Saturday was Granger Community Church's annual food drop, and what a grand production it was! We were one of many pantries selected to receive the nonperishable food items, making this our second year of being part of this awesome event. The Elkhart Campus volunteers, old and young alike, arrived ready to brave the cold temperatures and unload the many, many boxes of food. With their help we had everything weighed (2,091.5 pounds) and stored within one hour! We are so grateful for their support and dedication to helping those within the surrounding communities who are in need. It is estimated that this year over 7, 000 families benefited from this outreach. That is so beyond wonderful!
We are pleased to introduce to you our 2017 Board of Directors. We look forward to working alongside them as we join together to continue The Window, Inc.'s mission to serve those struggling within the Goshen Community.
Front Row-Left to Right:
Lani Fischer-River Oaks Community Church-Corresponding Secretary, Grant Martin- Benton Mennonite Church-Vice Chair, Gay Lehman-College Mennonite Church-Chair, Irene Gross-College Mennonite Church-Past Chair, Karuu Njogu-Woodforest National Bank-Treasurer
Not pictured: Phyllis Hostetler–At Large-Recording Secretary
Second Row-Left to Right:
Karon Weaver-Waterford Mennonite Church, Sandy Streit-First United Methodist Church, Mary Seymour-Faith Lutheran Church, Jane Swihart-Farrell-Eight Street Mennonite Church, Joyce Sumpter-City Church of the Brethren, Verda Bontrager-Clinton Frame Church, Darlene Leitz-St. John’s Catholic Church
Back Row-Left to Right:
Ed Swartley-Executive Director, Jenny Evans-Yoder-Faith Mennonite Church, Troy Swartzendruber-Aptera Software, Kris Yeager-At Large, Butch Rohrer-St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
Not pictured: Dave Kindy-Grace Community Church and Roxanne Sommers-Berkey Avenue Fellowship Church
Meeting with the Middlebury Daisies and Brownies Girl Scout Troops last evening really brought back memories. I too was a Brownie when I was a young girl, but I’m not going to divulge just how very long ago that was. . .
The group asked very thoughtful and important questions about what our mission is at The Window, Inc., and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing with them the programs and services we offer to those in need within the Goshen Community.
I was quite impressed with this dazzling group of twenty four young ladies, and couldn’t help thinking as I left, that they were going to make a lasting impact upon their community for years to come!
Wow, C-R-A-Z-Y! Our good friends from The Maples at Waterford Crossing have done so much this year to support our mission, but this time, they really outdid themselves! Waterford has enjoyed supporting the Goshen Community with many traditional fundraising events, but staff wanted to end this year with something unique. Brainstorming how they might accomplish this, the idea of taking a plunge into their pond hit the mark. So, at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 28, Chad Knisley, Alyssa Reyes and Kay Hershberger, got their chill on and plunged into the icy winter water, while onlookers cheered them on. How exhilarating; the polar plunge raised nearly $2,000 for our programs! Thanks, Waterford Crossing!!
We had a visit from our goodwill friends A.K.A. Santa Con this afternoon. They stopped by to present us with the spoils of their recent venture out in the community. Dressed up in Santa's clothes, these impersonators spent an evening visiting local restaurants, bars and clubs, hitting people up for cash donations for our mission. For the past three years we have been blessed to receive their collections, and this year's collection totaled $5,485.54.
We can't begin to express how much it means to us to have such generous, and might I add, creative hearts, supporting our mission to help those struggling within our community. These guys are simply awesome!
This young man donated 54 cents and told Santa all he wanted for Christmas was a Matchbox Jeep!
Special thanks to Marshall King for the excellent photos.
There was a great deal of excitement at Parkside Elementary School yesterday as the 4th Graders assembled in Mrs. Brookins room, to create the “famous” oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie mix in a jar, as part of their “Generosity Day.” Not only did they put their fraction skills to the test, but they also learned about the importance of being generous.
I had a blast spending the afternoon helping them fill the jars with the cookie ingredients, and my favorite part of the day was the response one of the boy’s gave when he learned that sugar was involved. He started hopping around and said,” Hey, I can’t get too much sugar!!” I will never forget that!
When I shared with the classes what we do at The Window, and how their project was an act of generosity toward the people we serve, they seemed genuinely pleased. I so enjoyed seeing their eyes light up, as I explained how the cookie mixes are something our pantry guests love getting, and that last year, all the jars were gone within a few days. In closing, I shared how I had been told by a few guests last year, that they were going to give their jars as Christmas gifts, and that put huge smiles on all their faces! I do believe these kids experienced first- hand, not only the importance of generosity, but also how wonderful the feeling of being generous is.
Special thanks to Erie Insurance for their monetary donation. It is due to the kindness and generosity of individuals and businesses like Erie Insurance that allow us to continue our mission to serve those within the Goshen Community.
This week we lost a dear board member, and friend. Lela Rohrer had served on our Board of Director's for many years and was passionate about The Window Inc.'s mission. She was a joy to work with and will most definitely be missed.
