In working towards our mission of “Empowering our Clients, Colleagues and Communities to Flourish,” our colleagues, have nominated the organizations below receive a donation.
Through the 2021 Larson Financial Holiday Gifting effort, $111,250 in donations were made to 28 different organizations around the country that make a positive impact on their communities!
Achieve Tahoe – https://www.achievetahoe.org/
Nominated by: Karl Feigley
Why Karl thinks this is a great organization: Achieve Tahoe provides the local community and visitors to the Lake Tahoe Basin with access to high adventure activities alongside Adaptive Instructors who are trained to address the unique needs of individuals with physical, sensory, and/or cognitive disabilities. This organization, and specifically the alpine ski program I volunteer with, pairs participants with PSIA/AASI-certified instructors who provide one-on-one lessons where we focus on processing, balance, coordination, and motor control. The ultimate goal is to have fun and help participants flourish by building health, confidence, and independence. Prior to joining Achieve Tahoe, I volunteered with a similar program by the name of DASA/GDSP in St. Louis for seven years and wholly enjoy facilitating high adventure activities for children & adults who otherwise would not have equal access to such opportunities without great organizations like Achieve Tahoe.
Advancing Native Missions – https://advancingnativemissions.com/
Nominated by: Jacob Fisher
Why Jacob thinks this is a great organization: ANM focuses on taking the Gospel of Jesus to every corner of the Earth. We love that they work with local Christians and missionaries, rather than sending in outsiders. This can provide a much more personalized and successful ministry because they already know the language, customs, and people. It can also lead to more successful long-term commitments than someone who is only there temporarily. They claim that more than 99% of missions giving goes to communities that already have Christian movements, but ANM is focused on the other 1%. They’ve been able to plant over 19,000 churches so far, which has impacted countless lives for Christ. There are so many challenges in spreading the Gospel to these communities and being able to play a small part is a blessing.
BibleProject – https://bibleproject.com/
Nominated by: Christopher Earls
Why Christopher thinks this is a great organization: In this digital era, where content is vast and the information readily available can be misleading or even malicious, it is encouraging and refreshing to know there are organizations like BibleProject seeking to communicate truth in the language of the times. The accessibility of the Bible should never be an issue, and we should never feel encumbered in seeking and knowing truth. That’s why I love BibleProject’s engaging and approachable mission in communicating Gospel truth and giving people the tools to truly flourish.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend – https://www.ccfwsb.org/
Nominated by: Erin Mutton
Why Erin thinks this is a great organization: Catholic Charities is a mission that is passionate about community involvement, eradicating poverty and serving those in need. This mission aligns well with the charitable work LFH has also been doing. Catholic Charities offers multiple phases of solutions from short-term, to long-term, to self-sufficiency. One of their programs that caught my interest was their involvement with the Afghan resettlement in our city. I’m currently undergoing background checks and training to be able to help with the resettlement process and assisting Afghan families in Fort Wayne. It would mean the world to me for Larson to match my donation which would help welcome these families and shower them with God’s love. $2,000 will cover a family’s basic needs to one month. Thank you for your consideration and generosity.
Compassion International – https://www.compassion.com/
Nominated by: Jan Barnes
Why Jan thinks this is a great organization: I have sponsored children through Compassion International for over 10 years and their work is important to me because they are making a huge impact on so many children who live in extreme poverty. They work through centers and through local churches to provide care and support for children who have so little. They also connect a child with a sponsor and the child receives financial support, but they also are told that they are loved and that they matter – something they may not hear otherwise. Compassion helps provide food, medical services and education. They also have other initiatives such as providing clean water for communities and the Child Survival program, which provides mothers the resources they need to be able to care for their babies. I believe that Compassion is Goal Oriented because they aim to change the lives of more and more children, and those children are able to accomplish their own goals of finishing school or taking care of their families. The Compassion model shows being a servant leader through the people who work at their centers, along with the sponsors who can show love and encouragement to their sponsored children. And Warrior Spirit in that these children already have to fight for their survival – and this organization gives them the support to be able to continue that fight.
Crisis Nursery – https://www.crisisnurserykids.org/
Nominated by: Tim Haggard
Why Tim thinks this is a great organization: Because every child deserves to be Happy.
