April 15 - FedEx Shooting, Indianapolis, Indiana
Tim Hetzner, LCC President/CEO, and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams immediately responded after the horrific shooting that took place at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, April 16, resulting in the loss of eight precious lives.
Watch the video below to see how LCC Ministries work together to bring comfort and healing to the community during this difficult time.
The LCC K-9 Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses Ministry were invited by Pastor Dan Hauser of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Naomi, to be present throughout the community with employees, residents, and first responders who are trying to cope with this senseless tragedy.
In the aftermath of the FedEx shootings in Indianapolis, eight LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Benjamin (LCC Staff), Emma (LCC Staff), Hannah (LCC Staff), Isaiah (Trinity - Hobart, Indiana), Jared (Holy Cross - Fort Wayne, Indiana), Mercy (Our Savior Lutheran Church and School - Louisville, Kentucky), Naomi (Holy Cross - Indianapolis, Indiana), and Rosie (Atonement - Columbus, Ohio) and their teams arrived, bringing the love of Jesus to all that they met. At two vigils honoring the victims, the pain and fear were evident. The Comfort Dogs gave people a way to release those emotions, if only for a few minutes. The Hearts of Mercy & Compassion (HMC) gave them a place to express their sympathies.
These two ministries worked hand in hand to start the healing process for a grieving community. In addition to the vigils, the dogs visited multiple fire stations that had responded that night and the Marion County 911 Call Center. Some of these first responders just needed to talk about that night, and the dogs were excellent listeners, as were their handlers. Other visits included the Marion County Coroner’s Office (day and night shifts) and Eskenazi Hospital, where the dogs were a much-welcomed comfort due to the devastating week they all had.
One of the 19-year-old victims had worked as a lifeguard at the Indy Island Aquatic Center, in addition to her FedEx job. Many of the employees at the center were high school age or recent graduates. The dogs arrived there with mini stuffed dogs and an HMC heart. The young employees came into the room with heavy hearts. The dogs were present for each of them and helped them open up to talk among themselves or to a handler about their friend or sit quietly with a dog and mourn.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams saw the healing process begin for many of the hurting as they broke down barriers to allow for the release of some of their pain, wherever they were. Christ was most certainly present during all of these encounters.
From all the hurt and shock of this tragedy at the FedEx facility, relationships have been made. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Naomi (Holy Cross - Indianapolis, Indiana) and her team will continue to make regular visits to the Marion County coroner’s office, 911 Call Center, and the Decatur Fire Departments. Many other places the Comfort Dogs visited expressed that they would love to have at least a monthly visit with Naomi and her team
April 18 - The Sommers House Shooting, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Early Sunday morning, April 18, three people were killed, and three were injured during a shooting at The Somers House in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the invitation of Rev. Kara Baylor of Carthage College, Tim Hetzner, LCC President/CEO, and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were present with students and staff on Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21, during finals week. Carthage College is located near The Somers House and frequented by students, some of whom were present during the shooting.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield Lutheran – Brookfield, Wisconsin), Malachi (St. Matthew – Hawthorn Woods, Illinois), Mary (St. Paul’s – Janesville, Wisconsin), Rhoda (Prince of Peace – Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois), and their ministry teams spent time comforting students and staff during this stressful week.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers provided a gentle ear to listen to the students share their fears about the shooting and how the pandemic has emotionally affected their learning and motivation. The K-9 Ministry teams also met some of the baseball players whose teammates were at the bar during the incident. Many students welcomed the opportunity to pet the Comfort Dogs and talk.
The students and staff of Carthage also signed three Hearts of Mercy & Compassion for each of the victims who lost their lives in the shooting. The LCC Ministries were honored to serve the Carthage students and staff during this difficult time.
March 22 - King Soopers Store Shooting, Boulder, Colorado
Since the mass shooting at King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Cubby and Devorah (Redeemer - Fort Collins, Colorado) continue to be present for the community sharing the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Cubby and Devorah and their team have been invited back every month to visit the Boulder County Coroner's Office, Boulder 911 Dispatch/Police Department, and Boulder Rural Fire Protection Services.
“We are very pleased to have made these connections in the Boulder Community. We also plan to visit the King Soopers employees that we met at a neighboring store where we presented two Hearts of Mercy & Compassion to two special employees and drop in at some of the local fire departments that we visited while deployed. We want to continue to show our love and support to this community for a long time."
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never go where we are not invited and never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
LCC K-9 Ministry & Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Were Present with Grieving Students and Staff at Judson University, Elgin, Illinois
On Monday, April 26, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their teams were invited to be present for the staff and students of Judson University, Elgin, Illinois, who are mourning the loss of students Nathanael and Dallas who were killed in a tragic car accident.
The following LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams shared the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Chloe (Lord of Life – LaFox)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Julia (King of Glory – Elgin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Kye (Immanuel - Belvidere)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Myra (St. Andrew - Park Ridge)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Samson (Zion – Marengo)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake)
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry never go where we are not invited and never charge those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. Please keep the family, friends, and classmates of Nathanael and Dallas in your prayers.
