Roberta Dietrich: A Year-Round Passion for Helping Others

Christmas is long over, but Peoria resident Roberta Dietrich's efforts finding holidays presents for more than 75 children in LSSI's foster care program have begun.

"I have to restrain myself from buying too many sizes 3, 4, and 5," Dietrich said. "I always have an overload."

At Christmastime, Dietrich brings the gifts she's purchased throughout the year to her congregation, Peoria's Grace and Peace Lutheran Church. Congregants purchase a basket, wrap the gifts, and return them to give to the children.

For 40 years running, Dietrich has actively volunteered with LSSI's Peoria foster care office, fundraising, organizing food and clothing drives, and helping with mailings.

"Roberta has been a mainstay for our Holiday Hope Chest for longer than my 20 years of coordinating it," said Janet Davis, Program Director of LSSI's Peoria Foster Care. "She is forever eager to get started shopping for her little ones. Her added touch of hand-knitted hats and mittens for each child is very special."

Over the last 21 years, Dietrich has knit countless sweaters and hats, supervised the packing of school kits, health kits, and layettes and helped to construct over 2,500 quilts.

"Knowing I’m doing a good thing, and having people around me with a real passion for helping others," is critical, Dietrich said. "And I never sit with my hands still."

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