Human Care

2023 National Gifts from the Heart
Gifts from the Heart


From Human Care, Zone and Conference Rallies Spring 2022 and Fall 2022

Over this past year, with another year removed from Covid - 19, our LWML MN South District ladies were able to gather in larger groups.  Gatherings and Servant Events were held, and collections for area mission projects were collected. Following are the Zone and/or Conference Rallies held in Spring and Fall 2022. The Servant Events and mission support projects were:

  • Lake Minnetonka Zone had a gathering on Saturday, April 23, at Zion Lutheran in Hopkins.  Bob LaCroix, Executive Director of Camp Omega in Waterville, MN, was guest speaker.  He provided an overview of the history of Camp Omega and the Camps for 2022.  Gifts from the Heart for Camp Omega included $165 in monetary donations, 14 Bibles, and 693 miscellaneous camp program supplies.
  • Lake Pepin Zone held a Spring Zone Rally in which they collected items for Immanuel Lutheran School, Plainview.
  • Joan Proehl reported from Waseca Zone.  The Spring Rally Mission Speaker was Rev. Rich Carter and his wife, Miriam.  Their mission theme was "God's Work in Hong Kong, where there aren't many sinners". 423 paper products were gathered for area food shelves.
  • The Owatonna Conference Fall Rally speaker was Sarah Holsteen with International Association for Refugees. Monetary donations were collected in the amount of $780.00 to be given to the Johnathan House which provides housing, meals, education, and job training for the refugees.
  • On April 21, 2022, the Northwest Suburban Zone held its spring rally at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Osseo, MN. An entertaining and informative talk was presented by the Derricks Family, whose ministry is through Lutheran Bible Translators. They shared their ministry roles in Bible translation (Elliot) and literacy (Serena).  Elliot Derricks is in the process of translating the Bible into the “Heart Language” of the people in Cameroon, Africa. Since many of the people can’t read, Serena Derricks has partnered with local teachers to start adult literacy classes. Gifts from the Heart were collected in the form of cash to help fund the Derricks family’s ministry. The Derricks where gifted with over $1,000 for their ministry. The Derricks’ three children each sang a song in three languages.  They then presented each church represented at the rally with a stole for their pastor to wear for mission events.
  • From Joyce Bantarri, St. Croix River Zone President, Winter Workshop on 2/5/2022 - Speaker, Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, Concordia University.  Monetary collections/donations were $110 to Concordia University.
    • Their Spring Rally was held on 4/23/22 - Speaker Pastor Jon Kuehne, Trinity First Lutheran School; Gifts from the Heart donations were:
      • Band Aides - 15 small boxes, 2 large boxes
      • Crayola Air Dry Clay - 5 tubs, 5 bags
      • White & Black Construction Paper - 24 packs
      • Tempera Paints - 29 large bottles
      • Acrylic Paints - 20 large bottles
      • Crayola Washable Paints - 12 large bottles
      • Washable Paints - 12 small containers
    • The Servant Event was ironing-on patches to backpacks provided by Trinity First and then filled them with the Gifts from the Heart donations.
    • St. Croix Fall Rally was held on 10/08/22 - Speaker Rev. Chad Czischke, LCMS Chaplain Ministry to the Armed Forces (and Pastor at Family of Christ, Houlton, WI).  Gifts From the Heart totals were:
      • $806 to the Armed Forces Ministry
      • 200+ Military pillows, and 22 Military Bible Sticks (MP3 player with New Testament & Psalms) were donated. 
  • McLeod Zone President, Karen Gensmer, shared, their Spring Rally was held on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Brownton, MN.  Gifts From the Heart recipient was the Johanna Heidorn Ministry.  Johanna serves as a photographer through the LCMS across the Latin America and Caribbean region, based in the Dominican Republic.  She spoke to us via prerecorded video.  Total amount collected for her ministry was $761.00.
    • The McLeod Zone Fall Rally was held on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Glencoe, MN.  The main speaker for the day was Rev. Paul Biebighauser who has traveled to Israel and addressed the topic of homes - biblical, modern day, and our future heavenly home.  Representatives of Lutherans for Life set up a display at the meeting and briefly spoke about their work.  Gifts From the Heart were forwarded to Lutherans for Life.  Total amount collected was $706.00.
  • From the Northwest Suburban Zone, Beautiful Savior LWML in Plymouth, MN, sponsored an ingathering of school supplies for Trinity First Lutheran School, Minneapolis. The event was organized by Coral Rose and Joyce Beattie and included basic school supplies along with some items from Trinity's Amazon Wish List. Char Miller and Becky Schmieg delivered a trunk full of school supplies to the school on September 15, 2022, which was accepted by Theresa Farrand, Administrative Assistant at Trinity First.