Dogs For Our Brave – https://www.dfob.org/
Nominated by: Dylan Donovan
Why Dylan thinks this is a great organization: I believe that Disabled Veterans are at a disadvantage upon returning home after the sacrifices they gave overseas. This organization allows the training of rescued dogs to become service dogs for these Vets. This organization exemplifies all of our values by establishing goals for the dogs and vets and accomplishing them all while serving the needs of our community’s warriors.
Give Hope 2 Kids – https://www.givehope2kids.org/
Nominated by: Richard Vasterling
Why Richard thinks this is a great organization: The founders are Jason and Sarah Furrow, who have been connected to Counsel Wealth for decades. I have taken several mission trip groups to their mountain complex in Honduras to help out with their orphanage.
Heifer International – https://www.heifer.org/
Nominated by: Aileen Beno-Lietz
Why Aileen thinks this is a great organization: Heifer International embodies the Larson Financial mission of empowering all to flourish, as they provide individuals, families, and communities around the world with the means and support to earn a living income. Families who receive livestock through Heifer International are able to earn a living income by raising animals and selling products at their local markets, whether it be eggs, wool, meat, milk, etc. Furthermore, this model is sustainable, as it allows recipients to breed the animals, thereby continuing the cycle for generations to come. Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty by supporting entrepreneurs around the world, and continuously lift up those communities as they train up the next generation of leaders.
In His Hands Haiti – https://inhishands.org/haiti/
Nominated by: Tami Garibaldi
Why Tami thinks this is a great organization: This is an orphanage dear to Dan and my hearts – We have been sharing life with the kids at In His Hands in Haiti the past few years with our most recent visit 12/2020, the Lord opened the door for us to go and spend Christmas with them, it was the best Christmas ever…our daughter and son in law were able to join us for the last few days of our trip to celebrate the birth of our savior with those precious ones. We also go out into the community when we are there and build relationships and love on those beautiful people as we know one day the kids at IHH will age out of the orphanage and be in the Grand Savanne community! Our goal is to continue to visit as much as the Lord allows and love these kids and be a part in helping the kids learn trades and skills so they can be self-sustaining not only at the orphanage but when they are in the community some day! As we know life in Haiti is not so good these days or really for years and just keeps getting worse, we personally know the boots on ground there and know that all donations are going toward food, clothes, schooling the kids, there is so much corruption in orphanages in Haiti so must be so careful in who you support there. The government is so corrupt, it is sad the people have no jobs and stuck on an island. We hope to return in January, if the door opens again! Loving the orphan is a part of this organization’s heart and what the bible commands us to do so feel it exemplifies all the values of LFH 🙂
Little Red Wagon Fund – https://leehealthfoundation.org/little-red-wagon-fund/
Nominated by: Jorge Ruiz Gomez
Why Jorge thinks this is a great organization: I have seen how doctors dress as superheroes to take care of the children so they feel like they’re on a field trip from their school. My wife did clinical hours in that side of the hospital and she shared with me how caring and lovely the staff was to help families go through such difficult moments. Unfortunately, a previous client had to take his grandson for cancer treatment and he shared with me with tears in his eyes how special the treatment of his family was there even though his daughter didn’t have insurance. Therefore, Karla and I decided to support the “Little Red Wagon Fund” to help families with no resources give their children the best medical attention possible.
LOVEtheLOU – https://www.lovethelou.com/
Nominated by: Jonathan Krueger
Why Jonathan thinks this is a great organization: For the last five years I’ve served on the board of directors of an inner-city non-profit ministry called “LOVEtheLOU” in Saint Louis. In 2016, I attended a John Maxwell leadership summit and was challenged by what one of the key note speakers, the President of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Kathy, said. He shared with me that in the Old Testament, Nehemiah led the Israelites in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and challenged me to find a way to rebuild the walls in our city and community. It was shortly thereafter that I was introduced to LOVEtheLOU. The founders, Lucas and Alana Rouggly, moved to North Saint Louis in 2011 and have been collaboratively working with other ministries in the city and county to coordinate efforts and leverage opportunities to serve and share the gospel through physical acts of service. Their immediate goal was to show simple actions of love to neighbors and this quickly became the heart beat of LOVEtheLOU.
Today the ministry is focused on building a movement of restoration working to reverse the trends of poverty and racism in the City of Saint Louis. Prior to the pandemic, we have consistently facilitated over 10,000 volunteers a year, matching needs with resources, and stabilizing neighborhoods through acts of service and persons of peace. Today, that need and influence has only expanded with new opportunities brought on by the pandemic.
