Connections News for friends of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan ISSUE 2 2010Inside: From the President’s Desk | 10 Years Later | Journey of Hope |Realizing the Promise | Houser Adoption Scholarship Fund |Introducing the LSS Torchbearers | Hunger Garden | and more...
From the President’s Desk DEAR FRIENDS — “I promise…”Making a promise Making a promise is not something we take lightly in our lives. When someone makes a promise you is not something want to know you can depend on his or her word. we take lightly in Behind the LSS flame lies such a promise. It is a promise that when you are served by LSS you can our lives. When expect the highest quality and best care available. That promise is behind our mission, “Motivated by thesomeone makes a compassion of Christ, we help people improve the quality of their lives,” and backed by a staff that ispromise, you want equipped, motivated and passionate to serve. I am proud of our agency’s long history of keeping this promise as we serve over 108,000 people every year. to know you can depend on I spoke recently to a member of one of our ELCA supporting congregations and they reflected, “I am his or her word. proud of my church’s connection to LSS and refer family and friends there because we can depend on them. LSS cares and they do what they say they are going to do.” I am pleased and proud of that assessment and our staff work very hard every day to keep our promises of high quality care. We understand that on our own we cannot deliver on the promise behind the LSS flame. It is a group project of which you are a key member. Your support makes the promise live and dependable. Your gifts, prayers and volunteerism make the mission hum and our service a reality to those who need us. I invite you to look through the following pages and see how we are living out the mission and dependably delivering on our promise. These are very difficult days with fiscal challenges, and the need for services is growing. LSS has made appropriate, prudent and proactive decisions that have kept us strong and healthy so we can be there when folks need us. Your support has been a key to that success. Thank you — you do good work! Blessings to you as we respond to God’s great promise of his immeasurable grace. His promises will never be broken and it is that promise that we respond to, and reflect, through our mission. Onward! I PROMISE...Pa stor David L arso n LSS Connections is a publication of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Please direct questions and comments to: Rebeca Borrero, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, 647 W. Virginia St., Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204-1535, (414) 325-3053, email@example.com. Main Offices LSS Senior Management Milwaukee: (800) 488-5181 W. Paul Brinkman Executive Vice President & CAO Appleton: (920) 730-1326 Meg Groves Vice President of Ministry Support Eau Claire: (877) 967-5577 Michael Guns Vice President of Finance, CFO Waukesha: (800) 216-3437 Ted Hakala Vice President of Program Services Ron Hauser Vice President of Program Services Hub Offices Kari Humphrey Vice President of Human Capital Beaver Dam: (920) 887-3172 Rev. David Larson President and CEO Homme - Wittenberg: (715) 253-2116 Rev. Larry Lutey Executive Vice President & COO Janesville: (608) 752-7660 Jay Peterson Vice President of Gift Planning La Crosse: (608) 788-5090 Denise Pilz Vice President of PQI Madison: (608) 277-0610 Robin Pitts Executive Support Manager Marquette, MI: (877) 994-8344 Sandy Potts Vice President of Major Gifts Superior: (715) 394-4173 Staci Wellentin Vice President of IT & CIO Wausau: (715) 842-5577 On the cover: The Held family with the Bravado Challenge anniversary cake. Tim Held started the triathlon event in honor of LSS’s Birth-to-Three program. Story on page 3. 2
Tim Held started atriathlon fundraiserin honor of LSS’ Birth- 10 YEARS LATERto-Three program, aservice that aided his the Held family still growing strongfamily greatly followingthe premature birth Every day for 40 days straight, Tim and Katie Held visited their newborn son, Matthew, in the Neonatalof his son Matt. Today, Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Tim would come straight to the hospital afterMatt is a healthy work and Katie would spend all day with her precious little baby, watching over him. The couple was more11-year-old and theBravado Challenge than surprised when Matt was born nine weeks premature. There was no indication that there was anythinghad 250 participants wrong during Katie’s pregnancy, no bed rest prescribed, no symptoms out of the ordinary. Sometimes thethis year. cause of giving birth to a premature infant is simply unknown, which was the case for the Held family. Continued on page 33
