Spring 2016 - Evangelical Child and Family Agency
s the Winter 2016 issue went to print, we found out that there
was a West Allis zoning problem at the spacious Hwy 100
location we were so excited to lease. After many constructive
conversations with aldermen, the planning, development, and zoning
committees, and Mayor Dan Devine, it became evident that God
allowed this door to remain closed.
In another part of the city at 91st & Oklahoma, our current landlords
Mark and Greg from Almost Anything 2 (AA2) were willing to
continue renting at the same amount and extend our lease until
July 2017, so that we remain their tenants. It’s good news for the
neighborhood, the donors, and the ministry because all proceeds will
continue to support the moms, dads, children, babies, and preborn
served by the Pregnancy Support Services Program.
In the interim, major sales at the original Almost Anything on 76th
& Beloit have pleased the many shoppers until closure on April 23rd
with the final clean up taking place until April 30th. All remaining
clothing and household items were shared with other ministries.
We could not have closed the store without our two long term staff,
Karen Thoen and Laurie Kornowski, their faithful team of
23 volunteers, and the clean-up moving crew: Jerry, Bob, Clarence,
Jeff, Joe, and Rog.
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered, shopped, dropped off
items, and prayed for us these past 30 plus years and to Anita Wonder
and Dianne Marek for beginning this venture with one rummage
followed by another and another. Their heartfelt dedication remains
in the DNA of this vital portion of ECFA’s ministry.
Please visit us at our 91st & Oklahoma location with plenty of
parking and easy back door access for donating your saleable almost
Bike & Hike
n Wisconsin, it HAS been an interesting Spring with
uncertainty of what would fall from the sky and how
many inches, followed by a few glorious summery days.
Consequently, the registration numbers have been slightly
erratic. We are hoping you WILL join us this year on May 14,
2016, between 9:00 a.m-1:00 p.m., in Waukesha. Why not be
one of the 300 participants: individuals, couples, as a family,
team, church group, or even workplace staff for some LIFE
changing limbering along the scenic paved Glacial Drumlin
Trail? Each dollar donated will be matched up to $10,000 by a
generous anonymous couple. All funds raised support moms,
dads, children, babies, and the preborn with life-valuing options
through our Pregnancy Support Services Program.
This year’s 30th Annual Bike & Hike t-shirt design winner
is Becca Bogdanovich. Our 2nd place contributor is Bob
Wickland. Our finalists made it a difficult choice. (Both designs
are featured on Page Two).
Becca works full-time as a Graphic
Designer at MorganMyers, a
communications firm in Waukesha that
works with agricultural and animal
health. Becca has always enjoyed
working with animals, so her position
is a perfect fit to combine her love for
design and the world of farming and
animal care. While in high school,
Becca created the Bike & Hike t-shirt
design of 2010.
Each Bike & Hike participant and volunteer will receive a
commemorative purple t-shirt, Cousins Subs lunch, music,
future Brewers Buddy game tickets, drawings and more. An
ECFA young author will also be available to sign her books at
the event (See article: Delightful Doodler, Page Two).
Help make our 30th an extra special event through your
participation and enter the $100 drawing for all new
participants. Register today online at: ecfawisc.org or by
calling Sue at 262-789-1881.
By Bob Wickland
UA L B I KE
ALU E OT H E RS
This young author and her family
have a long history with ECFA. Her
father David, had been assigned as
an attorney and Guardian ad Litem
(GAL) for a number of ECFA court
cases when he was single. After
marrying Ellen, they had hoped to
start a family right away. When they
experienced a difficult time, they
contacted ECFA to inquire about
adoption. After a few years, the perfect situation took
place so that Hannah could become part of their forever
family. Hannah has incorporated a number of her own
life experiences and names of some young relatives in
this first book. The Doodles second printing is just in
time for Hannah’s first book signing. She and her mom
will be at this year’s Bike and Hike to share this first of a
series for only $4.50.
By Becca Bogdanovich
eight year old
shared that she
“was kind of bored.
