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Lenten Giving/
Easter Joy
Wish List

 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinFebruary 27, 2004 Issue 

For Lent, giving up can mean giving to others

Annual Wish List project asks for Lenten giving to bring Easter joy to the needy

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

2004 Lenten Giving/
Easter Joy Wish List

Jump directly to Wish List items
Stewardship: A Way of Life logo

Would you like to help build a deck for toddlers, provide beds for young people on retreat, or provide clothes for low-income women re-entering the workforce?

For 12 years, Compass readers have been doing just these types of things and more through the Lenten Giving/Easter Joy Wish List. The Compass wish list project matches donors (our readers) with community service and ministry organizations that help the poor, elderly, sick and disadvantaged in our area. These groups are often ones we don't hear about often, who rely on help coming by word of mouth.

 • Lent-related articles

Over the past years, 223 requests have been made through the Wish List. Last year, three-fourths of the requests were answered. (Overall, half of the agencies requesting help have received gifts.) For example, new moms in Oshkosh are cuddling babies in the glider rockers donated by readers last year. And the elderly on the Menominee Reservation are able to get into church in the wheelchair donated by another reader.

All it takes is a desire to be a good steward of the gifts God has given each of us, and a desire to share those gifts with others. It's as simple as writing a check, making an extra purchase with your regular weekly shopping or donating some time as a volunteer.

Below are just some of many worthy causes in our area. A short description of their work, a few requests and a contact person are listed.

The Compass asks that individuals, schools or parish groups consider these requests as part of your Lenten faith journey. Organize a clothing drive, or a penny war to buy a gift.

We also ask that you make direct contact with each group, tell them that you read about them in The Compass, and do what you can to help. The Wish List will also appear at our web page,, throughout Lent.

Each group in The Compass' 11th Wish List helps make the world a more hope-filled place for the people whom Jesus called the "little ones." Join them this Lent, and bring a little Easter joy by April.

2004 Lenten Giving/Easter Joy Wish List

COTS, Appleton
(Community Outreach Temporary Services)

This transitional housing program for men (currently housing 46) provides a room, food and counseling - for which residents pay. COTS is an ecumenical project of various churches in the Fox Valley. Since they have three facilities (including Pioneer Village for veterans) they could use household products, paper towels, coffee, bath towels and bedding, as well as some office supplies. They also need a newer van - since their current van is 22 years old. Executive director, Brad Vivoda, says the van travels as far as Omro regularly, since COTS participates in the Second Harvest food program, which keeps down food costs. To help, call Vivoda at (920)205-6128.

Villa Phoenix, Appleton

This non-profit, community-based residential facility provides a home for men with mental illness, developmental disabilities or chemical dependency. Can serve 17 residents, ages 35 and up, at a time. Director Steve Hinton says they could use a chest of drawers, as well as a vacuum cleaner for the three-story facility. Also needed are laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and, since residents are on a limited budget, personal hygiene supplies are always appreciated. Call Hinton at (920)731-1316.

The Bridge-Between Retreat Center, Denmark

This rural retreat ministry of the Sinsinawa Dominicans serves more than 7,200 people each year. People of all religious faiths are welcome to study, pray and share meals at this converted farm. The center helps fund its services through a certified organic garden and the sale of produce, homemade jams and bread, as well as retreat ministry. Sr. Caroline Sullivan, OP, says they could use a laptop computer, since their outreach has increased by over 20% this year. A digital camera would also help them document their work when they apply for grants. Paper products, stamps, sunflower seeds and a wheelbarrow are also needed. "Call her, or Diane Eparvier, at (920)864-7230.

Marion House, Green Bay

This group home for teen mothers offers "a new beginning, a chance to get their lives together and aim for future success," said director Judy Cleveland. The girls attend high school full-time, and also learn basic social skills needed to live independently as a single parent. The home's capacity is seven. They would like to build a deck with railing, which Cleveland said is safer for toddlers. They also need blinds for six rooms. Call Cleveland at (920)496-1478.

The Gathering Place, Green Bay

For eight years, this drop-in center for adults coping with mental illness has offered support and peer support. Co-chair Virginia Bryan says the center is a place where people "can come and feel safe." The center offers educational seminars, movies, life skills classes, and field trips. Membership is free and it is funded by grants and donations. The center is open every weekday and needs a Kitchenaid Mixmaster with all the attachments. Co-chair Betty Fiori makes the center's monthly home-made dinner for 20-24 people and says the stand mixer would help with breads, cookies and other bakery. They could also use a seven-quart crock pot and a food processor. Call her at (920)430-9187.

The YWCA Women's Closet, Green Bay

The Women's Closet supplies "work-appropriate clothing for women in need," according to Judy Lehnert, associate director of community services. She explains that "some women are single parenting. By the time they pay for food, housing and kids' needs, they don't have any money left for clothes." The closet does not take jeans or athletic shoes, but they do take other clothes appropriate for work, or job interviews. Since they are small, they only have room for clothes of the season. Lehnert hopes that some groups might do as employees of the Green Bay Diocese have done in the past year, and have seasonal clothing drives for the closet. They are also looking for funds for scholarships for women and children to attend classes - such as children's dance or swimming lessons - at the YWCA. Last year, they gave 450 scholarships to low-income families who met the federal poverty guidelines. Call Lehnert at (920)432-5581, ext. 129.

