"If you can't feed a hundred people. Then feed just one." -Mother Teresa
Thank you to everyone who helped make our Match Made In Heaven Campaign a success!
Our Journey to Find a Permanent Home
Our journey to find a new home over the last year has been one of many challenges, ups and downs, and the realization that we were going to become a “homeless” nonprofit. We had been comfortably housed at Trinity Lutheran Church for sixteen years on a small budget. The church was being sold and we had to move out. Where does a small nonprofit on a small budget go? The obvious answer was to find another church in the downtown area. We knocked on many church doors in Appleton. The doors were opened only to be closed when it was realized that our 8’ x 12’ walk-in freezer couldn’t fit, the kitchen/dining room was too small, the church kitchen wasn’t up to code or the church kitchen was being used during the time we needed it. Our search was extensive.
In November we realized that we would be leaving our home at Trinity without a permanent home to go to. In reality we had become “homeless”; ironically like some of our guests. The Salvation Army was generous and allowed us to operate out of their facility temporarily. However we faced some challenges. We no longer had our walk-in freezer to store food donations and the kitchen wasn’t available until 2 p.m. to start cooking for over 100 guests. Many of our things had to go into storage at another location.
By a chance meeting and conversation, we learned that the St. Therese parish had an activity center at the old school that was not being used on a regular basis. Soon another door opened and this time the door didn’t close. It would require investing money to bring the facility up to code, that includes updating the kitchen and putting in handicap access, but it met everything on our checklist. The large dining hall that seats 435 people would give us room to grow.
Upon learning that the facility would require updates to bring it up to code, Mary Beth Nienhaus quickly came forward with a $50,000 matching gift opportunity to help with the renovations and it became a “match made in heaven”. We are so very thankful for Mary Beth’s generosity, the support of St. Therese parish, and for all the wonderful people in our community who help our organization provide free meals to those in need. Together we can make our new home at St. Therese a reality. -Shannon Krahn, Executive Director
“I have been impressed by the great work Loaves & Fishes does to provide a meal with a safe and welcoming venue for so many people. My involvement with this faith filled, Christian organization has been enjoyable. It has always been my passion and vision to help others improve their quality of life. By doing this, we are clearly the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. I am delighted to share my resources and I encourage others to do the same.” –Mary Beth Nienhaus
“St. Therese is happy to welcome Loaves & Fishes. I can think of no better use for this space than to give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty. It is our prayer that those involved with Loaves & Fishes will quickly feel at home here, and that by their presence, our parish family will be inspired by the beautiful work they do. Together, may we better serve the needs of our community, and reflect the love of Christ to all we meet.” –Father Ryan Starks, St. Therese Parish
“At St. Therese, we are happy to partner with Loaves & Fishes to help address hunger in the Fox Cities area. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. This is exactly what Loaves & Fishes does. It is a perfect match for our mission as a Catholic parish. We look forward to a long lasting partnership.” –Deacon Tony Abts, St. Therese Parish
Truly this is a match made in heaven – a collaboration of Loaves & Fishes, St. Therese parish, Mary Beth Nienhaus and you! From now until June 1st, Mary Beth will match every dollar raised up to $50,000. Our Match Made in Heaven campaign deadline is June 1, 2017. With your help we can renovate our new home and continue to feed those in need! Financial donations may be mailed to Loaves & Fishes of the Fox Valley, P.O. Box 1562 Appleton WI 54912-1562 or processed here on our website. Just click on the “Donate” button below.