Perry Lutheran Homes has been awarded the 2018 LeadingEdge Care and Services Award for an innovative program that provides meaning, purpose and value to the lives of residents, volunteers and staff.

Perry Lutheran Homes’ Meaningful Mission Projects Program was selected for the award by industry professionals at LeadingAge Iowa that recognizes one organization annually for programs and services that have dramatically benefited the residents and serve as models of innovation and excellence. This includes those that address some of the most complex challenges throughout the continuum of aging services.

“The Meaningful Mission Project Program at Perry Lutheran Homes improves the lives of older adults by engaging residents in projects that provide purpose and meaning in all stages of life. The residents at Perry Lutheran Homes have impacted the world by making more than 35,000 bandages for healthcare in Africa, creating comfort crosses for victims of natural disasters and joining together with the greater community to pack Meals from the Heartland. There is no greater gift than living a life with purpose,” said Shannon Strickler, President and CEO of LeadingAge Iowa. “Congratulations to Perry Lutheran Homes, and their residents, on the 2018 LeadingEdge Care and Services Award. Together with their residents, they are truly making the world a better place.”

In addition to the over 35,000 bandages made and distributed across the globe, nearly 3,000 comfort crosses have been made and distributed across Iowa, Texas and most recently, Jacmel, Haiti. Over 78,000 meals have been packed at Perry Lutheran Homes to help people in Iowa, the United States and internationally. Other projects include newborn kits, pillowcase dresses, used denim shoes, coloring books and much more.

“This award and these projects are amazing examples of how volunteers, staff and residents are living out the StepUp! movement by serving together. The Meaningful Mission Projects Program is not about keeping people busy; it is about our residents’ ability to continue living life, serve others, stay integrated with the community and to provide purpose and meaning regardless of ability or stage in life which is crucial to the overall health and wellbeing of residents,” said Melissa Gannon, Administrator of Perry Lutheran Homes.

Virginia White, one of the many active residents at Perry Lutheran Homes, said, “I really enjoy the amount of activities available and participating in purposeful projects that are meaningful; that allow me to help and serve others.”

White often jokes that she is busier now than when she was living at home.

To learn more or watch a video about White and her involvement in Perry Lutheran Homes’ Meaningful Mission Projects, visit