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Putting Thanksgiving into Practice

This week Bishop Jeff Lee encourages us to put our thanksgiving into practice by supporting the work of our diocesan, community, and Episcopal charitable organizations. Throughout the week, we will be highlighting some charities that are doing good work in the world.

By giving to others, we demonstrate that "we are participants in God's project in loving the world back to its truest self."

Episcopal Relief & Development

Why I give... Episcopal Relief & Development touches people's lives in so many different ways. Two programs I've worked with or supported are the U.S. Disaster Program and Gifts for Life. The U.S. Disaster Program provides on-scene relief and preparedness training for natural and manmade disasters in the United States. Gifts for Life can be buying a farm animal for a needy family, providing prenatal care for a woman who would otherwise go without, and many other gifts that are detailed in the Gifts for Life catalog. Buying in someone else's name can make a great Christmas gift for a person who is hard to buy for. I'm happy to support these programs because they make a real difference in people's lives and help them to help themselves. ~Bob Heindl, member of St. Luke's, Milwaukee (Bay View)

To donate to Episcopal Relief & Development: 

(Note: gifts given through the end of the year will be matched up to $650,000!)

Hospitality Center in Racine, Wisconsin

Why I give ... My first encounter with the Hospitality Center was through my friend, Bert Mendoza, who was a dedicated volunteer at the center and brought the mission information to our congregation at St. John the Divine. I rode with him a couple of times to bring items to the church and found welcoming volunteers and staff who happily gave us a tour and talked about their vision. Before the pandemic, Fr. Seth Raymond visited our church a couple of times to talk about the mission and need.

When Pat Hoffman and I deliver our church members' items we don't get far from the car, struggling to carry heavy cartons when a young client or two would greet us, take the heavy items and help us get into the church. The smiles, warm greetings and thanks from all of the clients are in my heart and to know I can help by sharing what I have makes ME happy. ~ Connie Herrick, member of St. John the Divine, Burlington

Why I give ... A number of years ago, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Burlington became involved with supporting the Hospitality Center in Racine. We were really led there by Bert Mendoza, a parishioner who volunteered at the center. Bert shared the need and the gratitude that met our gifts and invited many of us to visit the Hospitality Center. Those visits along with the visits to St John’s by Kevin Stuart led me to a commitment to the mission of the center. The Hospitality Center is a place where everyone is treated with dignity and where the needs are deep and personal and often at the level of survival. Having said that, when I go there I meet regular people who are caught in a broken season of their lives but who still share generously of their humanity with a grace that does passeth all understanding. My connection is limited and my visits usually involve delivering donations from our church, but the spirit of the work being done and the people served is strong. ~Pat Hoffman, member of St. John the Divine, Burlington

To donate to the Hospitality Center:

Companion Diocese of newala


Diocese of Newala (our companion diocese)

Why I give... There are some topics that come to mind as to why I continue to be involved with Masasi/Newala...

Education: Many children now get a primary education; more are getting to secondary school. In the Rural Medical Aids School I taught in, one lad stole his position. When discovered he drew a two-year prison sentence. Education is valued!

Medical needs: Malnourished kids, handicapped individuals with thick callouses from “walking” on hands and knees, the blind being schooled, and a host of medical patients getting help.

And of course the strength and courage of the average citizen.

How could I do less when more is needed?

~Neil Radtke, member of All Saints' Cathedral, Milwaukee

You can learn more about the projects in the Diocese of Newala here.

To give to Newala: Donations can be given online on our website ( Once at the site, click on the red “Giving” button and you will be directed to a page where you will select Newala as the fund you are donating to.

Haiti Project

Why I give ... I give to the Haiti Project because I understand it. Most people I know want to help people in severe distress in poor countries we don’t really know much about. Usually that means writing a check to a large international charity and hoping for the best. I do that, too. But the Haiti Project is small and supports an actual Episcopal school that has been up and running for decades. People in our diocese know people in their diocese, and we can trust we are helping children get sone education which gives them a chance to navigate the difficult circumstances of Haiti. ~ Lucy Cooper, member of St. Mark's, Milwaukee

To donate to the Haiti Project:

Donations may be given through our website ( Once at the site, click on the red “Giving” button and you will be directed to a page where you will select the Haiti Project as the fund you are donating to.