The Held Family ( from page 3) After 40 days of hospital food and late nights, Tim and Katie were more than delighted to take their newborn home. Matt was not the only newcomer to their home, they also had his heart rate monitor to contend with. The fear they felt every time the monitor went off was not something they could prepare for and to this day Tim remembers the sound of the alarm vividly. A heart rate monitor detects when a baby’s heart rate drops below 80 beats per minute, causing the baby to stop breathing and sometimes become bluish in color. During sleep, premature infants can stop breathing for 15 to 20 seconds. Gentle stimulation usually helps awaken the baby and once they grow out of this stage, it never returns. Premature babies also have special dietary needsJenny Bielecki and her baby girl, Isabella. Jenny is Katie Held’s because their digestive systems are not fully developed.cousin who helps with the post race party. “Matt had a lot of acid reflux. He was throwing up a lot, we were cleaning the sheets constantly,” says Tim. “We read a lot about his condition. The nurses at the NICU really prepare you.”What does Bravado mean? The road ahead would be challenging; Matt would1) A show of courage. need speech and physical therapy. Thankfully, the hospital referred the new parents to LSS’ Birth-to- Three program, an early intervention program for2) Defiant, swaggering conduct. young children with developmental delays or disabilities. The program offers home-based and3) The quality or state of being foolhardy. family-centered services for children age birth to three. Through the program, Matt learned to walk before he was one and later on began to talk with the help of his speech therapist.Got Bravado? Save the date forthe next Bravado Challenge on Although he faced many challenges as an infant, today Matt is a healthy 11-year-old boy. However,Saturday, June 4, 2011! the story does not end here. Tim and Katie wanted to give back to the community who supported them through this trying time. The hospital was great, but they knew the few hundred dollars they could raise would not go far at such a large facility, so they chose to start a triathlon fundraiser in recognition of the LSS Birth-to-Three program. “I do a little racing myself. I wanted to start a race and give back, and LSS was a perfect place,” says Tim. In 2001, the ECO-Challenge was a popular reality show, a three-day adventure race in which 4
Whatstarted asa smallrace withonly 20participantsin 2001 hasnow grownto 250participantsin 2010. Bravado Challenge participants during the running leg of the event. Photo lower left: The canoeing segment of the triathlon. Photo on page 3: Bravado participants begin the biking portion of the challenge. teams of four competed. The show inspired Tim to Tim and Katie along with their two kids, Matt and create a mini-version of the expedition, which he 7-year-old Miah, have nurtured the race into its later named the Bravado Challenge. tenth year. “Miah likes to hang out with grandma at the post race party and help with the food The Bravado Challenge is an annual 3.5-mile hike/ preparation, while Matt is with Katie and me during run, 8-mile bike ride, and 4-mile canoe/ kayak the race. He’s going to be a race organizer some paddle race to the finish line. “We always stress day,” boasts Tim. that it’s not a super competitive race. It’s walkers, joggers…its family friendly,” Tim notes. “That’s With race headquarters stationed at their home in what’s made it successful.” This year the couple Waukesha, Wis., the event tends to dominate the helped to raise more than $10,000 to benefit the Held’s space and most of their time leading up to Birth-to-Three Program. the race. “The race is getting so big, that we need help,” Tim reveals. “We’re reaching out for people “It is amazing what one family can do,” says Missy to be part of the planning committee for next year.” Kueht-Becker, Birth-to-Three program manager. “They really are not just one family either. They If you are interested in volunteering or being on represent their own family, AND their aunts uncles, the planning committee, contact Tim via email parents, in-laws, cousins, co-workers, teachers, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Missy Kueht-Becker, nurses, associates, friends, friends of friends.” Birth-to-Three program manager, at email@example.com. What started as a small race with only 20 participants in 2001 has now grown to 250 For more information about the Bravado Challenge participants in 2010 (up from 2009 with only180 visit www.bravadochallenge.org or on Facebook at participants). “The first post party was in our back www.facebook.com/BravadoChallenge. yard,” Tim chuckles. “This was really a grass roots effort. At our event everyone knows everyone!”5
