TOPTON – Diakon is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018.
Incorporating the sister organizations of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries—which operates a dozen senior living and housing communities—and Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries, Diakon traces its roots to the Tressler Orphans Home, Loysville, Perry County, and The Lutheran Home at Topton, Berks County.
“The Tressler home was founded in 1868, The Lutheran Home at Topton near the turn of the century,” says Mark Pile, Diakon president/CEO. “During all that time, despite significant changes in society, we have never stopped serving our neighbors, adapting our programs to meet changing needs.”
In addition to senior living services, Diakon programs today include adoption, foster care, counseling, community-based programs for older adults and services for at-risk youths. Regionally, Diakon operates The Lutheran Home at Topton, Luther Crest in Allentown, Manatawny Manor, Pottstown, and children and youth services including adoption, foster care, Girls on the Run – Lehigh Valley, and programs for adjudicated youths.
To mark its anniversary, Diakon is holding events at all program sites. Major activities include the rededication of Old Main on The Lutheran Home at Topton campus, which recently underwent a multi-million renovation project including creation of a permanency center for Diakon Adoption & Foster Care, and a benefit presentation in October by national humorist Jeanne Robertson.
During its 150 years, Diakon has introduced a number of service innovations including a banking system for children at one of its orphanages, the exclusive focus in foster care and adoption on children with special needs, the introduction of senior living services as early as 1940 and use of the wilderness to aid at-risk youths.
More information on the anniversary is available at www.diakon.org/150.