Sandy Munson, of Osseo, has been volunteering as an Ambassador for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota for six years, but her connection to the organization as a volunteer extends back to 1970. In her role as Ambassador, Munson learned about organizational impact and found innovative ways to connect her congregation, Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, to Lutheran Social Service’ work in community.
Now, Munson is the 2016 recipient of the Heritage Quilt Award. This award, a handmade quilt purchased by members of the Executive Leadership team, recognizes the outstanding efforts of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota volunteers who share their time and unique talents to deepen mission impact and build stronger community.
Since retiring from a beloved career in teaching, Munson has found a new love in working with Lutheran Social Service Housing Services. In partnership with her congregation, she started the annual Children’s Clothing Store to help families find access to winter coats, clothing, school uniforms and resources to assist them in working toward stability. Under Munson’s leadership, the impact of the Children’s Clothing Store has grown tremendously. Last year, 150 families and 500 children were able to bring home new clothes and other necessities.
“I am humbled to be selected for this award. It is wonderful to be recognized, but I know there are so many people who have participated in these projects,” she said. “Our church, Lord of Life Lutheran in Maple Grove, is very active throughout the community, doing good works and reaching out to others. I gladly share this honor with the many church members who have participated in our volunteer projects on behalf of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.”
Munson continued her efforts to build safer, more stable neighborhoods by helping to secure a $15,000 grant from her congregation. The award made it possible to build a wrought iron fence across from Lutheran Social Service’ Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis. The fence has much more than aesthetic value, as it creates a safe, welcoming play area for children of families staying at the Center.
“Sandy works with unbelievable dedication and compassion to make certain that families have what they need to stay safe and healthy,” said Thomas Mueller, community engagement specialist for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “She is a wonderful volunteer who constantly keeps the needs and interests of people we serve in mind. It is a privilege to recognize her many contributions with this award.”
Munson received special recognition and her award during a ceremony at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove this fall.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing. Today, with 2,300 employees and 8,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans each year live and work in a community with safety, dignity, and hope. Through a wide range of services, the organization seeks to provide safety and supportive homes for children, counseling to restore health and wellness in families, community living for people with disabilities, and options that help seniors experience independence and abundant aging.