JOURNEY OF HOPE Adoption Ambassadors return from the PhilippinesAbove: Six LSS Adoption A short time ago, eight special children wished for and cleaning. In addition, there is a social workerAmbassadors traveled a family. For Jennifer, Marlon, Sandy Boy, Marie, at each home and house helpers who assist withto the Philippines in Catherine, Danica, Bryan, and Joshua, a family homework and plan activities for the kids to enjoy.June. The group hopes would truly be a dream come true. LSS adoptionto find homes for eight ambassadors hope to make those wishes come true The ambassadors spent quality time with the children,special children. someday soon. uncovering each of their unique personalities. “Marlon’s favorite food is fish and Alexs favorite The six ambassadors from various areas throughout color is red because it stands for the heart. Danica’s Wisconsin and Michigan traveled to the Philippines favorite subjects in school are English and to visit with the children from June 19 through Science. Maries favorite fruit is mango while July 1, 2010. Although LSS has been placing Jennifer loves vegetables. Catherines favorite children from the Philippines for adoption for animal is a butterfly and Joshua is happiest when more than 20 years, this is only the third adoption he is playing. Bryans favorite color is blue for the ambassador trip since the program began in 2007. sky,” Beth Opsal, one of the adoption ambassadors, wrote in her adoption blog. The children, four boys and four girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years old, come from different As they spent time together, swapping stories and childcare agencies in the Philippines, including engaging in normal day-to-day talk, the children Virlanie Foundation, House of Refuge, and Bukid got to know the ambassadors too. Time passed Kabataan Center. Each childcare agency varies in quickly as the children and the ambassadors size and arrangement, but they all try to create a treasured their daily visits — playing games, home-like atmosphere for the kids. House parents reading books, swimming in the pool, visiting an are responsible for the children’s care, cooking, aquarium, and eating at a local restaurant together. 6
Many of the places they visited the children had never been to before. This was the first ambassador trip for Beth Opsal, LSS Program Coordinator.“It was a great experience to see the potential that each of the children has,” says Beth. “There is a great need for older Filipino children, ages 8 and up, to find adoptive parents.” By law, once children turn 16 they are no longer eligible for adoption due to U.S. immigration policy. “As far as we know, LSS is the only agency recruiting for older children,” Beth notes. Representatives from Holt International Children’s Services also joined the adoption ambassadors on their recent trip. They wanted to learn more about the program so they could replicate it in the How can you help? Philippines and possibly in China. You can make a difference in these childrens’ lives: Since the program’s inception, 17 out of 23 children were united with adoptive families. Although the • SHARE this story with someone who may be ambassadors will not return to the Philippines to interested in pursuing adoption visit with the children again, they will not forget • ARRANGE for one of the ambassadors to give the promise they made to each of them.“We haven’t a presentation of their experience stopped talking about the children we met since • GIVE a charitable gift to the ambassador program our feet touched ground on U.S. soil,” say adoption • SPREAD the message about the need for ambassadors, Bong and Wendy Jornales. “Meeting families for older children and spending time with the children in their • FOLLOW the adoption ambassadors’ blog at country, their home, their school and with their www.caringbridge.org/visit/lssphilippines caretakers provides a much fuller appreciation of the • www.facebook.com/lssadopt uniqueness of each child and inspires us to find that forever family they so deserve.” The Government of the Philippines, through the All the ambassadors continue in their efforts to Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) in Manila, find the children families through their network of establishes program criteria for all inter-country resources. They frequently send birthday cards, adoptions. If you would like more information on letters, and photos reminding the kids that they are adoption, contact Beth Opsal or visit still in their thoughts and prayers, and are working www.lssadopt.org. diligently to find them a family. Throughout this journey of hope the adoption How can you become an ambassador? ambassadors blogged about their experience in LSS’ next Adoption Ambassador Trip to the the Philippines and posted photos from their trip. Philippines will be in late 2011 or early 2012 You can continue to follow their blog at (exact date to be determined). Up to six spots are www.caringbridge.org/visit/lssphilippines. available. Contact Beth Opsal for information. Contact Information Programs like the LSS Adoption Ambassadors are Call Beth Opsal, Program Coordinator, at (715) 552-2465 possible through the generous support of churches, or contact any 2010 Adoption Ambassador via email: community groups and individuals. Thank you for Beth Opsal, Eau Claire Beth.Opsal@lsswis.org your support in making this journey of hope a Kim Westfahl, Waukesha Kim.Westfahl@lsswis.org reality, and for helping LSS find forever families Signa Meyers, Oshkosh Signa.Meyers@lsswis.org for these deserving children. Bong and Wendy Jornales, Holland, MI firstname.lastname@example.org www.caringbridge.org/visit/lssphilippines Jennifer Hoggatt, Waukesha email@example.com