To learn more about Lucas and Alana’s story, please visit: https://voyagestl.com/interview/rising-stars-meet-lucas-rouggly-of-north-city/
To listen to our podcast to learn more about LOVEtheLOU, please visit https://lionsgateadvisors.com/working-to-reverse-trends-of-poverty-racism-in-st-louis/
There are three major needs throughout the community that have shaped our programs.
The first need is Youth Mentoring. This empowerment of the next generation is crucial to curbing gang violence and creating safe spaces/people for the neighborhood. This year we graduated 16 seniors from our program. We also saw all of these seniors obtain a diploma or GED. This is a huge success, and our team is amazed at how effective the method of holistically surrounding students with resources pays off.
Each student that enters our LIFT program has access to opportunities and relationships that they wouldn’t normally receive in North Saint Louis. This includes one on one mentoring, small groups, empowered experiences, job enrichments, tutoring, and life skills. This year we also added a pillar of counseling, and we are seeing dramatic change from individuals as they years go on. In early 2022 we will add at least 10 new students to the program to replace the ones who graduated. Our goal is to build the program to reach 10 students in each grad (7th-12th).
As our students graduate from High School and move into adulthood one of the next major North Saint Louis needs emerges. The city is a food desert, but at the core it’s a resource desert. Our goal is not to just get neighbors access to jobs, but to help guide them into careers. While some of our LIFT students have gone on to college and left the city, some have stayed behind and are ready to continue working with us.
This year we developed our LINK program into a 18-25 year old community. We hired two LIFT graduates (Javon and Jamel) to work with our staff to develop a small group and begin taking each individual into potential career pathways, including SSM Healthcare, the Marines, and internships with LOVEtheLOU.
The final need that must be addressed in our area is housing. There are over 25,000 vacancies in the city limits and ironically there is a huge need for housing. This year for the first time ever we filled all 10 of our apartments and both of our houses. This was a milestone for us because it meant our volunteers and staff had fixed up every vacant space under our care.
Because relationships drive everything that we do at LOVEtheLOU our goal is to use housing to empower others and incentive amazing people to stay in the city in order to be a part of the solution. We now have five (5) partnering relationship “people of peace” that we will be officially forming into a net of support in five of the thirty-five neighborhoods in the North Saint Louis.
A Look Forward:
2022 is going to be a hard year for North City. There’s no way around it. We have already seen an increase in homelessness and a need for housing. This is brought on by rising prices covering basic needs (like grocery, rent, transportation, etc.). Despite any indications to the contrary, the majority of our neighbors still lack the ability/opportunity to get a job.
We will specifically do this in two major ways.
- We will continue to meet people where they are. The biggest needs will continue to be housing, jobs, and youth mentoring and these programs must be supported with strong leaders and healthy teams. LOVEtheLOU is hiring new team members and with your support raised over $120,000 in 2021 to do this well next year.
- LOVEtheLOU will move into a new neighborhood in 2022. Our relational approach has us moving into seven (7) neighborhoods in the next 7-10 years. In 2022, LOVEtheLOU will be strategically placed in a new neighborhood to create a Resource Campus and will acquire new land, vacancies, and buildings to turn a city block into a hub of relational support. The financial need by May of 2022 for this initiative is $500,000.
In my opinion, LOVEtheLOU continues to exemplify our core values by being Goal Oriented, Servant Leaders, with a Warrior Spirit. Thank you for taking the time to read this update but thank you even more for your support. We appreciate you and your love for the city and our neighbors.
Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association – https://www.mohospice.org/
Nominated by: Michael Hermann
Why Michael thinks this is a great organization: Servant leadership is evident in the bylaws: The purpose of MHPCA is to promote hospice and palliative care to patients and their families. The Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association provides education for hospice nurses, medical directors, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers to maintain high quality care for hospice patients and their families. Hospice exists to serve the patient as well as the patient’s family and friends. It is important to us because we have personally benefited from hospice during “end of life” time with family members and friends alike.
