Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NATH Notes

How on earth, I wondered when I moved to a small town in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, would I ever be able to stay active in seeking social justice? Certainly I knew it would look different from the racial reconciliation / refugee resettlement work and conversations I'd had in Minneapolis. Would I stop caring? Would I forget and lead a happy little bubble life?

No, of course not. In looking for a way to match my talents with my community's need, I wound up editing the monthly newsletter of the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH). At the end of each month, I remember there's a deadline coming and spend a couple of hours with the TV on in the background (largely ignored) as I copyedit, reformat, and rearrange. The newsletter goes out to over 1200 people. It's, you know, a nice thing to do. Hopefully it helps by connecting people to an important cause. There is only one house available to meet temporary housing needs for the people of four counties. It's only in its second year.

The pleasure of such work is that I get to witness the amazing giving that people do in order to keep the place running. This month alone,

  • a ten year-old boy sold burgers and hotdogs and donated half his profits to NATH. He also gave an additional hundred dollars "to end homelessness." Think about the assuredness and faith of that statement.
  • an elementary school summer donated their summer sewing projects (two quilts, a stuffed animal, and a game)
  • a woman ran a rummage sale and sold raffle tickets on the side for two days
  • a woman wrote a book, with a plan to divide all profits among three local charities. She passed away before selling all the books, so her local Lion's club has taken up the task
  • a nearby town is having a "town fun day" and donating half the proceeds to NATH
  • the local waterski team donated their profits from a performance
  • and there are dozens of people who show up to paint, build, sell brats and raffle tickets, answer phones, drive residents around...
Truly, the blessing is in reading what others do. It inspires me to look for other ways I can serve. Want to see for yourself or get involved? Call Director Tammy Modic at (715) 369-9777.

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