I was trying to save
up (money) for an
I-pod so I thought
of an idea. I could
write a book!”
into her first book entitled: The Doodles. Hannah’s
book, which was written over many months, shares
an exciting adventure about the Doodles family who
reside in Cooksburg, “a ginormous kingdom.” Hannah
shared there were times in the process when, “I was
wondering, will I ever finish it?” She explained that she
kept thinking about it as soon as she awoke each day
and knew how it would end. She writes her story in a
fresh style, not fully edited and even designed the castle
illustration on the front cover.
30th Annual Bike & Hike
T-Shirt Design Finalists
A Delightful Doodler
Please support our GENEROUS & FAITHFUL
30TH ANNUAL BIKE & HIKE SPONSORS
Thank you Hannah for sharing your creative way to
tackle boredom with us!
True to Life is published four times a year by Evangelical Child and Family Agency and can be viewed online at www.ecfawisc.org
Please direct your comments to Linda Oberbrunner: (262) 789-1881. E-mail at: [email protected]
A Place to Sleep
Written by: Alycia Johnson, PSS Birth Parent Social Worker
ave you ever wondered
where your baby will sleep?
Our clients do. In the city of
Milwaukee, infant mortality rates
are higher than 77 other countries
globally1. It is worse than some
third world countries. One of the
reasons for this infant mortality
rate is unsafe sleeping conditions
for babies. Many times at ECFA,
we receive calls from pregnant
women who do not know where
they will have their baby sleep or how to practice safe sleeping. A
couple of months ago, a young woman called crying because she could
not afford to buy anything for her baby to sleep on when it was born.
Our client is one of many in Milwaukee with this problem. Thanks
to a number of community partners, my co-worker, Amy, and I met a
wonderful young woman named Meena Nutbeam. As a high school
student, she founded an organization called Stork & Company of Wisconsin. This was based on a new mom’s program in Finland called the
Baby Box Program that helped combat infant mortality. She believed it
would help combat Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate, too. In Finland,
the government provides mothers with a large cardboard designed box
that is filled with baby supplies and a mattress. Finland now boasts as
having one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.
We immediately knew that partnering with Stork & Company was a
win for our clients. These boxes are much more cost effective than
cribs and pack n’ plays. They will also be great for our homeless clients because they are more portable and do not have to be reassembled
every night. Thanks to a grant that Meena received, the Pregnancy
Support Services program is able to do a pilot program with five baby
boxes at no cost!
Recently, I met with the client who did not know where her little girl
was going to sleep and told her she would be receiving one baby box
for free. Her tears of gratitude were evidence that Stork & Company is
allowing us to provide a special service that is needed by some of our
clients and their new babies.
Information Courtesy of the following resources:
Pitrof Marge, “Milwaukee Retains One of the Nation’s Highest
Infant Mortality Rates,”
(February 21, 2014).
Nutbeam Meena, “About Us” http://storkandcompany.org/about/
Lee Helena, “Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes,”
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415 (June 4, 2013)
***At the March ECFA Board Meeting in Wheaton, Linda, our
Wisconsin Director, brought along one of the boxes to explain the
program and show the members. One Board member was so affected by this concept that he quietly mentioned afterwards his desire
to purchase 20 to be shared with Wisconsin and Illinois clients in
need. This offer is now in process with Meena to implement this
USA pilot program in an additional state.
The Final Journey For
The Pfaltzgraff Finds
ast summer ’15, Wanda
Pruzak donated her huge
collection of prized Pfaltzgraff
dishes and accessories as she
downsized to a smaller place.
Her collection of 240 pieces was
so unique and extensive, truly a
collector’s dream. Initially, our
Silent Auction Committee divided
the collection into four separate groupings for bids at the
Fall Banquet. Since the minimum was not met on any of
the groupings, all were carefully repackaged for a return
trip to the agency. After a few days, an ad was placed on
Craig’s List which reaped a number of responses, some
local and two out-of-state. One woman in particular stood
out among the rest: Linda A. from a rural city in Ohio.
