The Umbrella Story

by | Jun 23, 2020 | Aging & Independent Living, Refugees & Immigrants | 2 comments

A few years ago, South Puget Sound District Director Trudy Sorensen was blessed to walk with a stranger who reminded her of the work of Lutheran Community Services Northwest in the South Sound.

Image by Bonnie Sorensen.

Trudy had just left work and she could already see the stranger down the hill, standing with her walker under a tree as it rained. Originally she passed her by, but something inside Trudy urged her to go back and help the stranger. 

So Trudy went back, parked, and grabbed her umbrella. Not wanting to scare her as she approached, she smiled at her and said, “I just came to walk with you and carry the umbrella.” 

The woman smiled and offered Trudy a piece of fruit from her purse. She responded, “Moldova, Russia, Ukraine. No good English.”

In that moment, Trudy realized that this woman was the embodiment of LCS Northwest: the elderly, the immigrant, the refugee.

In broken English, the woman shared how high the snow got in Moldova. That her mother had 14 children. That she lived with her son. “Bless my son,” she repeated over and over.

Trudy and the woman laughed at the rain together, and asked where the sunshine was in their own languages. 

 As they approached the woman’s apartment, the building manager saw them and came outside with an umbrella. The manager asked if the woman had been lost.

“No,” responded Trudy. “I just wanted to walk her home.”

The two women hugged goodbye and blessed one another, and Trudy watched as the apartment manager walked the woman to the door before heading back to her car, soaking wet and feeling so blessed by the opportunity to walk this woman home. 

You can pick up the umbrella too. In lieu of our spring fundraiser, we’re currently offering a special edition umbrella mug for donations of $300 or more. Click here to see the design and learn more about the campaign. Thank you for walking with us.


  1. Jackie Stenger

    Beautiful story – I can just picture Trudy doing this! Bless her heart – she’s a keeper!
    Jackie Stenger

  2. Barb Marat

    Such a beautiful, heart warming story that reminds us of the little things that can go such a long way.