  • The Fall Rally for the new Carver Zone, President Carol Hubert reported, was held October 8th with Rev. Jon Kuehne, Campus Pastor of Trinity First School – Minneapolis, as speaker. Gifts from the Heart directed to Trinity First for their mission field in the Phillips Neighborhood included the following: Three (3) orders from the Trinity First wish list posted on Amazon; 26 Target Gift Cards totaling $500; One Amazon Gift Card for $500 from the Carver Zone; and $35 in cash.
  • Participants of the October 1st LWML Northeast Suburban Zone Rally at Spirit of Christ in Ham Lake, Minnesota, enjoyed meeting Gideon, a comfort dog, and learning about how he and other comfort dogs like him have ministered to people around the country.  Comfort was the theme of the day as Pastor Jason Neel began the event with a comforting devotion. He reminded us that God never asks us to comfort ourselves, rather He comforts us so we can comfort others. Comfort is what Gideon and 130 other dogs throughout the United States, under the auspices of Lutheran Church Charities ministry organization, provide to people of all ages and in all circumstances. The organization was initiated after someone was asked if they could help rescue people and their pets during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while others were only rescuing people. The rescuers saw first-hand the calm and comfort animals bring to those in distress.  As individuals begin to pet Gideon, they begin to relax, and once they relax, they begin to talk. Talking begins the healing process. Gideon and his handler just returned from Uvalde, Texas, where they had been asked to go, as part of one of three teams, at the beginning of the school year. They were summoned to help the children and staff returning to classes after last May’s deadly school shooting.
  • From Lake Minnetonka Zone, President Elaine Taggatz, the October 8, 2022, Lake Minnetonka Zone Rally was held at Bethlehem Lutheran, Minnetonka with Speaker Bethany Ringdal, Community Formation Coordinator, International Association for Refugees (IAFR).  The Gifts from the Heart collection were as follows:  
    • 29 kitchen kits (4 silverware set, 4 place setting, kitchen knives set)
    • 2 bed/bath sets (twin sheet set, pillow, towel set, bath mat, clothing hangers)
    • 12 homemade quilts
    • 2 crocheted blankets
    • 1 comforter
    • 124 prayer cloths
  • Whitewater Conference Fall Rally, hosted by Winona Zone, President Sue Golish reported they collected Hygiene Kits for Orphan Grain Train, plus monetary donations for the shipping costs.
    • On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the Winona Zone hosted the Whitewater Conference Fall Rally at St. John’s Hart, Rushford, located in the landscape of southeastern Minnesota farm country!  The rally theme was, "Gifts from the Harvest" based on Exodus 23. The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God (Exodus 23:19a).  The speaker for the rally, Darlene Fretham and her husband, Rev. Dave Fretham, gave an inspiring and informative message on the various avenues Orphan Grain Train uses to help those in need, both here in the United States and internationally. Pastor and Mrs. Mark Meier from Grace, Stockton/Messiah, LaCrescent, were also present. Pastor Meier spoke on the Mercy Meals and shared his connection with Orphan Grain Train. During the lunch, Pastor and Mrs. Meier supervised the youth from both St. John’s, Hart, and St. Mark’s, Rushford, in the sterile packing of Mercy Meals, completing a total of four cases. Hygiene Kits for Orphan Grain Train: 190, Monetary gifts: $270.  On Wednesday, October 19th, a group effort under the supervision of several adult members, including 1 teacher and 42 students from Immanuel Silo, grades 3 thru 6, gathered at Grace, Stockton, making some meals and helping to pack and load 39 cases of meals into the Orphan Grain Train trailer at Grace, Stockton, as well as 30 boxes of hygiene kits. The offering for District Inreach totaled $324.00.
  • Winona Zone had their Spring Fling 2022, theme: “God Chose You”.  Gift card collection: Gift Cards for Lewiston Senior Living Center: $360

Our LWML MN South District Convention 2022 Gifts from the Heart report is:
The Human Care Committee chose Team Renewed as the 29th Biennial Convention Gifts from the Heart recipient. Team Renewed, along with Damascus Way and FreedomWorks, are Christian faith-based halfway homes, helping those recently released from prison. They are supported through LCMS Minnesota South District, with Jim Seemann as the Correctional Ministry Coordinator. The Gifts from the Heart items collected and donated were:

  • Complete Move-in Kits (bedding and bath): including sheet set, pillowcase, pillow, bath towel and washcloth: 214 kits
  • 6 additional kits without pillows
  • 1 Single sheet set
  • 3 Laundry bags
  • 18 Greeting cards
  • 19 Comforters
  • 230 Quilts
  • 789 Pocket Bibles
  • $25 Cash
  • $20 Check
  • Target gift cards totaling $2,500


I am continually filled with admiration for all our ladies of LWML for all the support given to missionaries and mission projects, as well as for the Gifts from the Heart collections.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thank you to all who supported "Gifts from the Heart" and servant events. Thank you for showing Jesus' love throughout this continued time of Covid!

God's blessings to all!
Debi Mahoney
LWML MN South District Vice President of Human Care and Committee Chair