She shared her history with the 1976 Village pattern
that had been a blessing to her family. Her stories were
compelling and rich with emotion so the decision was
made for her to become the new owner and home for the
collection at an agreeable price. However, the logistics
of transporting these would be a definite challenge. An
attempt to test the feasibility of interstate shipping was
tried with four large totes packed and shipped by Greyhound Bus for a hefty price. It was determined this mode
of transportation would not be used again.
This story continued for the next five months until a midpoint meeting took place just before Easter at an Applebee’s in Portage, Indiana. There, the remaining 18 heavy
boxes of items that included fragile stemware, plates,
cups, bowls, serving pieces, a clock, flatware, cutting
board, and more were exchanged from one SUV to another while the friendly restaurant staff observed.
Meeting Linda, her husband Fred, along with Sharon Fuller from the ECFA Advisory Council who accompanied
me on this journey was such an indescribable adventure. Linda and Fred shared how God had miraculously
brought them a beautiful baby daughter through adoption
20 years before. This helped heal the lingering heartache
of losing one of her triplet sons years before. There were
so many connections shared by this couple that only God
could have orchestrated. Their only disappointment was
that there isn’t an ECFA in their vicinity. The delightful
visit ended in the parking lot with the four of us holding
hands in prayer with and for each other praising God
for His unique way of connecting us forever through the
sacrificial timely gift of Wanda.
“Volunteers are not paid –
not because they are worthless,
but because they are priceless!”
n April as the earth seems
to change colors every day
in anticipation of the new
season of life, the nationwide
honoring of volunteers attests
to all those that bring life to
non-profits. It is a reality that
ECFA would have a difficult
time functioning without the
assistance of 168 volunteers.
Some assist weekly and
others once a year. Each
person saves the agency
both time and money so that
ultimately the client benefits.
Many Making History!
At Almost Anything, we are bidding farewell to a few
of our volunteers as the rescheduling and restructuring
process at AA2 begins. Some of these volunteers have
served us for years and others for almost a year. Each
have given their best for all the right reasons to the ministry. Join us as we honor them today with a Volunteer
Years of Service
Kurt Christiansen .......................................................... 11
Rosalie Daniels ............................................................. 13
It is always a joy to have an annual Volunteer Brunch to
honor some of our volunteers. This year 60 individuals called
to RSVP. Pastor Bill Johnson and Pete and Ora Dillenberg
of Beloit Road Baptist Church always provide the warmest
welcome as they generously share and prepare their lovely
hall and kitchen for our
two volunteer events each
year. The Kaale Family
was hired to make their
delicious entrees and
fresh fruit presentation.
Many of the guests made
or brought special treats
to share and Karen and
Tyrone Thoen provided the tasty ham. ECFA’s friend, Judy,
articulately shared a full circle testimony of her family’s
20+ year connection to ECFA that everyone appreciated
hearing. Lively music and songs from Dorrine and Mary got
the guests involved and a volunteer quotes card keepsake,
devotion from Alycia, and prize giveaway rounded out this
special morning. Photographer, Dennis Drinkwine was able
to capture many smiles and moments.
Bonnie Fisher ............................................................... 26
Bill Greguska ................................................................. 1
Lois Jansen ..................................................................... 5
Sandy Kaebisch.............................................................. 3
Joe Kerzich.................................................................... 15
Dottie Kunz ................................................................... 11
Jamie McGhee ............................................................... 6
Gerry Reidy................................................................... 13
Cathy Romeis ................................................................ 15
Jill Szalacinsk................................................................. 3
Tom Weislow ................................................................. 1
We APPLAUD, ACKNOWLEDGE, & APPRECIATE
EACH & EVERYONE!!!
You have completed a variety of tasks during your time
of service which has not gone unnoticed. Our words cannot begin to thank you for your time, talent, and treasure
that you have shared so that the moms, dads, children,
babies and preborn that we have served were impacted
We are so blessed to have the
privilege to honor those that were
able to come. It’s not a surprise
to discover that the newest data
shows Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
ranks third nationwide in
volunteerism! According to data
from the Corporation for National & Community Service,
33.7% of all Milwaukee area residents volunteer, ranking
Milwaukee third among the 51 largest metro service areas in
the U.S. Thank you to ALL ECFA VOLUNTEERS for your
decision to say YES, I WILL VOLUNTEER. You continue
to make a difference for LIFE!
