AAL/LB’s fraternal strength shared throughout South Dakota

AAL/LB's fraternal strength shared throughout South Dakota You rarely hear about them in the news, but they are behind the scenes raising money through fund-raising projects or providing a service to help South Dakota families, students, elderly, sick and less fortunate. They give time, energy and resources to build a Habitat for Humanity home destined for a low-income South Dakota a family. They provide food, clothing and shelter to disaster victims in South Dakota.

They are members of Aid Association for Lutherans/Lutheran Brotherhood (AAL/LA), some 58,344 people, and they are making a difference in South Dakota.

Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood merged on Jan. 1 to create Aid Association for Lutherans/Lutheran Brotherhood (AAL/LB), the largest fraternal benefit society in the United States. Composed of nearly 3 million members, the organization offers a broad array of financial products and services, as well as charitable programs, to Lutherans, their families and their communities. AAL/LB provided more than $4.8 million of fraternal assistance to South Dakota organizations and residents in 2001.

South Dakota AAL/LB members are organized in to 284 volunteer groups, called branches, that meet regularly to carry out volunteer projects, educational programs and fund-raising events. AAL/LB members volunteered 675,422 hours to work on AAL/LB-sponsored events in South Dakota in 2001.

The true power of AAL/LB was recognized soon after the organizations announced their plans to merge last summer. It was Sept. 11, the day of the terrorist attacks. Separate at the time, each organization offered $1 million as part of their matching-funds programs. Using a number of fund-raising events, benefits meals and free-will collections, more than 4,000 branches raised $8.7 million, bringing the total amount raised for the terror attack survivors to $10.7 million.

"Members of AAL/LB are some of the most caring people in the world." said Fred Ohlde, senior vice president of AAL/LB Fraternal Operations. "Our members always come through in times of need. I'm sure they will surprise all of us when the true potential of our merged membership is realized."

AAL/LB works through its branches in South Dakota by supplementing local fund raising by AAL/LB branch members. In 2001, more than $1.7 million was given to individuals, congregations and organizations through 1,157 state projects.

The fraternal benefit society matched $369,553 in gifts made by 2,374 state AAL/LB members in 2001 through its member matching programs. Because of the generosity of AAL/LB members, annual gifts of $25 to $100 made by AAL/LB members to participating Lutheran institutions, such as Lutheran schools, colleges or seminaries, are matched dollar-for-dollar by AAL/LB.

More than $313,000 in scholarships was awarded to South Dakota AAL/LB members through AAL/LB's scholarship program � one of the largest privately sponsored scholarship programs in the nation.

A Fortune 500 organization, AAL/LB is a leading fraternal benefit society in the financial services industry. AAL/LB offers life and disability income insurance to its members nationwide, as well as annuities and other retirement plans. Mutual funds, variable annuity products and brokerage services are offered through AAL Capital Management Corporation.

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