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Lilly Endowment Inc

ASP Awarded Lilly Endowment Grant for RESPONSE: 'Vocational Discernment through Volunteer Service Program'

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a four-year, $600,000 grant to Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to launch RESPONSE, a theologically-based vocational discernment through volunteer service program.

The RESPONSE program will identify the current effectiveness of current ASP volunteer programs, develop and deploy vocational discernment curricula for volunteers and field staff, and inspire all associated with ASP to better understand how they might answer God’s call to live lives of service.

“For over 40 years, ASP has enlisted and deployed volunteers in support of its mission to make homes ‘warmer, safer, and drier’ for the most needy families in Central Appalachia,” said Walter Crouch, president of ASP. “Our volunteers—now numbering over 16,000 each year—give of their time to serve others, and in the process of doing so their lives are dramatically changed for the better. We believe that the RESPONSE program will magnify the transformational power of the ASP volunteer experience for both our staff and volunteers.”

RESPONSE will build a framework of Scriptural reflection, vocational discernment, and commitment to lifelong service into the ASP experience of both volunteers and members of our field staff through six key activities: 1) Investigating and understanding the current effectiveness of ASP in inspiring Christian service, 2) Developing a vocational discernment curriculum for high school volunteers, 3) Designing curriculum, paired with new service opportunities, for college students during interim academic terms, 4) Developing vocational discernment and clarification tools and programs for summer staff, 5) Initiating year-long communities of ‘Lilly Fellows’ at each of ASP’s four year-round centers, and 6) Evaluating each program component for effectiveness and improvement.

RESPONSE will be led by Charles Oberweiser, program director, and Becca Davis, chief ministries officer.

“In its infancy, ASP was a simple home repair ministry that was founded by a humble, Methodist minister,” said Davis. “Today, ASP is a major force for good that relies on volunteers whose lives are changed as they serve Central Appalachia’s neediest families. We believe that RESPONSE will not only help people develop a better sense of their personal call to service, but it will make a dramatic difference in achieving ASP’s ministry goals.”

For more information about ASP’s RESPONSE program, contact Charles Oberweiser at (423) 854-4430 or

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Endowment is, however, a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. It is devoted to the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment supports a wide variety of efforts to enhance the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. Funding is provided also to help identify, recruit, call and nurture into Christian ministry a new generation of talented pastors. The Endowment also funds projects designed to promote informed dialogue about religion in American life, generate new knowledge, communicate fresh insights, and renew and sustain vital institutions of American Christianity.

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Appalachia Service Project (ASP) provides life-changing short-term Christian mission trip opportunities --
bringing youth, adult, and college volunteers into rural Central Appalachia to make homes warmer, safer, and drier for families in need.
So come on and join us! You'll raise roofs. Fix floors. And build a whole new you!


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