The food desert in Kenosha’s Uptown neighborhood soon will be, with God’s guidance and the support of our network of partners, a little bit less dry and empty.
The Grace Welcome Center is expanding its services starting May 21 by opening a food pantry to fill a need in an underserved area of our community, a community we all are part of and have a stake in. The pantry will be open once a week on Tuesday afternoons/evenings.
To make this effort as successful and as strong as it can be, as it needs to be, we need the help of all our partners. We are holding a partnership summit from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 30 at the Welcome Center in the lower level of Grace Lutheran Church, 2006 60th Street
The partnership summit will include a tour of the food pantry area.
We look forward to seeing you April 30. If you have any questions prior to that night, please contact a member of the food pantry steering committee (Grace Welcome Center Pantry Director Denise Russell firstname.lastname@example.org, Grace Welcome Center Director Leif Peterson Leif.Peterson@hotmail.com, Rev. Jim Lynch email@example.com, and Rev. Jonathan Barker firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your support is appreciated more than you can ever know – by the staff and volunteers of the center and by the hundreds of guests it has served during the past two-plus years.
Denise Russell has stepped up as the new Director of Grace Welcome Center Food Pantry. Denise first came to Grace Welcome Center in the summer of 2017 after hearing Bob Waldron make an announcement that we needed volunteers from their church Bradford UU. She was planning on coming by to help once but instantly became an integral part of our Grace Welcome Center family. She started organizing our shower program, then organized our small emergency food room, and then took on organizing our volunteers. Denise has an amazing ability to see light and potential in everyone who walks in our doors. Not only is Denise an amazing leader but she has been a dear friend to so many in our Grace Welcome Center Family.
In addition to her work at Grace Welcome Center Denise is the Owner/Operator of Advance Commercial Cleaning. Denise has three incredible young adult children, Darren, Ryan, and Caroline.
We are so grateful Denise stepped up to be our Pantry Director--she has the right spirit, she has the right leadership skills, she has the right management skills, and so much more. It is a joy to get to work with Denise in this role and we know our volunteers will be lifted up serving with her. We are looking for more people who will be part of the team that launches our pantry with Denise. If being part of the team that launches this pantry stirs something in your heart please email Denise at: email@example.com
Rationale: Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Grace has heard that call throughout the decades and tried to live that out. Right now our outreach efforts focus around providing the necessities of life, quilts (Dorcas Quilters), diapers (Infant Moses), and food (Grace Welcome Center). When it comes to providing food we know the following:
a. Our 5-year-old neighbor Naomi used to raid her grandma's pantry to bring food out to the hungry children;
b. Pick ‘n’ Save and Piggly Wiggly Fresh Market both closed;
c. The Emergency Hotel Voucher we advocated for and additional federal grants are working to get people off the streets but landing them in hunger;
d. As people get jobs they can no longer access Grace Welcome Center breakfast;
e. Hungry children and families are not getting what they need because of schedules;
f. We get walk in request and calls each week for emergency food;
g. Grace is located in a food desert. Therefore we feel called that our next step is to launch an intentional food pantry.
Staffing: It is our great privilege to announce Denise Russell as Program Director of Grace Welcome Center Pantry. This is a paid position for one day a week. Denise brings two years of experience supervising volunteers and food storage room at Grace Welcome Center and the experience of being owner operator of Advanced Commercial Cleaning.
Financials: Grace Welcome Center and Grace Welcome Center Pantry will share a bank account and fundraising efforts. GWCP would like to make a $50 contribution to Grace Lutheran for the first six months and then increase that after six months.
Operations: Grace Welcome Center Pantry will be open Tuesday afternoon. Tentatively, food would be delivered and unpacked from 3:00 to 5:00 and pantry would be open 5:00 to 7:00. The pantry would be housed in the room formerly called the youth room. Food would come from Shalom Food pantry and possibly through government programs. Marv and Mary Modder from St. Johns have offered to drive their truck to pick up food.
Community Partners: Mayor John Antaramian, Shalom Center, St. John’s and Holy Nativity, Bradford HS student government class, St. Joe's students and many more to come.
Come celebrate the Grace Welcome Center's second anniversary this Thursday and Friday!
Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 (after the regular breakfast), please join Pastor Jonathan, Leif, Denise, Patsy, Jean, and the rest of our staff and guests to celebrate these amazing two years and all that is to come.
Friday morning, we've got free dance lessons going on at Grace Welcome Center. Violet (a UW-Parkside student) and Karen will teach cumbia (a traditional Colombian folk rhythm) and belly-dancing, beginning at 8:00. This is what makes us the Grace Welcome Center family. Thanks for finding ways to keep connecting us and bringing joy into our community.
Then, bring your newfound dancing skills to Kenosha Fusion, 5014 7th Avenue, where Women in Motion present a Celtic Dance Party fund raiser benefiting the Welcome Center. Enjoy Celtic dance music, appetizers, raffles, and performances by Danielle Webber and Women in Motion. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; there is a $5.00 cover (cash bar). Dress up in Irish/Celtic style if you like!
Join us at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha on January 24 at 6:30 p.m. for the Wisconsin Poor People's Campaign's Presentation and Awards Ceremony as a part of Kindness Week 2019. This event is part of the 23rd Annual Kindness Week organized by the Coalition for Dismantling Racism.
Grace Welcome Center, the Wisconsin Poor People's Campaign and Grace Lutheran Church invite you to join us for this event that will include:
*Opening remarks by Kendra Koeppen Mulwana
*Short video presentation: History of the Poor People's Campaign
*History of the Grace Welcome Center
*Awards to persons who embody the spirit of Dr. King
[Representation from Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, and Madison]
*Special music by Ben Mulwana
Grace Lutheran Church is located at 2006 60th Street, Kenosha. Enter at the 60th Street doors.
Have fun and help Grace Welcome Center at Flints Inn Backyard Bar, 4708 22nd Avenue, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, September 9.
Enjoy musical entertainment by Men In Black. Buy raffle and 50/50 tickets. Domestic beer and rail drinks will be $1.50. Buy a $5 square on the Cubs or Brewers game, including all-you-can-eat hot dogs, peanuts, chips and nachos.
The Center's mission is to strengthen families and rescue children and adults by offering hope, shelter, food, companionship and resources. Grace Welcome Center partners with congregations, community groups, and businesses to strengthen and stabilize Kenosha's Uptown neighborhood.
Looking to donate to the shelter? Donations needed include:
Want to help Grace Welcome Center big time? Here is a list of all possible item or in-kind donations we accept! This list is comprehensive of all the items we may need at some point. For a shorter list of immediate needs, click here. Thank you for supporting us!