Lenten/Easter Wish List connects generous donors to local organizations

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | February 23, 2017

GREEN BAY — It’s time for The Compass’ annual Lenten/Easter Wish List. Since 1993, readers of Compass paper have donated items and cash to the various groups on this list.

The wish list links readers of The Compass 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 the past 24 years, 377 group requests have been placed on the Wish List. More than half of all these wishes have been filled over the years. Fifty-eight of last year’s groups received at least part of what they requested.

Below are groups that have made requests this year, along with 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 lets The Compass know this project is fulfilling its mission. (If you know of a group that might qualify for the Wish List, email us at [email protected])

Langlade Hospital Adult Day Care, Antigo

This day care center hosts older adults with functional impairments, providing individual plans of care in a fun, safe “home away from home” atmosphere. It also benefits seniors who may be lonely or socially isolated. It has been in operation since 1992. They are asking for money or gift certificates for their spring planting project, which the seniors maintain and then eat the produce in the fall. Kerri Matz said the participants also asked for a set of yellow or orange dinnerware (a serving of 12), a Bluetooth speaker and money for a wheelchair since one of their two chairs “is wearing out on us.” Contact Matz at (715) 627-0657.

LEAVEN, Appleton

LEAVEN is a community-based ecumenical, non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance for basic needs. Last year, LEAVEN met with 6,487 households (16,999 people). The largest portion of this assistance went for housing, utilities and transportation. LEAVEN also distributes gas vouchers, bus passes, toiletries, diapers and other tangible items to help struggling households stretch their limited income,” said Mary Parsons, executive director. “We would be very grateful for donations of these items.” She added that gift cards for office supplies “would be very helpful.” For information, contact Parsons at (920) 257-5690.

Day by Day Warming Shelter, Oshkosh

This shelter provides temporary overnight shelter and guidance toward in-dependence. Last year, they served 123 individuals and 7,684 warm meals. They would like a label maker and a laminator, as well as donations of breakfast cereal and small fruit cups to serve guests at meals. Contact McKenzie Valenta, community engagement coordinator at (920) 203-4536.

Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Appleton

This shelter provides emergency, overnight housing for homeless adults and coordinates with local community resources to help them find permanent shelter and jobs. 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 like to start a mentoring program to pair clients with mentors to “provide a bridge between homelessness and self-sufficiency,” Connie Raether said. Funds would help staff recruit and train volunteers. They could also use coffee room supplies and bus passes to help clients get to job interviews and medical appointments “until they receive their first paycheck.” Contact Raether at (920) 419-0928.

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 offering education, socialization, healthcare and legal assistance and advocacy. They hope to reinforce Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and energy responsibilities in their building. To that end, they have an entire energy plan that they need donations to help to fund. Their share of lighting and energy improvements is $2,281. Sr. Melanie Maczka, a member of the Society of Sisters for the Church, is the director and she added that they would also like to renovate and add a bathroom, since there is only one now. To help, contact Michael Welch at (920) 676-2166.

Love Life, Green Bay

This ecumenical ministry provides baby needs to low-income families. Located in Green Bay, at St. Joseph Parish and The Hope Center, they would like baby quilts and onesies, as well as baby wipes, lotion, baby wash, bottles and teething rings. Call co-coordinator Sharon Zambrowicz at (920) 499-4105.

StreetLights Outreach, Green Bay

This nighttime ministry has provided a presence in at-risk neighborhoods of Green Bay since 2004. Their summer picnic and block parties are attended by up to 400 low-income people. “Each block party costs between $400 and $600,” explained Tony Pichler, volunteer. “Gift cards make it possible to make these free events possible.” They would like cards from Costco or fast food places, as well as gift cards from Menards toward propane gas for their grills. Call Pichler at (920) 337-4389.

Elizabeth Ministry, Kaukauna

Elizabeth Ministry International develops and provides resources to families and parishes, all designed to reclaim God’s plan for childbearing, sexuality and relationship. In 2014, 150,000 people were helped. They would like satin and fleece material to use in making burial vessels for miscarriages. They also need printer paper and ink cartridges for the materials they offer for families and their parish chapters around the world. They would also like a video projector. Contact Lisa Kater at (920) 766-9380.

Casa ESTHER, Omro

Casa Esther Catholic Worker House in Omro. This is the only Catholic Worker house in the diocese of Green Bay, according to director Fr. Joe Mattern. “Casa Esther is dedicated to continuing Dorothy Day’s commitment to performing the corporal works of mercy,” he said. Among its many projects are a house of hospitality, a one-acre community vegetable garden, presentations on social justice and providing interpreting services for the Spanish-speaking and English Language Learning classes. They would like monetary donations to help build a garage for their vehicle and garden tools, as well as purchase seeds. Contact Fr. Joe Mattern at (920) 685-0315.

Father Carr’s Place 2B, Oshkosh

Since 1974, the Place 2B has built a network of services for the needy in Oshkosh, including two 75-room shelters, a free community clinic and food pantry. They serve more than 180 families a week. Executive director Bob Lang said they would like four electric door openers for their maintenance garage. “Our maintenance volunteers are usually older, retired persons,” Lang said, “and it would be nice if they did not have to lift the garage door manually.” They would also like to re-carpet parts of the shelter for women and children because the entry foyer and children’s playroom are completely worn out. Lang estimates the cost to carpet at $7,000. Call him at (920) 716-4898.

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. Wellspring would like vinyl or leather couches/loveseats for these women to nap on. They would also like a flat screen TV for weekly fitness classes and sturdy chairs to match the couches. Contact Caitlin Turner, program supervisor, at (920) 857-9587.

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