Newman Grove

Churches receive grant, start Community Caring Hearts

In November of 2012, Salem, Shell Creek, and Zion Lutheran Churches of Newman Grove submitted an application for an “Economic Bridge Grant,” which was the beginning of a process that would soon generate what is now the Caring Hearts Campaign.
Board member Connie Rankin, said they felt their chances to receive this grant were next to none, but they were encouraged by Thrivent to pursue it.
On Dec. 17, they were notified that they were recipients of a $5,000 grant, with an additional $5,000 challenge grant (with Thrivent matching at 50 cents on the dollar up to an additional $5,000).
“That meant we had to raise $10,000 in less than three months,” Rankin said. “With the holidays approaching, things were put on hold until after the New Year. We then began to solicit donations from businesses in our trade area. We also had good response from individuals.”
By the end of March they had raised over $10,000 for a total of $20,000 to begin this new venture.
Pastor Becky Beckmann and Connie presented this to the church council and it was decided it needed to keep this separate from the regular church funds, thus the beginning of the Newman Grove Community Caring Hearts.
An advisory board was then organized.
Members include Pastor Becky and Connie and three at large members–Pastor Theta Dame, Pastor John Kinningham, and Jane Johnson. Current board members are Pastor Becky, Connie, and Rose Wissenburg.
“The original grant was specified for meeting the needs of food, clothing and shelter,” Rankin said. “Over the years, we have helped numerous families with utility and medical needs. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, we work in conjunction with our local food pantry to help provide food for their holiday meals. Each year we also sponsor a ‘Coats for Kids’ project at Christmas time.”
Rankin said they have been blessed with generous personal donations from time to time and twice they have been recipients of funds through Valero’s Benefit for Children.
“Our current project is the matching funds challenge to help victims of the recent flooding in Newman Grove,” Rankin said.