Each Lent for the past few years, I have challenged the members of the congregations to make donations to. This year I’m asking you to do is to give up some of your stuff.
Here are three different worthwhile programs going on near our communities, one within one of our churches. Each of them can use items you may have sitting around your house, getting in your way. I’m asking you to give out of your generosity, but also out of your excess.
Forty Days, Forty Items
Wednesday, March 1 is the first day of Lent. For each of the next 40 days until Easter (don’t count Sundays), take a garbage bag, or a box, and remove an item from your closet or house to put into the bag or box. At the end of Lent, bring the bag or box to Emmanuel for their Spring Free Garage Sale. They will put them out for people who can put your gently used items to good use.
Bigger Items Need A New Home
Two worthwhile ministries have recently opened in our area that we should support.
The Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin has opened Transitions, a new LSS treatment facility for girls who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation or are at high risk for trafficking, is ready to open in a community near us. When girls are trafficked, it creates severe trauma, and victims need specialized treatment to begin to feel safe and in control of their own lives.
Transitions provides a supportive and therapeutic environment, helping girls work through their past trauma, build self-esteem, and learn how to function in daily life. Support from congregations helps provide this intensive, trauma-informed treatment.
For more information, visit www.lsswis.org/transitions; there, you can view a video in which a young victim of trafficking explains how LSS has helped her to recover and have hope for the future.
In Loyal, through the work of the Catholic Churches and other organizations, the House of Mercy has opened to provide a shelter for those in our communities who are experiencing homelessness.
Beyond just a place to stay, the House of Mercy works with a variety of social service organizations to help the families to be able to live independently.
Because both Transitions and the House of Mercy are new ventures, they still need a number of items, some of them being large in nature. As you fill your bag with Forty Items in Forty Days, you may see some other things you wouldn’t mind donating that won’t fit in your bag or box. Here is a list of items requested by either Transitions or House of Mercy.
I’m not sure how to get the items from your homes to the facilities, but I will put my faith in God and those of you with trucks and flatbeds.
Additionally, we will put out the blue water jugs to collect your Noisy Offerings during Lent, and the proceeds will be split between Transitions and the House of Mercy.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
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