Compass Lenten Wish List: Almsgiving seeks Easter joy

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | March 5, 2014

GREEN BAY — During Lent, our thoughts turn toward God’s plan of salvation and the practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

It’s also time for the Lenten/Easter Wish List, to which Compass readers have donated since 1993.

The list links readers with local organizations that help the poor, elderly, sick and disadvantaged around the diocese. For 21 years, 345 group requests have been placed on the Wish List. At least half are filled, at least in part, each year.

Below are groups, descriptions of their ministry, their requests this year and a contact person. Should you choose to fulfill a wish, tell them you read it in The Compass. The feedback allows The Compass to continue this project. If you know of a group that might qualify for the Wish List, let us know at [email protected]

Langlade Hospital Pastoral Services, Antigo

Langlade Hospital has 25 patient beds and also cares for patients at nursing facilities. Sr. Jean Bricco, RHSJ, said they need small crucifixes to give to the dying. “These bring comfort and peace to the patients and often the families place them in the coffin at the visitation.” She also requests CD players to play music in the dementia wards. “Music can reach deep into their spirit and bring some joy in the lives,” she said. They would also appreciate a wheelchair. Contact Sr. Jean at (715) 623-9213.

The Bridge-Between Retreat Center, Denmark

This rural retreat ministry, rooted in Dominican spirituality, serves 7,000 a year both on-site and with in-parish visits. They have a working farm and organic garden. The center would like plumbing for the upper rooms of the 1924 silo retreat. Currently guests on the second and third floor use portable commodes. They would also like gifts cards for office supplies, to buy food for guests and feed for the birds and animals on the farm. Call Jessica Schmechel at (920) 864-7230.

Love Life, Green Bay

This ecumenical ministry (see more on page 15) provides baby needs to low-income families. Located at two churches in Green Bay, St. Joseph and Peace United Methodist, they would like high chairs and baby gates for newborns to sleep in. Co-coordinator Sharon Zambrowicz said there is always a need for infant formula and diapers. Call her at (920) 499-4105.

St. Vincent de Paul House of Hope, Green Bay

The house serves pregnant and/or single mothers, ages 18-24, and their children, both as a shelter and with parenting programs. In 2013, they served 53 mothers and 58 children with “a well-rounded, complete and safe program.” They need baby supplies of all sizes, a microwave oven for the shelter and a document shredder. They also need someone to do snowplowing for the 2014-15 season. Call Chris Varela at (920) 884-6740.

Marion House, Green Bay

Also known as Christian Group Home, this home for pregnant teens helps an average of 20 teens and their children each year. Their big wish is for a new security system. The current system functions poorly. Patricia Vande Voort explained: “Many times a young mom is sent here because of abuse or violence in her home and having the added protection here would be wonderful.” They also need baby wipes. Contact Vande Voort at (920) 496-1478.

StreetLights Outreach, Green Bay

This nighttime “feet on the streets” ministry has provided a presence in at-risk neighborhoods for eight years. They offer a weekly presence and host six monthly block parties, attended by up to 350 low-income people, including children. Each party’s food costs range from $250 to $350. They’d appreciate gift cards from Costco to purchase food, as well as gift cards to local food or convenience stores to be used as give-away gifts at the parties. Tony Pichler said, “People walk away from the block parties, not only filled with good food, but with a sense of community.” Call Pichler at (920) 680-6127.

St. John the Evangelist Shelter, Green Bay 

This downtown homeless shelter, open from November to April, provides overnight shelter. It is an emergency facility, run by the parish with help from the Green Bay Diocese. This season alone, as of Feb. 11, they have served 264 men and women. They asked for a commercial keyless entry system for the shelter. They currently have two sets of keys for the entire facility. The system “would strengthen the integrity of the shelter and its ability to serve as a safe sanctuary,” according to staff member Jackie Ebert. They would also like hand warmers, which they give out every day. Contact Ebert at (920) 436-9344, ext. 203.

Elizabeth Ministry International, Kaukauna

Elizabeth Ministry provides hope and healing on issues related to childbearing, sexuality and relationships. It has more than 700 chapters on six continents. Its RECLAiM Sexual Health Program offers recovery from pornography and other unhealthy sexual behaviors. Founder Jeannie Hannemann asks people to consider volunteering at the center. “We need funds to offer scholarships to those who cannot afford participation in programs, and finances to cover the expense of creating and distribution of resources to help families,” she said. They also need funds to provide miscarriage delivery aids and burial vessels to those who have lost their unborn child. Contact Hannemann or 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 and ill in Oshkosh, including a food bank and pantry, and three shelter facilities. Joe Geniesse, executive director, said their big wishes are a forklift for the food bank and new roofs for the men’s and women’s shelters. They are the original roofs and “we get a lot of wind out here,” Geniesse said. He would also like “Unlimited vacuums. We have 10,000 square feet of carpet to be vacuumed every day.” Also appreciated would be non-perishable food, most especially macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and cereal. Call Geniesse at (920) 231-2378.

St. Francis Free Community Health Clinic, Oshkosh

Located at The Place 2B, the clinic provides medical, dental and chiropractic services. Director Joe Geniesse said they need a new EKG machine and blood pressure cuffs, as well as three automatic defibrillators. They have one AED, but with the size of their facilities, Geniesse worries that they won’t have one where they need it in an emergency. Contact him at (920) 231-2378.

Jeff Kurowski contributed to this story.

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