If you know Grace Ziegler, you can understand why she deserved the Service to Mankind Award. If you don’t know Grace, read on to learn more about this amazing lady.
Information and photos supplied by the Lebanon Valley Sertoma Club.
For most of her life, Grace Ziegler has done her work in the background without fanfare. On the evening of March 6 she was the star of the show in a celebration held at the Lebanon Rescue Mission, where she has been a volunteer for 25 years.
The event, hosted by the Sertoma Club, was well attended by family and friends and a list of notables who showered Grace with tributes and citations from state and local officials. They included “Sertoman” Bob Ladd and state Representative Frank Ryan (R-101) who said: “Sometimes with all the strife in the world it’s easy to forget that God does place people like Grace Ziegler in our lives to make us better. Grace is truly a gift from God.”
Some of Grace’s friends came from as far away as Canada and Florida to join in the celebration and a few got together to entertain the crowd singing some of her favorite hymns.
Grace began her life of service to God and the community many years ago. Much of her early life was spent in foster homes and she was abused as a child, with those experiences guiding her to a life of service. She frequently opens her home to anyone who needs help or shelter. With the support of her late husband Victor, the Zieglers even used their home as a private nursing home for senior citizens in the 1960s.
Together, they sponsored international refugee families, foreign visitors, recently released prisoners, and families displaced by fire and other disasters.
Grace’s service record also included time spent as a teacher’s aide for special needs children in the ELCO School District, mission trips to Honduras, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Mexico, 16 years with the Church of the Brethren Disaster Relief Sale, a deaconess, Sunday School teacher and kitchen worker for the Myerstown Church of the Brethren (she peels a mean poato), several years as president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and of course, The Lebanon Rescue Mission.
Married to Victor, a Lebanon County dairy farmer for 52 years, the Zieglers raised 5 children and 10 foster children. Grace has 21 grandchildren and 60 great-grandchildren. Despite bilateral knee replacement and some heart issues, Grace continues her humble life of service to mankind nearly every day, as she approaches her 87th birthday.
In response to all the attention, Grace said: “God has been good to me. I want to be good to others. I’m here to help people right here at my door.”
Victor used to call her “Amazing Grace.” That pretty much says it all.
Do you want to pass along a word of gratitude to Grace? Use the form below and we’ll make sure she sees it!
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