Sacred Places Fall 2011 - Page 7

As their 2011 Lenten mission project, members of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI, prepared meals for Haitians affected by the 2010 earthquake. Over the course of several Sundays, the church cooked and shipped 25,000 meals to the recovering country. Photo courtesy of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church. community, provided by a parish nurse and pastoral care staff member. SDC Head Start – housed on Capitol Drive’s premises, this is a federally funded early childhood education program operated by the City of Milwaukee’s Social Development Commission. In addition to providing education to low-income children aged three to five, Head Start also provides daily meals, health screenings, and access to other social services. Sherman Park Gathering Place – a social, educational, and spiritual program for older adults that meets twice a week in an accessible church community room. The Gathering Place offers health resources in conjunction with the health ministry and provides access to a computer lab for skills training. TenderCare Child Care – a daycare program that serves over 160 children ages six to twelve. In addition to offering after-school and summer programming, TenderCare has also partnered with a local public school to provide enrichment programs and homework assistance. Third World Handcrafts Shoppe – a market for fair trade products, supporting artisans in the developing world. It showcases developing countries’ economic progress and increases awareness of social, economic, and political issues around the globe. In total, these programs were valued at $184,209 per year – far exceeding the national average of $144,000. The Capitol Drive team had originally assumed that charitable foundations would constitute the bulk of their external funding. In reality, it discovered that most of the funds raised came from individuals. Efforts to reach out to former members or their geographically distant children were especially fruitful. At the same time, organizations and businesses were targeted as important sources of funds. Capitol Drive also acted to increase its visibility and develop it as an asset to the community. With a sanctuary that can hold 600 people, the church is an ideal location for concerts, so it hosted a well-attended volunteer performance of Handel’s Messiah, one out of a yearly series in Milwaukee every December. Using the impressive case statement developed as part of the New Dollars training, Capitol Drive secured over $45,000 in grants specifically for low-income outreach programs. With their horizons expanded beyond their immediate membership, church leaders were able to generate enough money to support large-scale projects like window and roof replacement. As a result of its New Dollars experience, the leadership of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church is creatively thinking about new ways to further integrate the church into its landscape and enhance its public image as an asset to the community. Innovative outreach efforts have attracted capital and support, providing the congregation with the resources it needs to meet the challenge of preserving its historic building and continue serving the wider Milwaukee community. Sacred Places • Fall 2011 • 6