Realizing the Promise THANKS TO YOU Behind LSS’ mission statement — Motivated by the compassion of Christ, we help people improve the quality of their lives — is a promise to those we serve, and it’s because of you that this promise is realized. We at LSS are so thankful for the support churches and donors have given over the years. Your contributions have made a real difference in our programs and in the lives of our clients. Here are some examples of how you have helped realize our promise.Home to Homme: Great Granddaughter of Community Founder ReturnsOver 128 years ago, Rev. E.J. Homme founded HommeHomes of Wittenberg, Wisconsin. Rev. Homme’s greatgranddaughter, Madeline Homme Phipps and her husbandKen recently visited Wittenberg and on one of their manystops toured the LSS Homme Youth & Family campus.During her visit, Madeline shared pictures and articles abouther youth days at Homme. After touring the Homme campus,Madeline and Ken were honored at an open house at theBethany Chapel inside of Homme Homes.“Although E.J. had the dream of establishing the Homes, itis the wonderful generosity and dedication of thousands of Rev. E.J. Hommepeople and churches throughout the 128 years who gave oftheir time, care, love and gifts that have made the HommeHomes the success that they still are,” Madeline said duringher speech at the reception.Homme Youth and Family Programs offer various individual,family and group therapy sessions, alcohol and other drugabuse services, as well as a high school and middle school forat risk youth ages 10-19. In addition, outpatient, assessment,and respite services are available. There are six units (fourfor males and two for females) devoted to youth and all theunits have private bedrooms and house up to 14 residents.Photo top: LSS staff at Homme Youth and Family is pictured below withKen Phipps and Maddi Homme Phipps. Photo bottom: Traditionallystudents who graduate from Homme ring the bell as a symbol of theirdeparture. Maddi Homme Phipps rings the Homme school bell signalingher departure. 8
Back to School Celebration prepares Milwaukee foster children for a new school year Kohl’s volunteers and LSS staff prepared for the back to school event.More than 300 foster kids of all ages In addition, a young man working toward “We couldn’t do this without ourenjoyed getting new back to school his Eagle Scout award, Rex Key, secured volunteers! This event is a true example ofclothes and backpacks full of school food donations and $1,800 in cash. He ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” sayssupplies thanks to the Urban Threads actually raised more than was anticipated Carla Schultz, Urban Threads programclothing distribution center. Foster kids for the food so the remaining dollars coordinator. “We also can’t forget thealso enjoyed breakfast and free haircuts went toward buying additional school many LSS staff who volunteered with usfrom Empire Global Educational School supplies for the kids. In April of 2010, to pull this off.”and other giveaways to help prepare them Rex began his fundraising efforts andfor a new school year in style. exceeded expectations.This is the sixth annual back to school Rex is a member of Mt. Hope Lutheranevent for Urban Threads.This year they Church in West Allis and volunteered athelped even more families thanks to Urban Threads about three years ago. Henew partnerships with Xerox, Cargill, was so touched by what the programWalgreen’s, and Empire Global does he returned to volunteer to earn hisEducational School along with continued community service badge and later took onpartner, Kohl’s Department Store. the fundraiser as his Eagle Scout project. This was the last back to school event at This year, Kohl’s supplied volunteers to the Hawley Road location. In December plan the event, prep for the event, and of 2010, Urban Threads will be moving provided 120 volunteers on the day of the to a new location at 5300 W. Lincoln event. Volunteers helped families shop Avenue in Milwaukee. for clothing and distributed supplies and breakfast throughout the day. Kohl’s A special thanks to New Threads of employees also donated $3,240 toward Hope, Urban Threads’ partner for the buying new