Palmbergs Honored as ‘Heroes of the Homeless’

4 comments Written on December 6th, 2012     
Filed under: News
MERCER ISLAND, WA (December 6, 2012) – More than 400 guests attended a luncheon honoring Mercer Island Covenant Church Pastor Emeritus Bud Palmberg and his wife, Donna, as “Heroes of the Homeless 2012.” They founded and helped develop Operation Nightwatch, an ecumenical ministry to the homeless in Seattle.

The luncheon, held November 20 in the Great Hall at Union Station in downtown Seattle, raised more than $90,000 for the ministry, which presented the annual award. Local dignitaries from Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington were among the attendees.

[pull]”The goal was to show Christian care and love – without preaching, judging or condemning.”[/pull]

Another couple that helped start and oversee the ministry’s growth, Norm and Bonnie Riggins, also was honored. The couples were given Superman capes.

In 1967, Bud went searching for a runaway parishioner and said he saw a rough side of Seattle he had never encountered. The runaway was found, but Bud was so moved by what he had seen that he organized a group of clergy to walk the streets of Seattle from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and minister to the homeless.

The goal was to show Christian care and love – without preaching, judging or condemning. Operation Nightwatch was born and grew quickly. Norm Riggins was hired as its first paid director. Click here to watch a video of Bud and Norm working on the streets in 1967. Click here to read an earlier story published in The Covenant Companion.

The ministry has expanded and now provides food and shelter nightly for 170 homeless men and women, as well as housing and support for 24 low-income, formerly homeless seniors.

The work on the street also continues to serve homeless camps, shelters, and bars. The Palmbergs’ children and grandchildren are among those who help.

Covenant churches in the Northwest provide some of the organization’s funding.

In giving thanks at the luncheon, Bud called on the community to show the love of Christ, without limits.

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4 comments “Palmbergs Honored as ‘Heroes of the Homeless’”

A well deserved honor for starting this ministry. Congratulations!

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Congratulations, Bud and Donna! It’s a great achievement. Surely tens of thousands of people have been helped, and the work goes on. Well done! The honor is richly deserved.

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Great tribute to a family doing the not- so- glamorous part of ministry. God bless you Palmbergs.

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How wonderful to see the results of “Operation Nightwatch” and its mission over the years. And to catch up on Bud and Donna again. God is good. Donna goes way back to Traverse City and Portage Lake BIble Camp with Dan and Barb. And we met Bud along the way. Congratulations.

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