The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


April 16, 2009

LVC gets a nod from Michelle Obama

“There are few things more rewarding than watching young people recognize they have the power to enrich not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them as well."

That’s the message from Michelle Obama in USA TODAY just days ago. She calls the current generation of young people one of the most socially conscious and active—citing research that claims 61 percent of 13- to 25-year-olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world.

She touts the recent passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act , which expands AmeriCorps from 75,000 positions a year to 250,000 by 2017, and provides more than $5,000 a year to help those students pay for college.

“This will help folks such as Kierstin Quinsland of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Nicole Fauble of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps , who work at Miriam’s Kitchen, a homeless service agency near the White House,” Obama writes. “Every day, Kierstin and Nicole provide case management services to homeless men and women who come for a nutritious meal served in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Each has recently signed up to volunteer for an additional year at Miriam’s.”

LVC is a national service program active in 12 U.S. cities. It was birthed at Luther Place Church in Washington, D.C., officially in 1979—30 years ago. This year, more than 100 vounteers in these 12 cities live in intentional community and work at a variety of locations for peace and justice.

“We’re glad Michelle Obama appreciates the work and leadership of Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She’s a great supporter of volunteers like Nicole,” said Michael Wilker, executive director of LVC. “In addition to her work at Miriam’s Kitchen, Nicole lives simply in community with three other LVC volunteers in the Emmaus House in Washington, D.C.”

Next year, LVC will grow 15 percent by adding an Omaha, Neb., site and by increasing the number of volunteers in the Twin Cities, Wilmington, Del., and Washington, D.C. Even with this growth, LVC will have to turn away some prospective volunteers; applications increased 50 percent, Wilker said. 

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