Without our generous donors, LCC would not be able to serve, as we NEVER charge those we serve, responding within 24 hours of an invite (often much sooner).
In the past 45 days, LCC has been called to serve at two mass shootings and many other crisis events.
32 hearts and 22 crosses/markers have been deployed in crisis response:
14 hearts, 10 crosses: King Soopers, Boulder, Colorado (mass shooting)
12 hearts, 8 markers: FedEx, Indianapolis, Indiana (mass shooting)
3 hearts, 1 cross: Delavan-Darien High School, Delavan, Wisconsin (death of a student)
1 heart, 1 cross: Chicago, Illinois (death of a teenager)
2 hearts, 2 crosses: Judson University, Elgin, Illinois (death of two students)
An additional 22 hearts have been presented: 13 thin blue line hearts honoring the service of law enforcement officers, 2 thin red line hearts honoring the service of firefighters, and 7 thin yellow line hearts honoring the service of 911 dispatchers.
Numerous hearts have also been presented to honor care giving staff at long-term care facilities, nurses and hospital staff for their dedication to patients, to honor the lives of people who have passed, and as a support to family and friends in grief.
Each Heart of Mercy and Compassion carries a cost of $30.00. Each Crosses for Losses carries a cost of $60.00. These costs include a steep increase in the cost of lumber, which has been brought on by the pandemic.
LCC is grateful for your partnership and continued support as we serve together in Jesus' name.
To make a donation, click here: Redeeming Life Outreach Ministries Carpentersville
LCC operates with a Dollar In – Dollar Out funding process where EVERY dollar given for a cause goes directly to that cause or need, with LCC acknowledging the gift and overseeing that the money is used as intended.
Your Donations Make a Difference in the Life of a Mother of Three in Desperate Need of Financial Assistance
On Thursday, April 22, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their teams were invited to be with the students at Delavan-Darien High School in Delavan, Wisconsin, to provide comfort to the students and staff devastated after the loss of one of their own. Peter was a senior at the high school who tragically lost his life in a car accident.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry was blessed to send the following teams who quickly responded to this need:
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Benjamin (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Eunice (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Samson (Zion - Marengo)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mary (St. Paul - Janesville)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls)
Many of the students clung to the Comfort Dogs, and some were crying. The Comfort Dogs and handlers were also able to spend time with Peter’s friends, who are grieving his loss . One of the teachers remarked how amazed she was that our LCC K-9 Ministry had such heavy volunteer involvement, and the dogs were so highly trained, calm, welcoming, and loving.
There were three Hearts of Mercy & Compassion and a cross available to sign. The students lined up to share fond messages and memories of Peter.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
On April 20, thirteen LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers from different states had a lot of fun on their virtual visit with Zion Lutheran School in Alexandria, Minnesota. The students asked so many excellent questions. We are blessed to have this opportunity to serve. We hope we can visit with them again soon.
Remarks from the staff at Zion, Lutheran School regarding their visit with the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their teams:
Zion Lutheran School 1st - 8th grade enjoyed the virtual visits with the Comfort Dogs and their people. Our students learned so much about the ministry. Teachers remarked on how the handlers did a great job explaining the mission and graciously answered all of the questions. The dogs, of course, were a big hit with the kids. Some of the 4th graders were trying to figure out how they could be apprentice trainers!
The 6th-8th grade students of Zion Lutheran School thoroughly enjoyed their visit with Comfort Dogs! We were able to visit Lily, Leah, & Abraham! The students loved hearing about how the comfort dogs spend their time at home and how they are helpful in their work! The favorite part of our discussion was learning how Comfort Dogs help provide an opening for discussing the Christian faith. Thank you for sharing your time with us to help us learn more about your ministry!
Remarks from LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams regarding their visit with Zion Lutheran School:
We had some fun times with the 4th Grade class. They are very excited to dig deeper into the FB pages of the dogs. I hope someday Chloe can make an in-person visit to that school. P.S. Just for inside information, one of the questions was, "do the dogs ever get sick." I told them that we work very hard to take care of their health. I explained that Chloe once ate mulch and got sick. At that exact moment, Chloe got up and walked away from the phone screen. I told the class that Chloe was embarrassed that she did that. I love to have fun moments that show our dogs as kind and fun-loving tools for Christ.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Chloe (Lord of Life - LaFox, Illinois) and her team
We had a good visit with the first graders today! The teacher had some great questions from the kids, and they seemed to enjoy getting to know the four dogs on the call.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Triton (Messiah - Plano, Texas) and his team
Job and I had a pleasant visit with the second and third graders at Zion Lutheran School this afternoon, along with Priscilla and Gideon Comfort Dogs and their handlers. Ms. Kuhnau had asked her students to have questions prepared, so they took turns coming up and asking things such as how old the dogs are, what they like to eat, what their training is like, how big they are, and if they are soft to touch. The students seemed to enjoy learning about the dogs, and I think they are especially hopeful that they might get to meet Gideon at some time since he lives just a few hours away from them.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Job (Christ the King - Memphis, Tennessee) and his team