WELCA Giving Thanks with Thankofferings and Pennies for Poverty

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. What are you thankful for? How do you show your thankfulness? If your women’s group collects a Thankoffering – “Thank you”.

This has been a tradition of Lutheran women for more than 100 years. This is a way to give thanks for blessings in the ordinary and extraordinary moments in life. Your Thankofferings support the ongoing work of the Women of the ELCA.which includes all women, those who participate in Women of the ELCA in their church, in their synodical board, as well as the staff and the work done at the office in Chicago.

How are your Thankofferings used by Women of the ELCA’s churchwide? Almost half is spent on resources for women, such as the Gather magazine, Gather Bible Study, Café, Bold Connections, Daily Grace, and monthly email newsletter called Bold Connections. There are more free resources on their website at www.womenoftheelca.org for retreats and shorter studies. There is also the new 2017-2018 Thankoffering Service. About 1/6 of their money is used for programs, such as Racial Justice and Advocacy (Today’s Dream, Tomorrow Reality), Cross-Cultural programs, Global Education programs. Donna Peterson and Arnell Jorgensen attended Today’s Dream, Tomorrow Reality training in August 2016.

‘Pennies for Poverty’ is our women’s synod special offering at our Biennial Convention that is given to local social service agencies or projects that benefit women and children who live in poverty. Each year the South Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization Board decides which agencies to give to. At the 2017 South Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization Biennial Convention,

Second Harvest Food Program and UPAVIM received your Pennies for Poverty. Both organizations have received your Pennies for Poverty and additional donations in past years.

Second Harvest Food Program has a number of programs. One program is Mobile Pantries which operates in 14 southwest Wisconsin counties. At mobile pantry sites 70 – 600 families per month receive a minimum of 60 pounds of food. Other Second Harvest Food programs that benefit women and children are Summer Food Service Program, Kids Café program, and Food Share Outreach Program which helps people understand and apply for government food assistance programs.

UPAVIM (United for a Better Life) is a women’s co-operative outside Guatemala City. UPAVIM provides children with education and women with employment. UPAVIM has established a medical clinic and pharmacy, bakery, breast feeding campaign, a children’s growth monitoring program, an alternative elementary school, daycare, and tutoring programs. The UPAVIM women give scholarships for children to attend school and have a healthy lunch. They have an after school program and library for community members to use to learn. They thank you for your support and for purchasing their products and crafts.

BUT poverty does not take a year off in the year without a Biennial Convention. So please keep your Pennies for Poverty collections going year round and each year send them to the synodical Treasurer, Donna Peterson, 4966 State Road 23, Dodgeville, WI 53533. Thank you.