Not a dry eye was seen at Ridge Cemetery in Fremont, Neb., on June 16 as youths from Boy Scout Troop 109 respectfully placed flowers on the individual graves of 56 orphan children from the Lutheran Orphan Home. A prayer service, led by the Nebraska District President Russ Sommerfeld, gave attendees an opportunity to honor the lives and memory of all who have lived at the orphanage. Many visitors were former residents of the orphanage and their adopted families.
Founded in 1892, the Lutheran Orphan Home was one of two orphanages (Fremont and Omaha) that eventually formed Lutheran Family Services (LFS) of Nebraska.
The aging grave sites needed attention, and thanks to funds from LCMS World Relief and Human Care and Trinity Lutheran Church of Fremont, several youths from the Boy Scout troop and Trinity’s youth group cleaned up the area in May and offered ongoing maintenance.
“These are people that God created, and they deserve to have some basic human dignity and respect,” said Eric Gerken, youth minister at Trinity. “They can’t say thank you, and that’s the purest kind of service … it shows the character of good kids wanting to do something just because it’s the right thing to do.”
The LFS Fremont Area Building Families Boutique now exists on the original site of the orphanage, which is the property of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The Boutique is a prevention/early intervention program encouraging parents of children prenatal to age five to participate in healthy family behaviors.
On June 16, LFS also hosted a Fremont Area Building Families Boutique open house and dedication of the Boutique store as “Sara’s Boutique” in loving memory of the daughter of John and Suzanne Loss of Grand Island, N.Y. The Loss family learned about the Boutique from LCMS World Relief and Human Care staff members, and made a financial commitment to the Building Families Boutique’s $2 million campaign. “We wanted to do something special to honor Sara,” John Loss said.
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