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.