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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lutheran World Relief

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Agricultural Development, International Development, International Relief

Mission: Affirming God’s love for all people, we work with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice and human suffering.

Results: In 2014, Lutheran World Relief reached 4,763,599 people in 153 projects across 35 countries.

Target demographics: poverty, injustice and human suffering

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,763,599 people across 35 countries

Geographic areas served: countries around the world

Programs: responding to emergencies, and providing long-term solutions like training farmers in developing nations

Community Stories

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have given Family gifts from the LwR good deeds catalog and my family loved them!
And ive sewn Lutheran World RELIef Quilts for years. TEN to 15 women meet weekly and we send approximately 200 quilts annually. It's wonderful seeing videos of the distribution. And the fellowsjip among our quilters my is wonderful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are very organized and helpfull
They were willing to donate 25 k school kits to my organization and I was impressed. They put action in religion and that is a great thing.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lutheran World Relief is unrivaled in the effectiveness in disaster response. And that's just the start. Lutheran World Relief stay around, helping local people really get themselves back on their feet. Sustainable agriculture and fair trade initiatives provide long term benefits in poverty stricken places throughout the world. And all those the personal hygiene kits, school kits, quilts, baby kits, sewing kits, etc Lutheran World Relief distributes are donated in-kind donations , That means Lutheran World Relief can deliver the most .bang for buck' The networking and local connections built up over 5 decades of serving give Lutheran World Relief a huge edge when disaster does strike.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently sent sent a donation to LWR. While I contribute regularly to many charities (which I investigate on Charity Navigator) this was my first time with LWR. In addition to a written acknowledgement, I received a telephone call from a human being, a lovely woman who never once asked for more money. She was pleasant, brief, and to the point. That never happened to me before. I will continue to support other charities (primarily Lutheran), but as of now, LWR is moved to the top of my list. They do very good work with small resources, and most of their income goes right into service, not salaries.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a church wide organization that has gone into many countries in need for what ever reason and helped in what way they could. It donates to countries freely because the people of the Lutheran have donated goods and money to promote a needy cause. We as, Lutheran's are very proud of the work that Lutheran World Relief does worldwide.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church creates health care kits, school supply bags, baby care kits as well as quilts that are all sent to this distribution center. My husband and I also have volunteered to help pack these items for shipment where ever they are needed. We love volunteering there!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lutheran World Relief is one of the most effective agencies for change around the world. The type of aid that they deliver is sustainable and long term, not just a temporary fix. When I give money to LWR, I know my dollars are making a difference to people who deserve a chance for a better life.

Donor

Rating: 5

LWR is one of the best aid organizations in the world. They reach a great number of people by using their resources wisely and efficiently. They look into what communities need by working with the inhabitants. They have been around for many years. They are there for disaster relief and rebuilding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe that Lutheran World Relief does a lot of good in the world to help those who need it most. They work in conjunction with other relief agencies to do this and do not force Christianity on them. It's about helping "our neighbors" throughout the world. My husband and I have not gone beyond our trips to the S. St. Paul LWR whse., but I am encouraged to see the donations from various churches, individuals, that they handle there, prepariing them to go on to the next location. Also, we are able to track our donations.
Susan K. Olson
Ramsey, MN.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have volunteered at my church for many years, but when I began sewing for Lutheran World Relief, I found something I could do that gave me a great sense of purpose. When I see the results of their work it makes me so proud to be a tiny part of something so worthy.
They make sure that people in need get some of the basic needs for life.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to this charity for years. They care about places where people suffer but may not dominate the news. They have very low administrative overhead, and are never intrusive in seeking donations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LWR is an accountable and innovative development organization that focuses on the livelihood of individuals and addressing the root causes of poverty. They pair material support with long-term projects to help communities become self-efficient in exercising power. One of the most amazing things they do is partnering with Lutheran congregations all over the U.S. to make Quilts and Kits. They send 12,375 bales of quilts per shipment via ocean freight to distribute in economically-poor communities. It is a testimony to what we can accomplish if we act as a humanity instead of as individuals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our LWR quilters usually make over 200 quilts every year. I joined them a couple of years ago. We have lots of fun every week piecing the top, seeing the filler and backing materials together and then tying the three layers together. This past Sunday we put 29 quilts on display in the church and had a special blessing said for the quilts' recipients. There is a lot of love in all the stitching, pinning, folding, and packing of these quilts. It's always hard to pick a favorite! We love seeing pictures of the distribution and receiving of the quilts! Our LWML group collects items for personal care kits and school kits all year long- this year will be our best year yet!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with LWR is as a quilter. We winter in Florida and on a January Sunday I entered Holy Trinity LC in Port Charlotte and was taken away by the quilts displayed on the pews. There were over 300. I found myself wondering if our church in NJ would be interested in making quilts. As it turned out we were able to round up volunteers willing to put these quilts together. We are so proud and full of joy to be able to work with this wonderful organization. The quilts go all over the world and give comfort to those less fortunate and in need. I'm so proud of the work they do at LWR and even more proud to be a volunteer knowing that someone I don't know can wrap themselves in a quilt and feel warmth and love. "God's Work, Our Hands".