One More Child: https://onemorechild.org/
Nominated by: Jacob Fisher
Why Jacob thinks this is a great organization: They exist to provide Christ-centered services to vulnerable children and struggling families. This takes a number of avenues – human trafficking, child hunger, foster care, family support, and global child sponsorships. Last year, they were able to provide over 19 million meals and assisted in 347 sex trafficking cases. My wife is a prosecutor handling crimes against children and has had the privilege of working with one of their child advocates on a case and witnessed the help and care they provide firsthand. These kids have suffered a traumatic event and One More Child provides support, counseling, and care in a season when they need it the most. Fighting and advocating for children in need is something we should all strive to do and they’ve been doing it for over 100 years.
Partners In Health: https://www.pih.org/
Nominated by: Kayleigh Larson
Why Kayleigh thinks this is a great organization: Partners in Health really is the epitome of what I think of when I think of Warrior Spirit, especially in regards to physicians and healthcare. Their mission to provide medical services no matter the circumstances or place of your birth is their fight to better the world without profiting from it. I really wish I could give more to this organization because PIH not only fights, but they also serve the billions of people without access to basic healthcare. The primary Goal of PIH is to provide prematernal and maternal care by giving mothers and babies a fighting chance, by empowering those without the resources to survive and flourish. Why we need to give this cause: in Sierra Leone 1 in 17, in Malawi 1 in 32, and in Liberia 1 in 28 women die in childbirth. I would be delighted to give some of what I have to help them achieve what they have set out to do: their Goal of Serving mothers and babies so they have that Warrior’s fighting chance.
Queen of Peace Center: https://www.qopcstl.org/
Nominated by: Deanian Gossett
Why Deanian thinks this is a great organization: They are a Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehab Center for women. They have several programs, one of the programs works with pregnant and postpartum women to support them and to make sure they have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. They offer them a place to live, a warm shower, food to eat. They allow the women to stay there with their children. This keeps them off of the streets and give their unborn child a better chance of survival. As most of you know, I now have a 3 year daughter due to my step daughter’s addiction to heroin. I have seen first hand what substance abuse can do to a family. If there is a chance to give even one mother a better life and to help her get off the drugs and to become a sober mother for her children then I want to help them. The organization exemplifies all three or targets. Goal Oriented – They strive to support women and children helping the mother to become and stay sober. Servant Leader – They show the women how to become a better parent, how to break the circle of life they are on. Warrior Spirit – They do not give up on the women that others may have given up on.
Reading Is Fundamental: https://www.rif.org/
Nominated by: Kacie Rogers
Why Kacie thinks this is a great organization: I completely agree with the organization in their statement that every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks to achieve their highest potential. This aligns with our company values – goal oriented in giving children the tools and opportunities, servant leadership in working with programs to supply books and raise awareness, and warrior spirit in engaging with others on this issue and sharing passion to make an impact.
Ronald McDonald House Charities: https://www.rmhc.org/
Nominated by: Luke Krings
Why Luke thinks this is a great organization: When I was in high school, I had a sudden lung collapse that caused me to spend 6 days in the hospital. My parents did not want to leave my side while at the hospital. RMHC provided my parents a place to eat, sleep, shower, and allowed them to spend more time at the hospital, and therefore with me. They provide a space for families of children going through tragic illnesses. Our home was close enough that my parents could make trips as needed while I was sick; but RMHC provides housing for families that live far away from the hospital. This allows the families to be close while their children are staying there to have their illnesses treated. In the past, I have volunteered to cook meals for the patients and have grown closer with the organization over the years. I believe they embody Servant Leadership.
Ruel Foundation: https://www.ruelfoundation.com/
Nominated by: Tami Garibaldi
Why Tami thinks this is a great organization: This is a great organization not only dear to Dan and my heart but also Paul and Rebecca’s as 3 of their kiddos came from this orphanage in the Philippines. Dan and I were so grateful for the opportunity to be able to go there a few years ago to the orphanage on island of Oriental Mindoro and the rescue house on the island of Romblon. We had an amazing time sharing life with the precious kids for a couple weeks and look forward to returning again someday! Ruel takes in abandoned, abused, neglected, and orphaned children and loves them well 🙂 provides them a loving home, education, good nutrition, medical and psychological help, and most importantly spiritual guidance. They try to reunite them with their families if possible and safe and if not provide a loving “forever family” for them! The kids in Romblon are rescued in most cases from incest, it is very common on that island, Ruel is helping to educate the people and support the community to put an end to this. Again, loving the orphan is a part of this organization’s heart and what the bible commands us to do so feel it exemplifies all the values of LFH 🙂
St. Patrick Center: https://www.stpatrickcenter.org/
Nominated by: Matthew Harlow
Why Matthew thinks this is a great organization: I personally know someone that works here and had the chance to visit the premises during our summer event. They do incredible work to serve the homeless community in St. Louis providing comfort, food, and shelter to some of our most needy residents.
