Compass Wish List helps local agencies that aid poor, others

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | September 9, 2015

GREEN BAY — The seeds of springtime seasons have brought a good harvest, thanks to readers of The Compass.

Since 1993, The Compass has run an annual Wish List in which local organizations that help the poor, elderly, sick and disadvantaged around the diocese have been able to share requests to help their ministry. Over these 22 years, 365 group requests have been placed. At least half have been filled — at least in part — each year.

This year, 60 percent of the groups on the Feb. 13 list received at least part of what they requested. Two other groups received some of what they asked for, but weren’t able to confirm that those donations had come from Compass readers.

This was “the best year ever” for Streetlights, a nighttime ministry that 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 Streetlights received two large coolers to hold food at these picnics. The donations, he said, “saved us a ton of money that we are able to use on food and other items.”

House of Hope, a Green Bay house serving pregnant and/or single mothers, received two donations, both from area parishes, toward expanding their cooking space.

At Wellspring, a “Place of Peace for Women” that was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross and is now run by Lutheran Social Services in Green Bay, is a daytime drop-in center. They asked for and received a 30-cup coffee maker from a Compass reader.

In Oshkosh, Father Carr’s Place 2B needed a riding lawn mower, since their volunteers were using a push mower for the center’s seven-acre site. The Place 2B includes a food bank, two shelter facilities, a free medical clinic and community center. “We had two people donate their old riding lawn mowers,” said Dan Geffers, vice president of the board of directions.

In rural Denmark, The Bridge-Between retreat ministry asked for funds to reroof their 1890 Belgian barn, which had been damaged in an August 2013 tornado. They did receive $100 and hope the request is “still ruminating with people and will come soon.”

Appleton’s Oxford House, is a “sober residence” in a six-person home for women who are in recovery from addiction. The house needed a new washer and dryer, as well as laundry supplies. Volunteer Judy Curtis said they received $100 toward a washer/dryer and “six quilts, all from the quilters at St. Paul in Combined Locks.” They also received $25 from a parishioner who had retired up north and read the article.

For the remainder of requests, responses were similar to this one from Jeannie Hannemann of Elizabeth Ministry International: “To the best of our knowledge, no one who donated mentioned The Compass Wish List. … Regardless, we are thankful for your allowing us to express our needs in The Compass.”

The next Wish List is scheduled for the first week of Lent in 2016.

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