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Lutheran Social Services celebrates 150 years with supper

Hendricks Pioneer of Hendricks, Minnesota

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On Tuesday evening, Oct. 27, a supper event was held at the Hendricks Senior Dining Center to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Lutheran Social Services.

Ellen VanErdewyk provided some history on the program to those in attendance.

According to information provided to VanErdewyk, the program got its start in 1865 when Eric Norelius, a Lutheran Pastor from the Vasa Church near Red Wing, learned of four small children-whose mother had died in childbirth, and whose father died not long after. The orphans were taken in by Norelius and his congregation, where they were cared for in his small house. Over the years, the orphanage kept expanding, despite having been destroyed once by cyclone and once by fire. Lutheran Social Services still operates a children's home called Vasa in the Red Wing area.

Throughout its 150 years of existence, compassion for those in need has been constant, whether they be orphans or families, unwed mothers or fresh air camps for inner city children, (to name just a small handful of LSS's earliest programs) with the goal of "helping people and changing lives."

In more recent years, the 1980's and '90s additional programs including Foster Grandparents/Senior Companions and Senior Nutrition were added to the many services provided.

However, it wasn't until about six years ago that the local Senior Dining Program became involved with Lutheran Social Services.



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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015



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