The Impact Center: https://covenantimpact.org/
Nominated by: Andy Baker
Why Andy thinks this is a great organization: This organization is trying to make a difference in an area of Fort Wayne that has been ignored for a long time. They have been a place where you could get COVID tested and now vaccinated. They have been a site for job fairs to help those looking for a better opportunity. They have recently started ESL classes for those who do not qualify for other ESL classes because of a lack of basic learning skills. They are working hard to find the needs of their community and bringing the resources necessary to meet those needs for their community.
Uttermost International: http://uttermostinternational.org/
Nominated by: Tami Garibaldi
Why Tami thinks this is a great organization: We love our India family, this organization is so close to our hearts! Paul and Kristi are the founders of Uttermost and are great friends. They empower churches, educate children, impact communities in slums and villages in Northern India. They serve the uttermost members of society in the uttermost parts of the earth, but He is able to save the uttermost! Dan and I have been blessed with the opportunity to go to areas in Delhi, to Chandigarh and Amritsar the region of Punjab in Northern India a couple times the past few years and hope to return in February. They minister to the slums and villages where caste system there is real, it breaks your heart. We know we cannot change the world, but we can love and smile and share hope with these people! We also visited a leper colony on our last visit and the darkness there felt so intense as they were so sickly and so lost, they need our love and most importantly hope that can only be found in Jesus! Our last visit ended with a trip up in the Himalayans to Kashmir near the line of control with Pakistan and India where life is so so dark…our friend there, whose ministry is supported by Uttermost, is truly the underground church, the physical persecution his family has encountered is so surreal. We love all people to the ends of the earth, the values of LFH exemplifies the heart for the least of these as well!
We Can Ride: https://www.wecanride.org/
Nominated by: John Blaylock
Why John thinks this is a great organization: I was raised on a western horse farm and have been missing contact with horses for years. My initial thoughts were it would help fill that horse void in my life along with lending a hand to help disabled children, a group I’ve had very little experience interacting with. Loved the horses, but was deeply affected by how fun and moving it was to be around the kids and to see the relationships that developed between the kids and their horse. Interacting with the parents and caregivers and hearing that this was the event their child most looked forward to all week was pretty darn cool. So yeah, they are doing some pretty amazing work there.
Wilderness Awareness School: https://www.wildernessawareness.org/
Nominated by: Martin Linde
Why Martin thinks this is a great organization: Wilderness Awareness School is important to me for many reasons, the 3 most obvious being beauty, humility, and that learning is fun.
- Beauty: Through their workshops and self-guided naturalist training programs, I’ve learned to recognize small instances of beauty, which helps lighten my mood whenever I can get outside. Over time this has had a tremendously positive effect on my outlook on life
- Humility: I grew up on a small farm, which helped make me an outdoor enthusiast from an early age. When starting the courses at WAS, I assumed that meant I knew more than most people. My first exercise was a walk looking at whatever birds were in my neighborhood. I saw 8 species and easily identified 7 of them. The last one I’d never seen before and was very excited to look it up in my bird book when I got home. I was very humbled when I discovered this little gray bird was both very common and widespread across our country. It wasn’t new or rare – I’d just never noticed this bird, despite thousands of opportunities. 😃 This little gray bird taught me that however much I may think I know (or even actually know), assuming I know nothing is usually a safer option.
- Learning is fun: A couple of years after the above incident, I was doing a “sense meditation” under a tree in a local park. This is just a fancy way of saying I was trying to sit still and pay attention to everything going on around me. It started raining slightly and one of the same little gray birds flew out from the middle of a field I’d been staring at for 15 minutes! Considering this was a freshly mown baseball/softball diamond I didn’t understand how this could be. I chalked it up to a fluke and kept watching. Over the next 10 minutes a total of 19 birds flew from this same area – and I didn’t spot a single one until it took flight. I had to laugh at my lack of awareness, as well as wonder how it might be possible to be more aware of my surroundings.