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Jars and jars of giving


By Patricia Hope Ordean Oen raised $90,000 by his 90th birthday for Lutheran charities by selling jelly he cans himself. He sells his $5 jars at


festivals, and to friends and family. Growing up during the Great Depression


in a family that believed in giving back shaped Ordean Oen’s life. When the native North Dakotan retired in 1989 as a research physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he thought about his grandfather’s farm, where he and his grandmother had picked chokecherries, and his fond memories of attending Park River (N.D.) Bible Camp, a few miles from his home. He decided to combine these memories and


began picking chokecherries again—this time so he could make jelly and sell it to raise money for the camp. It took a couple of years to get going, but at the end of 10 years Oen had raised $13,000. Oen then began thinking about a more


specific goal: raising $90,000 by his 90th birthday. When he turned 90 in June 2017, he not only met that goal but is still going strong. To date, he’s given $65,000 to the Bible camp and $25,000 to other Lutheran charities.


38 JANUARY 2018


“ The background stories of this hobby and the philanthropic outcome are a testament to God’s grace and generosity.”


MISSION & MINISTRY


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