clothing for the clothing past six years, for their support in helping center. In addition, when Kohl’s employees the program continue to serve families in volunteer, Urban Threads receives a need. The Milwaukee company links financial grant through Kohl’s Associate manufacturers and their valuable surplus in Action program. with non-profit groups, such as LSS. The clothing center stocks their shelves with Several ELCA churches in the area name-brand clothing, with contributions including St. John’s in Brookfield, Mt. from companies such as Kohl’s, Lands’ Eagle Scout Hope in West Allis, Lutheran Memorial End, Columbia Sportswear, and Scheels Rex Key in West Allis and Ascension Lutheran in Sporting Goods. In fact, Urban Threads Milwaukee provided volunteers to help is one of the only centers of its kind in Urban Threads staff get ready for and Wisconsin that offers brand new clothing hold the event. for those in need.9
Realizing the Promise — THANKS TO YOU LSS Program of the Year Award Criteria One LSS program is recognized in each line of service using the following criteria: • Exceptional performance • Management and application of the core values of collaboration, accountability and transparency in their work • Managing their resources in an ever-changing human services environment • Seeking opportunities for growth • Strengthening their program • Appreciation and development of staff • Exceptional implementation of plans that significantly move forward the mission, vision and strategic goals of LSS Congratulations to Voices for Youth — 2010 LSS Program of the Year! Each line of service nominates a program, and one program is selected from the list of nominees as the program of the year. 2010 LSS Program of the Year: Voices for YouthHomeless Lutheran Social Services (LSS) recently named From April 2009 thru March 2010, more than 150Awareness Week Voices for Youth (VFY) the 2010 Program of the young adults received support services through the Year for service excellence. VFY program. Services included life skills training,2010 is from employment assistance and educational programmingNovember 14-20, “This Program of the Year Award is representative to assist them in securing permanent housing and2010 — but don’t of the hard work and dedication of our employees, attaining their independence. In addition, 14 volunteers, donors, and other social service agencies homeless young adults ages 18-21 lived in VFY’slet that stop you we work closely with,” says Jenna Martin, VFY transitional housing and supportive services center.from raising program supervisor. “They are very special peopleawareness all who share in a vision of improving lives. They VFY offers services 24-hours a-day, seven days a provide much-needed services for our participants week and tailors services to fit individual needs. Theyear long! to be taught under a guiding eye so wounds can heal program’s services are designed to meet the basic in a safe environment.” needs of homeless youth, while at the same time offering support services that allow youth to reunite The Voices for Youth program has been offering with their family or make a successful transition to services to runaway and homeless youth in the independence. Services are available free of charge Upper Peninsula of Michigan for over 15 years. In for youth ages 10 to 21. The program serves youth 2009, the program added program services in three in Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, Menominee, new counties and doubled its capacity to serve and Schoolcraft counties in Michigan. youth in Upper Michigan. The program thrives through its partnerships with local businesses, “It’s simple. Everyone needs love and positive churches and community members. forces in their life, people to cheer us on, and give us a second or third chance, or however many it According to the Michigan Coalition Against takes, and to know that there are people who will not Homelessness: There are 86,189 homeless people give up on them no matter what the circumstances,” living in Michigan, and one in three of them is a Jenna concludes. child. Thirty-seven percent of single persons homeless in 2008 were homeless for the first time. VFY staff and friends celebrated the honor during a luncheon on September 8, 2010 at Messiah Homelessness does not discriminate against age, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Marquette, race, gender, or social standing. Homeless people Michigan. Program partners and supporters from can live in a big or small town, come from a rich or churches, local businesses, social service agencies, poor upbringing. Due to family problems, economic and other LSS programs attended the event to honor problems, and/or residential instability, many young Voices for Youth staff for their service and dedication. people become homeless at an early age. 10
