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Student Presentation Ignites Organizational Green Efforts (Pennsylvania)

In high school, Chris Burrell (pictured right) volunteered at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He served food to the elderly residents. When he started college at Temple University, he remained connected to Artman while majoring in philosophy and environmental studies.

 
During his junior year at Temple, Burrell shared an observation with long-time family friend Dr. Luanne Fisher, President and CEO of Liberty Lutheran Services in Philadelphia. Artman is one of 28 member agencies within Liberty Lutheran Services.

 

“One day,” recalls Fisher, “Chris said to me that Artman is a facility concerned with excellent customer service and being a model of good stewardship in the community: why aren’t there more environmentally and ecologically sound principles being employed there?”

 

That struck a chord with Fisher. When Burrell shared some specific ideas about how Liberty Lutheran Services—and especially the Artman home—could become greener, she invited him to present his ideas at a meeting of Liberty’s executive team.

“Chris’s presentation fostered a lot of things in the organization,” Fisher says. “Afterward, we developed green teams throughout the organization and implemented other earth-friendly programs.”

Liberty installed solar panels at the Artman home. It also sponsored a shred-patrol event at Artman where people in surrounding communities could come and have documents shredded and paper recycled. And a Liberty staff member collects and recycles cell phones and batteries.

 

Burrell continues down a green career path. “Now I’m doing masters work in business at Drexel University,” he says. “I am looking to start some kind of sustainable business, one that is profitable yet helps protect our natural resources.”

 

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Liberty Lutheran Services is a social ministry organizaton of the ELCA.

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) is a grassroots movement within the ELCA seeking to foster care for God's good creation in all expressions of the church's life and mission. LRC is supported by grants from ELCA World Hunger and the Lutheran Community Foundation.

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