WELS assessment team in Baton Rouge
A WELS assessment team has arrived in Baton Rouge, La., to meet with local WELS congregations to determine the needs of its members and how best to utilize the donations and volunteers that have come through WELS Kingdom Workers.
The assessment team consisting of WELS President Karl Gurgel, Media Communications Director Steve Zambo, WELS Kingdom Workers administrator Pastor Richard Warnecke, Pastor Phil Schuppman from WELS Committee on Relief, and Builders for Christ volunteer Ed Nelson, will be in Louisiana through Thursday and will be reporting their findings through daily Imprint blogs on the WELS Web site. Due to the unknown communication conditions of the area, most of the blog postings will be available in audio (Mp3) format and can be downloaded to your computer or portable listening device.
In addition to the assessment team, WELS schools are currently working to do what they can to help survivors of the hurricane. Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wis., is currently working with the Red Cross to provide WLC students as tutors and homework assistants to children who will be housed at Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wis., has been working with the Red Cross to offer temporary housing for families left homeless by hurricane Katrina. Four to six families are able to be housed at LPS should the need arise. LPS President Mark Schroeder also reports, “LPS has also been in contact with our WELS pastors in the south. We have offered to enroll any high school age student who is now unable to attend school because of the devastation in the south. We understand that families left displaced by the hurricane may not want to send a child away to school at such a time, but we wanted to make the offer for those who might need such an option.”
Manitowoc Lutheran High School in Manitowoc, Wis., is currently offering free tuition, room, and board to any high school aged student affected by the hurricane as well. Principal Dennis Steinbrenner reported that at least ten MLHS families have already offered to open their homes to displaced students and says the school will take as many students as possible.
Continue to visit the WELS Web site, www.wels.net, for the most up-to-date information on the aftermath of Katrina.
What can you do to help?
Donate money for disaster relief to the area. Checks should be made payable to WELS Committee on Relief and sent to WELS, 2929 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee WI 53222. Donations can also be made online at www.wels.net/jumpword/donations. These donations can be made either by credit card or electronic fund transfer. Please select Gift Designation "Committee on Relief." If you are a member of Thrivent, please visit www.thrivent.com to obtain the form for matching gifts or call WELS Ministry of Christian Giving at 800-827-5482 for assistance.
Will Thrivent match gifts donated to the Committee on Relief?
Yes. Through the Individual Member Response, gifts that Thrivent Financial for Lutheran members make to the WELS Committee on Relief will be supplemented $1 for every $2 given, up to $300 per member (e.g., if a member gives $600 to a relief organization, Thrivent Financial will provide that organization with an additional $300.) A Thrivent Financial Hurricane Katrina Response Form must accompany the member’s gift. Go to the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Web site, www.thrivent.com/fraternal/katrina.html, for more information or to download the form.
Where can I get more information?
The homepage of the WELS Web site, www.wels.net, has links to more information.
For further information:
• Questions about volunteering: WELS Kingdom Workers, 1-800-466-9357; email@example.com.
How to Contribute:
If people wish to call and provide their information over the phone you may reach Pastor Roth's staff at 1-800-827-5482 between 8 and 4:30 Central Time.
Committee on Relief
2929 N Mayfair Road
Milwaukee WI 53222