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I belong to a Lutheran church and we sew quilts for Lutheran World Relief (LWR). For quilters, anytime we can get together and cut and sew pieces of fabric together to create beautiful quilts is like a piece of heaven. And to know that our quilts are going to a worthy cause in LWR, is even more gratifying. Every year in August, our quilts are taken to Mobile, Al and packed to be distributed to other countries and people in need. Thanks you LWR for your efforts!

2 Liz_76

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the wonderful things about LWR is that they ask not just for money, but also for items . .quilts, sewing items, baby care kits, health kits, etc. Best of all, they provide tracking for where the items are shipped. I also feel like they are transparent on costs and why they ask for what they ask for, and why they reject other offers. They also are sensitive to the cultural needs of those they serve. I chose to donate through LWR because I have confidence that the items and funds are going towards those in need (and not purchasing high end conference furniture in an executive boardroom somewhere). LWR encourages the people-to-people connection . . . my hands made a quilt that I sent around the world to someone in need . . . that says someone, somewhere cares about you. And how important is that?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I make quilts and coordinate the assembly of kits for LWR for our congregation. This organization has many projects to make long-term, significant difference to low income people in 3rd world countries. My part is to help make the lives of those people a bit more comfortable now, as LWR works toward permanent improvements. What I like best about my contribution is I am able to use my skills of sewing and organization to transform items that, in this country, would be destined for the land fill, into warm and serviceable quilts. LWR then provides a well-organized system for our quilts and kits to travel to the warehouse and then out into the world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LWR is an international organization that works with local partners to provide support to alleviate poverty & human suffering. Victims of natural disasters (such as hurricanes & the Nepal earthquakes) and refugees (a result of civil wars) receive physical assistance such as quilts & personal care kits prepared by volunteers in the US. In addition, LWR supplied water filtration units & provided "cash for work", hiring locals to assist in clean up after the disaster in Nepal. My congregation is excited to see where our quilts & kits have been sent - to 15 different countries in the last two years!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church works with LWR to help provide quilts, school kits, personal care kits and baby care kits which LWR distributes around the world. We feel like they are an approachable friend, easily contacted where questions can be answered. They have a wonderful website where you can easily see the work they are doing. I feel very comfortable donating money as I know that money will be used to help people and not be wasted in "administrative" fees.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF has a huge job on it's hands helping people and needs all the help that we can give!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have contributed to LWR through the years. Anytime, I have had questions, they have assisted me and answered those questions quickly and to my complete satisfaction. They are an example of 'God's work, our hands'.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

God's continually blessing of our time, talent and treasure
+ Lutheran World Relief = Loving our Brothers and Sisters all over the world!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After observing the local work of volunteers quilting and assembling kits for LWR for many years I became an active with the quilters. It has been rewarding to assist in this ministry to provide care and comfort to those in need around the world. In that process we provide opportunities for service to many who might not otherwise touch people around the world and build friendships here at home. Personally I have met old and new friends through posts to the LWR Facebook page. What a joy to serve others while building relationships with others doing this work!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LWR does amazing work in working with organizations around the world to help meet a variety of needs. They act as the collecting point for many, many churches who make quilts, layettes, personal care kits, etc and help make sure these are made available to those most in need, especially when devastating natural events like the recent tragediies in Nepal, LWR was there with help, in remote regions as well as more populated areas.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LWR is a life changing organizing in so many ways. It brings people together to effectively volunteer and donate. LWR brings resources, supplies, and support around the world to those in need. LWR is especially known for its excellent support during disasters. I support LWR financially and through volunteering with the quilt ministry, health kits, and baby kits at my church. My church, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Silver Spring, MD has been making LWR quilts for 15 years, and we have contributed about 1000 quilts during this time. My church participates in school supplies, health kits, and baby kits, too. My daughter had the opportunity to help with school supply distribution while visiting Guatemala with her Baltimore (MD) Lutheran Campus Ministry. I am fortunate to live close enough to the New Windsor, MD warehouse and get to see the volunteers in action when we deliver the quilts and other kits for shipping each year. LWR touches the lives of the volunteers and those receiving direct assistance. LWR is my #1 Great Nonprofit!!

5 Ted A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have worked with Lutheran World Relief by coordinating the collection of quilts and kits each year (enough to fill a railroad boxcar or a couple of semi-trucks.) It is great to meet others who come from all over northern Wisconsin to bring their items to be shipped for the good of those who are in need (both in America as well as overseas in eastern Europe, the Philippines and Africa.) It's exciting to be part of something that personally impacts the lives of people.

4 pathdoc

Donor

Rating: 5

I have given to LWR for some years, admiring the stewardship and selection of services they support. Lutheran World Relief adheres to the mission of service and caring.

