Stan Tordsen is the kind of advocate you want in your corner.
After retiring from a 39-year teaching career in 2008, the Stewartville, Minnesota, resident quickly began another commitment of service at his church: volunteering with the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Young Investors (Y.I.) Club.
“Years ago, when our children were young—more than 30 years ago—our Sunday school had an active LCEF stamp investing/savings program,” Tordsen said. “Over the years, the program had stopped being used. In 2011, George Rosin, a good friend and fellow teacher, asked me to help get the program started again.”
They contacted Maria Hendrickson, LCEF director of communications and marketing in the Upper Midwest region, and began tirelessly working to make the program a priority at St. John's Lutheran Church in Stewartville once again.
“The thing my wife and I enjoy most about volunteering with the LCEF Young Investors Club is the relationships that we build with the students,” Tordsen says of the service he provides with his wife, Kathy. “We see and talk with the students every Sunday from the time they start in preschool until they graduate.”
Building relationships with young people has been an integral part of Tordsen’s life since graduating Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1969 to become an educator.
“During my teaching career I taught upper elementary students at Central Elementary, Bonner Elementary and at the Stewartville Middle School. I also coached 8th and 9th grade girls basketball for the Stewartville School District for 32 years, retiring this summer.”
Tordsen was honored with the Minnesota National History Day Teacher of Merit Award in 2004 and the ABC News 6 Excellent Educator Award in 2008, testaments to his dedication to his career and the lives of his students.
“I still love both teaching and coaching,” Tordsen said. “I was privileged to work in a district with wonderful students and supportive parents.”
But his gracious efforts continue. Speaking proudly of LCEF and his congregation, it’s clear that Tordsen’s devotion to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ is more than a priority: it’s his passion.
“Being an LCEF volunteer is a wonderful experience. In this day and age, it is important to teach children—and adults—the importance of knowing how to share, save and spend their money,” Tordsen said.
But his favorite experience?
“A young girl was all smiles as she came up to our Young Investor's table to get a free stamp as her birthday gift from our program,” he recalls. “Her mother stopped to talk and said that her daughter was so excited to get our birthday card in the mail. She said in this age everyone seems to send ‘Happy Birthday’ by email or Facebook. To get an actual birthday card in the mailbox meant so much to her daughter. She just wanted to say ‘thanks.’
For more information on LCEF's Y.I. Stamp program, visit lcef.org or contact Maria.Hendrickson@lcef.org.