refugee resettlement program, the largest in Nebraska, and keep trained staff on board to serve.

Greg and Nancy Thrasher were recognized with the Trinity Award for extraordinary generosity and faith-filled servant leadership to serve “the least of these” in LFS programs, including support for RSafe® which serves families impacted by child sexual abuse, the Centers for Healthy Families, and by hiring and supporting refugees.

Terry and Linda McClain accepted the Immanuel Award for providing visionary leadership galvanizing community support for the Rupert Dunklau Center for Healthy Families® in Fremont, an early intervention and prevention parenting program for pregnant mothers and families with preschool children. Together they have provided community-based philanthropic leadership, as well as their own volunteerism, including mentorship of young parents enrolled in the program.