5 Jackie53

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sewn for years and have found such a good home with the quilting group I work with in our ministry. To know that we can and do help people all over the world from the comfort of our homes and church is most gratifying. Many friendships have materialized while working together on the quilts, baby care kits and school backpacks to be distributed by LWR. We all are blessed to be able to take part in such a wonderful undertaking.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In May 2013, I was able to travel with Lutheran World Relief to Tanzania, East Africa. The first part of our trip was to see some of the results of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI) in the country. The Children's Survival Program targets the poorest of the poor: pregnant women, babies, and young children. Through education, mentoring, and distributing malaria nets, lives are being saved. I saw women and children who were alive because of LMI. Very powerful. The churches are the place to go for education, training, and support. The second part of the trip took us to Dar Es Salaam on the coast of the Indian Ocean to visit one of the partner organizations that Lutheran World Relief has worked with for a number of years. Visiting the warehouse where the quilts and kits are stored, I was impressed with the security, cleanliness, and organization. Being able to help with the delivery and distribution of quilts to places that are not able to get to the city to pick them up was a highlight of the trip. The quilts and kits go to individual people; careful records are kept of the names of those who receive them. When you see the yearly reports of Lutheran World Relief, you can know that each item went to a real person, not to an organization. For many of the recipients, this may be one of the few things they own. The staff with whom I traveled was top notch, as were all of the staff members I met in Tanzania. One of the things that I found very impressive is the cost to ship a quilt is $2.25; I am not sure about you but I can't send a small package to my grandchildren just a few states away for that price! This is an organization that cherishes the things that are entrusted to them and is appreciative of the many volunteer hours that go into making quilts and assembling kits. I have been privileged to share PowerPoint presentations of my trip to women's groups, churches, in retreat settings, and in larger conventions. It is a story that needs to be told!


7 Jean57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lutheran World Relief is a success story in it's outreach to the world.
It is a joy to be a giver and in my years of being a LWR quilter I have
been richly blessed with many friendships with other quilters. It was
the open door when we moved to new locations. When one confronts
the problems of the world LWR provides an answer. For me the
answer has been" I'll make another quilt".

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lutheran world relief is the best organization, more than just quilts and kits. I was blessed to go on a LWR study tour to East Africa to see projects first hand and to meet LWR staff. The tenents of LWR are using appropriate technology (for example, using local supplies, rather than shipping in a tractor which they fix nor afford the petrol for), non-duplication of efforts (by cooperating with other NGOs), local leadership (those who know the community and will continue the project), careful stewardship of resources (their projects are self-sustaining, and a dollar goes a long, long way), and nonsectarian (helping all people regardless of religion or political affiliation). Some philosophies of LWR are accompaniment: partnership with those in need and walk together; and 'do not trample.'

LWR has one of the highest donation rates: 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to projects. i've been involved with LWR since 1993; 5 others from my church have also gone on LWR study tours (which I highly recommend). It was a life-shattering, awesome spiritual experience. Since then, I've been a member of the LWR speakers board and have attended and presented at global mission events, and of course volunteered and donated. I know first hand that my dollar is spent in the best way possible.

LWR supports entire communities, rather that just supporting one child in a community. They get input from the community what type of projects would work best for them. For example, in Western Kenya, one village decided to raise pigs; the first offspring are donated to the next family in need. In eastern Kenya, which is primarily Muslim, pork would not have been their choice. The local community sets their own rules for deciding who gets chosed for livestock; so many families own livestock now that they no longer need LWR support; LWR just got them started.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lutheran World Relief gets it right as far as walking alongside and accompanying those they work with across the world. What a wonderful relief agency and they are a joy to work with. Their quilts and kits build up those who get involved with a very concrete way to help in the world. Thank you LWR.

4 Erika24

Donor

Rating: 5

Lutheran World Relief has a long history of working to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in the world: refugees, victims of disaster, people recovering from devastation of all kinds, as well as committing to help people move from extreme poverty to stability and hope for a better future. I appreciate that they do not impose ideas on poor people, but help them to achieve their communities' goals, whether it be through education, health care, agricultural improvements, improving employment possibilities or simply moving from survival to thriving. It is a great organization all around.

4 Lori120

Donor

Rating: 5

Throughout my life I have contributed to Lutheran World Relief (LWR) both financially and materially by gathering health care supplies, baby clothes, and making quilts. They are excellent educators, passionate servants, and fantastic stewards of all the gifts entrusted to them. They are one of the first aid organizations to enter in time of need and one of the last to leave. I couldn't be more impressed with of their work on my behalf.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

LWR shares care, compassion and respect with the poorest of the poor around the world. Using resources carefully to educate and support. I know the donations are used for the communities and not in growing a large administration of the agency.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LWR has been very helpful in giving instructions and helpful suggestions to encourage the making of projects and giving contributions. LWR has been very open as to where they are working in the world which makes us feel like we are there, too!