Thrivent Choice Dollars ProgramThrivent Financial for Lutherans has a new charitable grant program called Thrivent Choice Dollars. If you are eligible to participate,you should have received a letter in July or August detailing how the program works and your estimated 2010 Choice Dollars.Please consider directing your Thrivent Choice Dollars to Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Keep in mind thatthere may be more than one eligible member in your household and each person needs to specifically direct their own Choice Dollars.This is what you need to do in order to participate. By Phone: Online: Step 1 Call 1-800-847-4836 and say, “Thrivent Choice.” Step 1 Visit www.Thrivent.com/choicedollars. If you have Follow the prompt and you will reach a “live” not already registered in Thrivent’s Lutherans Thrivent representative who will assist you. Online, you will need to register and set up a user Step 2 Be sure to specify that you want to designate name and password. “Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Step 2 Search for “Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin” to receive your and Upper Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” Choice Dollars. Step 3 Select the option to direct your Choice Dollars now. Step 3 Consider setting up the recurring option, so that Step 4 Consider setting up the recurring option, so that Thrivent will automatically forward your Choice Thrivent will automatically forward your Choice Dollars to us without any further action. Dollars to us without any further action.Thank you for supporting Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan through Thrivent Choice Dollars. Your gifts helpour mission: Motivated by the compassion of Christ, we help people improve the quality of their lives.11
Houser Adoption Scholarship Fund:Helping Wisconsin FamiliesAdopt Children from RussiaRon and Elisa Houser adopted their daughter, Katarina, in 2001 fromNovosibirsk, Russia through LSS’ adoption program. Although the couple hadchildren of their own, after hearing their friend talk about the challengesorphaned children face in Russia, the Housers knew that adoption was a journeythey were destined to take.Since then the Housers have been passionate about helping other children andfamilies who need assistance financing their own adoptions. “We discoveredthere are a lot of families who want to adopt but can’t afford it,” says ElisaHouser. “The average Russian adoption now costs about $45,000. We wanted todo something to help families in need.” The Housers sponsored two summercamps that brought older kids from Russia to Wisconsin for two weeks, resultingin all of the children finding an adoptive family.From there the Houser Adoption Scholarship Fund was born in 2009. Thescholarship provides financial assistance to families looking to adopt throughLSS’ adoption program. The Houser Family Foundation funds the scholarshipprogram and in the short time since its inception has provided scholarships tofive families.“At LSS our mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives and our visionis to change the world one grace-filled life at a time. There is no better exampleof mission and vision in action than when the Houser family stepped forward toassist in creating forever families by connecting children and orphanages withwaiting parents here in Wisconsin,” says David Larson, LSS President & CEO.“To watch the eyes and smiling faces of both children and families as they areunited is one of the greatest gifts. We are ever thankful to the Housers forenabling this kind of wonderful event to take place — for without their generosityit could not have happened.”LSS honored Ron and Elisa Houser and recipients of the scholarship fund at areception on Tuesday, August 24, 2010. The reception was held at AdventLutheran Madison Christian Community in Madison, Wisconsin. During thereception, the Housers met four of the five families that were recipients of thescholarship fund.“What a wonderful experience it was to meet the families we’ve heard so muchabout,” says Elisa. “It’s amazing to see kids who were in an orphanage fourmonths ago and to see them now happy and smiling. The stories are heartbreakingand the parents are so grateful and appreciative. It was an emotional experienceand a really wonderful opportunity to help other families adopt.”The Housers’ daughter, Katarina, is now 9-1/2 years old. “If you can change thelife of one child you can really make a difference,” says Elisa. “Katarina haschanged our lives. We want our daughter to be involved in helping other childrenbe as fortunate too, by continuing to involve her with the scholarship program.”Learn more at www.lssadopt.org.Photos top: Matthew Koehler, one the children who found his forever family thanks to theHouser Adoption Scholarship Fund. Middle: Ron and Elisa Houser pictured with their daughter,Katarina (far right) and two of the children who found families. Bottom: Marlee Mattes &Katarina Houser. 12
