GREEN BAY — Pope Francis’ theme for the Year of Mercy is “Merciful as the Father.” Giving to those in need — who in turn show mercy to others — is one way to love as God the Father loves.
It’s time for the Lenten/Easter Wish List, to which Compass readers have donated since 1993.
The wish list links readers with local organizations that help the poor, elderly, sick and disadvantaged — practicing corporal works of mercy such as feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers and clothing the naked.
Over 23 years, 365 group requests have been placed on the Wish List. More than 50 percent of the requests have been filled, at least in part, each year.
Below are groups who have made requests this year, short descriptions of their ministry and a contact person. Should you be able to fill a wish, contact them directly and mention that you read their request in The Compass. They can provide more details — and feedback from these groups allows The Compass to continue this project.
The Wish List will be on our website throughout Lent and the Easter season. (If you know of a group that might qualify for the Wish List, emails us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Langlade Hospital Adult Day Care, Antigo
The day care center hosts adults with functional impairments, providing a variety of health and social support services in a secure setting. It has been in operation since 1992. Kerri Matz says the center would like a set of wood TV trays so that snacks can be set beside guests as they rest in recliners.
They would also like 500- or 1,000-piece puzzles, with easy-to-grasp edges, because “participants love to put puzzles together and recently the ones that have been donated are missing a piece or two.” They would also like four-piece place settings in bright colors for “a more homelike atmosphere.” Contact Matz at (715) 627-0657.
Oxford House, Appleton
This is a “sober residence” that provides a six-person home for women who are in recovery from addiction. Residents learn living skills while in a safe, supportive environment. This is one of more than 1,700 Oxford Houses around the U.S. The house would appreciate a flat screen TV and a DVD player. Contact Judy Curtis at (920) 574-2389.
Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Appleton
This shelter provides emergency, overnight housing for homeless adults. It serves an average of 53 adults a night. Many face challenges such as mental illness or substance addictions and have trouble moving toward self-sufficiency. The shelter would appreciate a new passenger van since, as executive director Scott Peeples noted, “We are two miles from downtown Appleton. …In the bitter cold or extreme heat, walking to the shelter is difficult for many. Our current van has over 100,000 miles logged.” It is used for regular evening pickups from the downtown bus station. They would also appreciate bus passes, gift cards and notebooks. Contact Peeples at (920) 832-1479.
LEAVEN is a community-based ecumenical, non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance for basic needs. Last year, LEAVEN was able to help more than 7,000 households. Many clients need bus vouchers to get to or maintain employment, get to medical appointments or connect with the social service organizations to which LEAVEN refers them. They would like 10 bus passes ($17 each). They would also appreciate fuel-only gift cards from Kwik Trip for the same purpose and donations of basic toiletries. For information, call Rena Winkler, LEAVEN development coordinator, at (920) 257-5692.
Mother and Unborn Baby Care, Inc., Appleton
This program includes Womankind Medical Clinic and an “Earn as You Learn” program for new moms to attend pregnancy and parenting classes. The clinic provides free services such as ultrasounds, gynecological screenings, pregnancy testing and STD tests. They serve 280 patients a month. MUBC would appreciate donations of diapers and baby wipes. They could also use new (they are not allowed to take used) car seats and cribs. Contact M.J. Clements at (920) 955-3773.
The Bridge-Between, Denmark
This rural retreat ministry, rooted in Dominican spirituality, serves 6,000 people a year both on site and with parish visits. They have a working farm and organic garden and would like funds to reroof their 1890 Belgian barn. In 2001, a family donated a 1988 pick-up truck to haul feed for the farm animals and to haul trash and recyclables. The truck finally gave out this year and they need another. “We don’t travel far with our truck, but need safe transportation,” explained Jessica Schmechel. They would also like postage stamps and iron-out water softener salt. Call Schmechel at (920) 864-7230.
CASA Alba Melanie, Green Bay
Casa ALBA Melanie is the Hispanic Resource Center for the greater Green Bay area and grew out of a 25-year ministry at St. Willebrord Parish. It provides “a place of trust for Hispanic families to become part of the community.” Casa ALBA Melanie typically serves 350 people each month with education, socialization, health and legal assistance and advocacy. They hope to reinforce Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and on energy responsibilities in their building and have an entire plan that they need help to fund. It includes items like set-back thermostats, weather-stripping and motion-sensors for exterior lights, which could be donated. Sr. Melanie Maczka, a member of the Society of Sisters for the Church, is director and added that they also “would like to replace our fluorescent lighting with energy efficient lighting as we are trying to become more environmentally responsible.” To help, contact Michael Welch at (920) 676-2166.
StreetLights Outreach, Green Bay
This nighttime ministry has provided a presence in at-risk neighborhoods of Green Bay for several years. Their summer picnic block parties are attended by up to 350 low-income people. The picnics provide music, children’s games, food and community. Tony Pichler said, “What began as a simple question almost 12 years ago, ‘How did Jesus ‘do’ church?’ has evolved into a roll-up-the-sleeves, feet-on-the-street, neighborhood immersion ministry.” Each party’s food costs range from $300 to $350. They would appreciate gift cards from Menards to purchase propane for the grills, as well fast food gifts cards for prizes and children’s craft items for games at the picnics. Call Pichler at (920) 337-4389.
Wellspring, Green Bay
This “Place of Peace for Women,” founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, is now run by Lutheran Social Services. A daytime drop-in center, it provides a safe and secure place for women in downtown Green Bay. Last year, 328 women, aged 18 to 43 and mostly low-income, were served. “Some of our guests are homeless,” explained director Jane Jordan, “and do not get much, if any, sleep at night.” Wellspring would like a vinyl or leather recliner for the women to nap in. They would also like a flat-screen TV for weekly fitness classes and a folding table to be used at the farmer’s market where guests sell crafts as income for themselves and Wellspring. Contact Jordan at (920) 857-9587.
Elizabeth Ministry, Kaukauna
Elizabeth Ministry International provides hope and healing on issues related to childbearing, sexuality and relationships. Last year, 150,000 people were helped. Founder Jeannie Hannemann said “intercessory prayer shows us the greatest miracles,” so they are asking people to offer daily prayers for their ministry and to send them $1 as a pledge of prayer. They could also use a color, laserjet printer. Contact Don Warden at (920) 766-9380.
Father Carr’s Place 2B, Oshkosh
Since 1974, the Place 2B has built a network of services for the needy in Oshkosh, including a 160-room homeless shelter, a food pantry that serves 180 households a week and a free health clinic that serves more than 200 people a week. Their “dream come true” would be a commercial kitchen. Currently, they use microwaves and Nesco cookers on folding tables, powered by extension cords. On holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, they feed 2,000 people. They could also use donations of vinyl flooring for one or more bedrooms. Contact Dan Geffers at (920) 279-1422.
Day by Day Warming Shelter, Oshkosh
This shelter provides temporary overnight shelter and guidance toward independence. Last year, they served 118 individuals and provided 7,461 hot meals. They would like a commercial washing machine for guests’ clothing and bedding, because “freshly laundered clothing is one of the ‘comforts of home’ we aim to share with our guests.” They could also use a new vacuum and grocery store gift cards to buy food for meals. Contact Janelle Galica at (920) 203-4536.