Wish List: Lenten preparation time leads to Easter joy

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | February 12, 2015

GREEN BAY — During Lent, a preparation time of 40 days, our thoughts turn toward God’s plan of salvation and traditional practices of fasting, prayer and alms-giving. In the area of alms-giving, 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. Over 22 years, 355 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 that 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, email us at [email protected])

Elizabeth Ministry, Kaukauna

Elizabeth Ministry International & RECLAiM Sexual Health provides hope and healing on issues related to childbearing, sexuality and relationships. Founder Jeannie Hannemann said they would like to expand in the areas of retreats, prayer opportunities, prayer groups, book clubs and movie days with “discussion based on our Catholic faith.” She added that, “Spiritual Companioning is another ministry we would like to offer more often. We do not have the means at this time to expand this area of Elizabeth Ministries in Kaukauna. Any help for our cause would be very much appreciated.” Contact Hannemann at (920) 766-9380.

LEAVEN, Appleton

LEAVEN is a community-based ecumenical, non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance for basic needs. Last year, LEAVEN was able to help over 7,000 households. Many of their clients need bus vouchers to allow them get or maintain employment, get to medical appointments or connect with the social service organizations to which LEAVEN refers them. Bus passes for Valley Transit are $17. For information, call Rena Winkler, LEAVEN Development Coordinator, at (920) 257-5692.

Mother and Unborn Baby Care, Inc., Appleton

This program for women 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. The “Earn as You Learn” program offers “Mommy Money” for mothers to purchase diapers and other baby goods. MUBC would appreciate donations for the clinic, as well as baby supplies and $5 gas cards. Contact Kristi Hoheisel at (920) 731-4354.

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 in a safe, supportive environment. This is one of more than 1,700 Oxford Houses around the U.S. The house would appreciate a new washer and dryer as well as laundry supplies. Judy Curtis explained, “All the women are on tight budgets, but pay their own rent and utilities and food, so any help to decrease water and energy use is welcome.” Contact Curtis at (920) 574-2389.

Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Appleton

This overnight shelter provides emergency housing for homeless adults. It serves an average of 50 adults a night. Many face challenges such as mental illness or substance addictions and have trouble moving toward self-sufficiency. The shelter would like funds to begin a mentoring program with a coordinator overseeing a team of volunteers. Mentors would help clients find jobs and housing, thus shortening stays and freeing shelter space for new clients. They would also appreciate donations for bus passes for clients to use to get to job interviews and medical appointments. Contact Connie Raether, volunteer coordinator, at (920) 419-0928.

The Bridge-Between, Denmark

This rural retreat ministry, rooted in Dominican spirituality, serves 7,000 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 August of 2013, the Bridge-Between was in the path of a tornado… although the barn did not sustain much damage, the high winds hastened the need for replacement of an already ailing roof,” explained Jessica Schmechel. They would also like donations for their scholarship program which, last year, let 117 people take part in Bridge services for free or at greatly reduced prices. They would also like gift cards for farm and office supplies, and donations for the Shirley Feed Mill for feed for their llamas, chickens and geese. Call Schmechel at (920) 864-7230.

House of Hope, Green Bay

The house serves pregnant and/or single mothers, ages 18-24, both as a shelter and through parenting programs. In 2013, they served 15 to 20 families in the housing program, as well as 60 “shelter families” and 40 “after-care families.” They need to expand their cooking space, since they have “one stovetop available for up to 14 families to use.” They would also like to expand space to start a computer lab to help with job training and searches. Also appreciated would be baby supplies, including diapers and wipes, and twin-size comforters. Call Chris Varela at (920) 884-6740.

StreetLights, Green Bay

This nighttime ministry has provided a presence in at-risk neighborhoods of Green Bay for several years. Their summer picnics are attended by up to 350 low-income people each month. The picnics provide music, children’s games, food and community. Tony Pichler said, “What began as a simple question seven 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 Costco to purchase food, as well donations of large coolers to hold that food. Call Pichler at (920) 680-6127.

Wellspring, Green Bay

This “Place of Peace for Women” was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross and 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, 309 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 these women to nap in. They would also like a 40-inch TV for weekly fitness classes and a 30-cup coffee maker. Contact Jordan at (920) 857-9587.

Father Carr’s Place 2B, Oshkosh

Since 1974, the Place 2B has built a network of services for the needy in Oshkosh, including a food bank, two shelter facilities, a free medical clinic and community center. “A typical week includes serving 1,000 meals, providing 200 families with groceries, 75 people living in our transitional housing, 100 receiving health care,” said Nic Bur, president. They have one paid employee. Their dream is to build a commercial kitchen, since they currently use portable roasting pans and extension cords, even to serve their holiday meals which feed 2,500. They could also use a riding lawn mower, since their volunteers currently use a push mower on the center’s seven-acre site. Contact Bur at (262) 719-2152.



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