Introducing the LSS Torchbearers Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Levels of Recognition: Upper Michigan recently introduced the LSS Fuel the Flame – $1,000 - $2,499 - Fuel is essential to Torchbearers program, creating community around have a flame. This level of giving honors those whose like-minded leaders committed to impacting the lives unselfish and generous total annual giving provides the of those served through LSS. broad base of annual, ongoing, sustainable support required to keep LSS strong. The concept behind the LSS Torchbearers is inspired by the LSS flame. Behind the LSS flame is a promise Light the Flame – $2,500 - $4,999 - A source of — a promise to those we serve, a light of hope. ignition brings the flame into being. This level of Members of the LSS Torchbearers help to ignite the giving honors those whose unselfish and generous promise behind that flame. LSS Torchbearers are total annual giving provides gifts of $20.00 to dedicated to providing ongoing, renewable, sustainable $40.00 for each of the 127 years of LSS history in support that is crucial in helping LSS fulfill its mission Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. and to continue providing the high level of ministry for which LSS is known. By providing annual, Carry the Flame – $5,000 - $7,499 - Carrying the ongoing, sustainable support, the LSS Torchbearers flame forward brings the caring ministry of LSS to help to better position LSS for years to come in those who need it most. This level of giving honors meeting the varied needs of those we serve. those whose unselfish and generous total annual giving provides gifts of $40.00 to $60.00 for each of the 127 Any cumulative gift of $1,000 or greater within a given years of LSS history in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. calendar year qualifies a donor to be recognized as an LSS Torchbearer. Membership provides recognition of Lift the Flame – $7,500 - $9,999 - The flame gives each Torchbearer’s dedicated efforts to assist in keeping greater light to many more people when it is lifted up. the LSS mission and organization strong. This level honors those whose unselfish and generous total annual giving provides gifts in the range of The Board of Directors of the LSS Foundation cordially $60.00 to $80.00 for each of the 127 years of LSS invites you to become an LSS Torchbearer. Those who history in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. join LSS Torchbearers between now and May 2011 will be recognized as Charter Members. President’s Council of the Flame – $10,000+ - Honors those whose unselfish and generous annual support provides leadership required to motivate giving at all levels and to assure staff, volunteers and particularly the people being served through the ministry of LSS that the promise behind the LSS flame is real. Members of the President’s Council of the Flame will be invited to gather for personal time with the President and CEO. To learn more about Torchbearers please contact an LSS representative: Meg Groves firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 444-4809 Jay Peterson email@example.com or (715) 552-2435 Sandy Potts firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 730-132513
HUNGER GARDENYouth Community Garden Helping FeedHomeless Youth in Marquette, MichiganAs the fall leaves blossom, the Marquette Hunger Through weekly lessons, field trips, and hands-on guidanceGarden’s 2010 harvesting season concludes. What began Gisele Duehring, hunger garden project coordinator, helpsas a small Sunday school project for students at Messiah participants reap the most benefits from the garden.Lutheran church has now grown because of a unique Residents of the Voices for Youth (VFY) program andnetwork with several community organizations. The NMU students gathered every other week with Gisele for aLutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) of Northern Michigan life skills group. During the sessions, they examinedUniversity (NMU) and Lutheran Social Services’ (LSS) Simply in Season —a resource guide, which connectsVoices for Youth program joined forces to get this garden food and faith while exploring the value of eating local,off the ground. seasonal food.A $1,000 grant from the Hunger Awareness Education “It raises our awareness of the people and steps involvedfund of the ELCA subsidized the garden project this year, in growing, processing, and delivering our food to us. Wevehelping it grow past its roots from a hunger garden into a discussed hunger —both undernourishment and over-garden of knowledge. nourishment. Weve thought aloud about sustainability and impacts of consuming locally produced foods, as wellThe planting season embarked in April when volunteers as consuming seasonal produce, which