The work of the Greater Milwaukee Women of the ELCA encompasses Justice, Discipleship and Stewardship, and we are pleased to share the following updates

BLAST OFF FOR BOOKS

Every three years, 30,000 youth (and their adult leaders) from across the ELCA gather for a week of faith formation known as THE ELCA Youth Gathering. This year this event will b e held in the diverse host city of Houston June 27th through July 1st.

This year The Gathering has recognized the need to lift up literacy in Houston. Building a foundation of literacy starts before entering Kindergarten. Students who read at home become strong writers, critical thinkers, and more successful students than those who do not. Houston Independent School districts estimates that 74% of the students in the district come from families who struggle to provide books for their children. This means the students begin each school year at a disadvantage. Thus. the BLAST OFF FOR BOOKS campaign was born.

At our April 21st Greater Milwaukee Synodical Women’s Organization’s regular Board Meeting we discussed this issue and what was the best way to show support for the youth in our Synod? Because there is a list of forty specific chil-dren’s books this campaign is asking to be donated (you can request this list from the Greater Milwaukee Synod Of-fice), we made the decision to give the campaign $500 to purchase the requested books.

We spent a great deal of time in making the decision of sending a check … doing this enabled all of the money to go toward books without paying shipping costs etc. etc.

Tripling our life-changing ministry through Katie’s fund

By Audrey Novak Riley, director of development and stewardship for Women of the ELCA

Last fall, your churchwide board approved an exciting new initiative - The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund - with the goal of tripling our endowed Katie’s Fund by the 2020 Triennial Convention and Gathering. That means tripling the life-changing ministry that Katie’s Fund can make possible!

The total goal of The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund is to grow the fund from its current total of about $1.5 million to $4.5 million by July 2020. Your elected board members and other dedicat-ed women from throughout the church are forming a leadership circle - Katie’s Sisters - to get the All Anew Campaign off to a rousing start, with a goal of raising $1 million in gifts and commitments. Our friends at the InFaith Foundation are offering their gift-planning expertise to women who’d like to learn more about how they can put their assets to work with a commitment to The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund.

As an endowed fund, the money held in Katie’s Fund is invested carefully to generate income. That annual income - which is generally about 4 percent of the amount invested - may be used by the churchwide women’s organization for leadership development, living theology and global connections. Your generous support of Katie’s Fund, through regu-lar gifts and through The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund, really makes a difference in women’s lives. Thank you and watch for more information about The All Anew Campaign for Katie’s Fund as it become available!

“Reprinted with permission from Interchange, the Churchwide newsletter of Women of the ELCA Copyright © 2018 Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America”

SCHOOL KITS REACH AT-RISK YOUTH IN HONDURAS

In poor communities in Honduras, where gang violence is a reality, many families face a daunting choice: Provide basic necessities like food or pay for school supplies that can help children get on a better path. Learn how (and who) your gift of LWR School Kits are helping!

In Honduras, poverty and lack of opportunity prevent many children from going to school. While the country offers free public education, children must still have the proper supplies to attend. But for parents who are struggling to make ends meet, school supplies can seem an impossible expense.

In the last half of 2017 our partner in Honduras, Children’s Gift Ministry, distributed 14,175 School Kits across all 18 departments of the country, making education possible for children living in extreme poverty. Children’s Gift Ministry president, Ken Harrell, notes that the gift of School Kits truly does make education possible for children in Honduras. “Many of these parents are single mothers just getting by from day-to-day and cannot afford food and clothing, much less school supplies, as much as they would like to. It is hard to believe how a simple school kit given to a child could bring such hope to a single mother living in poverty, but it truly does!”

In our December Gleanings there was a list of congregations with the number of quilts they had sent to LWR. Thirty-four (34) congregationS responded to that request and from those thirty-four congregationS, eleven (11) congregationS had also sent in 1,506 school kits! As you read the opening paragraph you can see what a huge impact those kits have made.

If you want to make School Kits, please follow these guidelines: If you are going to purchase backpacks, the preferred style is often used in the U.S. for youth to carry athletic equipment .. Buy the drawstring style and the recommended size is 14” x 17”. Please give new items only. Do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or your group’s name. Do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.

Include in each kit: four 70-sheet notebooks of wide ruled paper … one 30-centimeter ruler … one pencil sharpener … one pair of blunt scissors … five unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers (secure with a rubber band) … five black or blue ballpoint pens (no gel ink) .. One box of 16 or 24 crayons … one 2 ½ inch eraser … one sturdy drawstring backpackstyle cloth bag.

Women of the ELCA make a difference in the lives of so many people by the quilts they make and the kits they assemble all year long. Thank you … you have heard the words of Jesus, “as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it to me”.

 

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