“…Well done, good and faithful servant(s).” Matthew
A SUPER (CHILI)
A NEW HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
Written By Amy Miura, PSS Birthparent Social Worker
tlas Preparatory Academy, located in Milwaukee’s Bay View
neighborhood, invited ECFA staff to speak to their middle school
students about healthy relationships during the month of February. The
PSS team of Amy Miura and Alycia Johnson, created an interactive,
multimedia presentation to engage middle schoolers in seeking healthy
relationships and preventing destructive relationships. According to the
World Health Organization*, school-based programs have been effective
in reducing bullying and assisting youth in recognizing potentially
sexually abusive situations. The PSS team chose to focus on educating
middle schoolers about healthy relationships because of current societal
trends. According to the November 2014 National Institute of Justice
Research in Brief, most teen dating violence programs are implemented
in high school, when teens have already experienced unhealthy dating
relationships. The National Institute of Justice recommends engaging
teens in prevention programs before high school in order to decrease the
risk of teen dating violence before it begins.
n Sunday, March 13, 2016, a gathering of
friends and foodies met to celebrate the
sale of Andersen Plumbing to Roman Electric
with a chili cook-off. This creative idea was the
inspiration of the previous owner, Jim Andersen. He and his wife, Renee, current owners of
ECFA’s partner, Back on the Rack Consignment
Shop thought “this fun event could also raise
some money and awareness of our favorite pro
life, pro baby, pro woman, organization ECFA”
so all attendees were asked to contribute, as
Their friend, Peter Sandroni, the chef and owner
of La Merinda and Engine No. 3 restaurants,
was the judge highly qualified to sample the
eight chili entries.
The results as pictured are: (Right) 2016 Chili
Master, Dr. Jeff Niezgoda, (Left) 2nd place winner, Firefighter Joel Hoberg, and (Center) 3rd
Jim Andersen. Prizes were awarded including
the 1st Place “trophy bowl.” Even though there
won’t be another business sale, this group has
already planned to make this an annual benefit
for ECFA next year.
The PSS team challenged these youth to become aware of behaviors
that may lead to unhealthy relationships as well as choose to behave
in a way that fosters healthy relationships among their peers. Middle
school can be a perplexing time as youth discover new friendship
dynamics. During the classes, the PSS team explored current topics
with the youth, such as social media, societal pressures, cyberbullying,
online safety, and appropriate boundaries.
Our team enjoyed the opportunity to interact
with the students and staff at Atlas Preparatory
and hope to be invited again in the near future.
*World Health Organization/London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Preventing intimate
partner and sexual violence against women: taking
action and generating evidence. Geneva, World
Health Organization, 2010.
National Institute of Justice Research in Brief. Teen Dating Violence: How
Peers Can Affect Risk & Protective Factors. Washington, DC, U.S. Department
of Justice, November 2014.
FINISHING THAT FINAL
RACE IS EVERYTHING!
Our Adoption and PSS Supervisor, Jill Hait,
is excited to become a full-time mom to her
♥ adoptive sons. Consequently, we will have an ♥
opening for a Social Services Supervisor
in our New Berlin office.
A MSW is required for this position.
If interested, please mail to
1617 South 124th New Berlin, WI 53151
or e-mail resume to [email protected]
t 93½ years of age, Gerry Miller completed his “final
race” on April 11, 2016. A beautiful memorial service
took place at Elmbrook in the chapel where friends and
family shared endearing words and the WORD which was
what Gerry loved to share throughout his long life. His
lovely wife Marianne and three adult children and spouses
were blessed by the large number of people in attendance
and personal stories shared with them prior to the service.
Gerry had been an active annual Bike & Hike participant
for over 20 years still riding his bike long distances at age
88 until 2010. In 2007, a handmade quilt was created and
sewn by Gloria Small from many previous Bike & Hike
event t-shirts. It was presented as a surprise during the annual
ECFA fall banquet by Bike & Hike co-chairs Brian and
Nancy Farrell. Marianne had hoped it was his final year of
riding but he, like the Energizer bunny, kept on going for
three more years.