raise awareness ofbegan weeding and seeding. The prospect of growing: local and global hunger, nutrition, and food,” says Giselesnow peas, tomatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, peppers, in her online blog about the garden project.beans, Swiss chard, squash, potatoes, cucumbers, andonions, was ambitious, but promising. Participants also enjoyed harvesting, cooking, and visiting local farmers’ markets. The weeding and waiting wasIn May, Pastor Jim Duehring from Prince of Peace discouraging at first, but their patience rewarded them inLutheran Church blessed the garden. late August, when participants, at last, were able to delight in the variety of vegetables from the garden. “They feel purposeful out in the garden; they know they don’t need a huge car, or a huge budget…just time. Although volunteers come and go, to know no matter if they come once for weeding, or once for a lesson, they go away learning a skill, learning something more than what they came with,” Gisele says is the most important lesson she’s learned from this project. In August and September, the Voices for Youth staff stocked their food pantry with the garden’s fresh produce and distributed it to the homeless youth they serve. “The gardening lessons have given community volunteers the opportunity to assist VFY participants in, not only learning how to grow their own food and develop a more healthy, inexpensive diet, our clients are also developing self-confidence and a sense of being a positive part of the 14
GROWING PAST ITS ROOTS greater Marquette community, says Jenna Martin, Voices Services are available free of charge for youth ages 10 to for Youth Supervisor. Through involvement in the upkeep 21. Services offered 24-hours a-day, seven days a week of the Hunger Garden, volunteers and participants learn and tailored to fit individual needs. Programs serve youth the value of working together. The fruits of their labor will in Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, Menominee, and be well earned nourishment to the participants, Schoolcraft counties in Michigan. The Marquette Hunger volunteers, and the members of the community overall.” Garden is one of three gardens the VFY clients are tending to with the help of community partners. Stay tuned for Now that the harvesting season has ended, plans for the future stories on the two other gardens. following season have begun. The group hopes to extend the garden and prepare it for winter in the upcoming months. Group photo of participants (l-r): Michael Martin (LSS Community Service Specialist), Jen Geller (G.E.D Groups Facilitator), Anne A snapshot of the project is available online. Gisele Rieboldt (Case Manager), Pastor Dave VanKley (Messiah Lutheran blogs regularly about the group’s adventures and she posts Church & LSS Board), Kyle Aho (Volunteer-Hunger Garden), Sarah Harriger (Volunteer-Hunger pictures on the site as well. You can follow the blog at Garden), Gisele Duehring (Leader-Hunger http://marquettehungergarden.blogspot.com. Garden), Jenna Martin (Voices for Youth Program Manager), Cassie Voices for Youth offers services designed to meet the basic Lewis (Voices for Youth Participant), needs of homeless youth, while at the same time offering Desiree Aho (Voices for Youth support services that allow youth to reunite with their fam- Participant), Pastor Jim Duehring ily or make a successful transition to independence. (Prince of Peace Lutheran Church)15
NON PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT #2484647 W. Virginia Street, Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204 MILWAUKEE, WI LSS to Create Area Leadership Teams, Comprised of Community Leaders In an effort to bring together community leaders committed to advancing the mission of Lutheran Social Services (LSS), the Development Committee of the LSS Foundation Board of Directors has authorized the creation of Area Leadership Teams (ALT). The teams will be demographically organized in regions across the Area Leadership Teams two state area. will help advance the LSS Mission: Motivated The Area Leadership Teams will: by the compassion of • Engage a cross-section of community leaders with a heart for the social Christ, we help people ministry of LSS and to inform and keep members knowledgeable of both the improve the quality of successes and challenges of advancing the LSS mission. their lives. • Engage community leaders in the visioning and planning processes of LSS, and to provide a forum to seek the guidance and counsel of the ALT members. • Enroll local community leaders in LSS’ mission and vision in their communities. • Assist in identifying volunteer opportunities, encouraging community leaders to become familiar with local and statewide programs and to serve as ambassadors for LSS. • Identify and develop a pool of prospective Board members for LSS and the LSS Foundation.