St. Vincent de Paul House of Hope, Green Bay

This provides housing for pregnant teens and single mothers, ages 18-21, and their children. Staff teaches the women basic budgeting, nutrition and parenting skills to live independently, as well as helps them pursue further education. House of Hope can serve up to 10 women at a time. House of Hope asked for a vacuum cleaner last year, and is still wishing for one. They also need a laminator and electric three-hole punch to help residents organize their files. Coordinator Reva Shaw said they also greatly need size 4 and 5 diapers. Call her at (920)884-6740.

Wellspring, Green Bay

This "place of peace for women" is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross at Bay Settlement, This drop-in center in downtown Green Bay offers support to 300 women a month. They come from various faiths and ethnic backgrounds and, as Sr. Fran Bangert, OSF, says "lack strong support systems." Wellspring needs gift certificates from bookstores and craft marts, from office supply stores "to enable guests to prepare references and resumes and prepare class work," said Sr. Bangert. They could also use gift certificates from local grocery stores to purchase supplies "to provide hospitality." Call her at (920)433-9995.

YWCA Baby Closet, Green Bay

This program for teen parents helps teens graduate high school and develop self-dependency and parenting skills. Over 80% of clients graduate from high school. The closet provides baby supplies and clothing to teen parents free of charge. "Most of these teen parents come from poverty and are often in need of the very basics for their babies," explained Pat Nagle, community services director. "Between school, work and parenting, their dollars don't always stretch far enough." The Closet needs new or gently used clothing for newborns to 4T, disposable diapers, strollers, cribs and high chairs. Call Nagle at (920)432-5581. (They cannot take car seats or toys.)

Holiday House/ Pines Group Home, Manitowoc

For 46 years, Holiday House has provided employment and services to persons with disabilities, many with developmental disabilities. They currently serve 250 people. They have a hearing loss program, a child development center and even house a satellite credit union to help clients with money skills. Director Thomas Keil says they need a portable dishwasher for the agency's lunchroom. Call him at (920)682-4663.

Community Clothes Closet, Menasha

The Clothes Closet distributes clothing and household items free to some 1,000 needy families a month in the Fox Valley. Families, many of whom work at low-income jobs, are referred by service agencies, clergy and domestic abuse shelters. Since its founding in 1980, the Clothes Closet has distributed over 2 million items. Executive director Diane Bishop says they need large-size clothing for men and women, copy machine paper, children's books and children's clothing (7 and up). Contact her at (920)731-7834.

Mount Tabor Center, Menasha

Mt. Tabor offers retreats to everyone, but focuses especially on youth. More than 1,000 young people attended retreats last year. The goal is "to get students energized about their faith," explains Eden Foord, administrator. He says they "desperately need" 11 twin beds mattresses and box springs for the facility, which sleeps 55 people on overnight retreats. They also need a fax machine. Call Foord at (920)722-8918.

St. Anthony Parish/Menominee Community Center, Neopit

The parish is in an area of 40% unemployment, according to pastoral associate Sr. Stephanie Spence. She says county energy assistance funds have been cut, so St. Anthony's helped 28 families pay their heating costs in December. Donations would help them continue to do so: $35 buys a cord of wood; $50 pays for propane. She says the parish does fund-raising in the winter "just to keep going." The church also needs a better heating system with more ceiling fans or a blower. Call Sr. Spence at (715)756-2361.

Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, New Holstein

For 40 years, Br. Regis Fust, SDS, and his volunteers have shipped tons of aid to missionaries. Items are donated by companies but shipment to missionaries still costs thousands of dollars. "Nothing has changed," Br. Regis said. "We need money." The warehouse - which usually ships an average of one container (the size of a semi) a day - pays those shipping costs. These range from $2,200 for a shipment to Peru up to $6,000 for West Africa. Besides containers from New Holstein, shipments go from facilities across the country.

Br. Regis says that, despite their many company ties, the warehouse still needs corporate contacts to large companies that have supplies to donate. He also could use large numbers of sheets, blankets and sewing materials. "We used to go to hotels from here to Marshfield," asking for old sheets, Br. Regis said. "Now we just don't have time." But he knows hospitals and hotels have older sheets to dispose of and he has missionaries who need them. Call him at (920)898-5898.

Chaplain, Oshkosh Correctional Institution

Sr. Susan Clark, SSND, is a chaplain at Oshkosh's medium security prison, which houses 2,067 inmates. About 350 of the men are registered Catholics. Sr. Clarke says "the men are always looking for updated reading material on matters of their faith. Handouts are great (because they) can be picked up after Saturday evening Mass and taken back to their unit." She is asking for subscriptions to the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic Update by St. Anthony Press, and anything from the "Scripture from Scratch" series. Call her at (920)231-4010, ext. 2171.

Fr. Carr's Place 2B, Oshkosh

For over 30 years, Fr. Marty Carr has built a network of services for needy and sick throughout Oshkosh, including a soup kitchen, domestic violence shelters, Bethlehem Inn shelter and a free health clinic.

Fr. Carr needs over-the-counter medicines (including sugar and alcohol-free cold and cough items), aspirin and diabetic supplies. "Our old pick-up/plow is on the way out," he added. They also need rocking chairs, twin beds and dressers for their shelter. He also requests volunteers - "doctors, nurses, cooks, receptionists, maintenance people - to pray, play and work together for the poor." Call him at (920)231-2378.

Labor of Love, Oshkosh

This "Christ-centered maternity home" for women in crisis pregnancies opened seven years ago. They have room for four residents at a time, averaging nine each year. Additionally, they serve more than 300 women on an out-patient basis. Director Burdean Schultz says that they need baby items and furnishings. They also would like a 27-inch TV and a DVD player, both for education and for evening entertainment, as well as infant car seats. Call Schultz at (920)231-6006.

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