In loving memory of:
Volunteers Jim & Gina Ziller’s father, James Ziller
From: Mike & Linda Oberbrunner
In loving memory of:
A wonderful friend
of many, Gerry Miller
From: Mike & Linda Oberbrunner.
In loving memory of:
A special lady, Janet Davis
From: ECFA Staff
Every June after Bike & Hike, Gerry and Marianne would
come to the agency and bring in pages and pages of
sponsors he had garnered, often for a designated amount of
cents per mile. He would make sure that he collected every
penny after the event so that it could be matched $ for $ to
maximize his efforts. His diligence to participate annually
reaped thousands of dollars to provide services for LIFE to
moms, dads, children, babies, and especially the preborn,
through the years.
In honor of:
The Muza & Iwinski families
From: Betty Muza
In honor of:
Our new grandson
From: Ray & Carol Edwards
In honor of:
ECFA’s work & our two grandchildren adopted
through ECFA, Jesse & Lauryn
From: Mike & Judy Foster
His endearing smile was
priceless, his endurance
limitless, and his prayer
life ceaseless. Dear Gerry,
now it is your time to rest
in the LORD.
With A Grateful Heart
There is a continual outpouring of blessings received by this ministry on a regular basis. As a result, there are many
individuals to be grateful for in each quarterly newsletter. The scriptural premise for our gratefulness comes from
Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of the wonders.” Our thanks from grateful hearts:
♥ Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who
assembled the past two mailings:
products, laundry soap & hygiene items for our
Fruits of Your Labor PSS client incentive program
from BSA Troop 23 Pack 33.
♥ Winter 2016 Newsletter
Nancy, Rachel and Abby Roets
♥ For the annual rose sale proceeds from Phil Snyder.
♥ For the frequent donations of quality clothing and
other items from Illinois Board member, Dr. Alma
♥ For the ten framed professional photographs,
enjoyed by office staff, and also donated for event
prizes and the Silent Auction from Carl Muenzmaier.
♥ For the Easter gifts for all of our PSS clients from
Pastor Scott & Gloria Miller and Family Fellowship
Church of Racine.
♥ Bike & Hike Invitation Mailing
Ron & Jan Baer
Chinavare Family – Carolyn, Abraham, Joel, Miriam
♥ For the annual purchase of an I-PASS for our travels
to and fro to Illinois from Jim Valentine.
♥ For the extensive floor tile repair at Almost Anything 2
by Dennis Drinkwine and Brian Schneider
♥ For the monthly assistance at Almost Anything doing
various tasks such as outside yard work, moving
of boxes & pricing items from the faithful group at
Tabernacle Baptist Church led by Pastor Steve and
his wife, Linda Carlson.
♥ For the eleven colorful baby onesies with cute heart
sayings from Dennis & Diane Hartwig.
♥ For the twelve beautiful handmade Thank-You cards
from Jeannette Kaelber.
♥ For the sweet baby outfits, pink jacket, socks,
sleeper, bottles, ointment, blankets, wash cloths,
burp cloth, knit hats, book, diapers & wipes from
Helen Cummins and the Kettle Moraine Presbyterian
♥ For the assorted Master Lock locks used as prizes
for events from Janet Nunziato.
♥ For the baby formula, baby food, baby wipes, paper
Mark Your Calendars!!!
April National Volunteer Recognition Month
Honoring All of Our Super ECFA Volunteers!
May 5, 2016 National Day of Prayer
May 8, 2016 Happy Mother’s Day
May 14, 2016
30th Annual Bike & Hike Waukesha
June 19, 2016 Happy Father’s Day
Christmas in July Campaign
October 7, 2016
33rd Annual Fall Banquet & Silent Auction
*New Location – Country Springs Hotel
Comedian Mike Williams
Return Service Requested
& Family Agency
1617 South 124th Street
New Berlin, WI 53151
New Berlin, WI
Permit No. 315