Many may not be aware that The Window has been serving the Goshen Community for 49 years. The organization’s core programs (Katie’s Kitchen, Pantry, Clothes Closet and Meals on Wheels), through the years have become a viable resource for those struggling to make the ends meet. On an average we serve over 300 people per day. That number is astounding considering we are a staff of 9. Over the past several months we have seen a tremendous increase in services, and we have done our best with your help to keep pace with the demand, but we are experiencing a huge crunch financially. In order for us to effectively continue our mission to serve the Goshen Community, we need cash donations.
Will you please consider making a financial contribution? Any amount you can give is not too small, and we would be most grateful for your gift!
Due to the support of local businesses and patrons of The Window Inc.’s mission to serve those struggling within the Goshen Community, our first annual Outrunning Hunger fundraiser was a success, reaching beyond our goal of $3,000 for the operation costs of our programs. Local businesses that sponsored this endeavor are: Rainbow sponsor, Woodforest National Bank, Gold sponsors, Kelly Jae’s Café and TK Steel of Elkhart and Silver sponsors, Heartfelt Creations, JoJo’s Pretzels and I-FIX-BRICKS.
Although we had hoped for more to participate, we are so grateful for the twenty-five people who came to Shanklin Park early Saturday, September 3 to either run or walk in in order to show their support of our mission. Some even had their faces painted as they took a break by the Pump House along the Family Fun Mile trail!
We are very encouraged that this annual event will evolve into a signature fundraiser that will only serve to bolster our organization in its continuance to serve those less fortunate in the community, and give our supporters the opportunity to contribute to our mission while having a great time with their friends and family.
We would be remiss if we failed to express our gratitude to the tremendous support of our volunteers who donated their Saturday morning to make this event run as smoothly as possible. It cannot be mentioned enough how very important volunteers are to the success of The Window’s programs. We truly could not continue to serve the community without them. Please contact us at 574.533.9680 if you would like to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer with our organization.
Many years ago, a dear friend of mine shared her thoughts with me about God’s provision for His children. She told me she believes that divine bags of provision are strategically placed along each person’s path of life, and these bags hold everything needed for each of us to successfully accomplish our unique purpose in this lifetime. Some of you at this moment may be envisioning a stout little leprechaun in a button down jacket with green knickers, standing next to a pot of gold at the end of a brilliant rainbow, but I assure you that is not the kind of bag I am referring to here. I am speaking about the deep knowing, that at every turn, no matter what life brings, the Creator of all things has your needs covered. He has placed along your path the provision to meet that particular need, at that particular time. Now, provision bags can be anything from next month’s rent to enough gas to get you to your job until payday, but it isn’t always monetary. It also comes in the form of a much needed hug when you feel down or someone who will just take the time to sit quietly and listen to you.
Personally, it is no stretch of the imagination for me to believe that if there wasn’t a single person on the planet willing to allow God to use them in getting that need in your life filled, He would just send it in the mouth of a raven. However, I think it’s safe to assume that people are always His first choice. I believe He continually searches to and fro across this earth looking for that one person who will heed His voice and say, “Here I am Lord, please use me!” One of the greatest perks of my job is witnessing this action time and time again through the generosity of our supporters. Literally, every day, I watch in wonder as those “provision bags” walk right through our doors in the form of a person, organization or business. Whether it is a donation of food items for our pantry and kitchen, clothes for our clothes closet or monetary means in answer to our fervent prayers to cover the operation costs to effectively run this ministry, I am continually amazed at how God shows Himself through the kindness of those He uses so richly to supply this ministry. It is precisely this kind of generosity that allows us the incredible privilege of continuing to reach out and assist those within the Goshen Community who are struggling.
So, I ask you, have you received a bag of provision lately? If you have, I would love to hear about it. Are you wondering how in the world you are going to get your need met? If you are, I encourage you to look to the One who knows exactly what that need is. He is the One who loves you so, and has it already prepared and waiting for you.
Live music, gourmet appetizers and a wide variety of items for sale make this silent auction the place to be Friday, November 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 at the door and once inside you will want to saunter about nibbling on gourmet appetizers, listening to musical guest, Ted Yoder play the hammered dulcimer while placing your best bid on an item you are certain you cannot live without. All the proceeds go toward The Window's programs and will benefit its mission to serve the Goshen Community.
Items will continue to be posted until the day of the auction, and if you are unable to attend the event contact Scarlett Garrison at email@example.com to submit your bid.
* Bids will be accepted until 8:30 p.m. Friday, November 13.
Genuine Swiss Fondue for 6 persons. Served and hosted by Irene and Leonard Gross at their home located at 405 Gra-Roy Drive, Goshen.
Starting Bid: $180
From cleaning pantry shelves and restocking, to removing large chunks of cement from the basement, this summer has been a busy one. To name just a few of the youth groups that took time out of their busy schedule to volunteer this summer are: The Boys and Girls Club, Grace Community Church Youth Group, Operation Barnabas Team Indiana — a group of young teens sent our way by Grace Community Church in July. For those of you unfamiliar with Operation Barnabas, it is a 27 day traveling ministry-training experience for high school students focusing on building authentic character, experiencing spiritual growth and creating a strong sense of community. In June we had the privilege of participating in the 2015 C.L.A.S.S. Leadership Summit. Director Ed Swartley spent an afternoon with 23, 4-6 graders sharing insight into what leadership skills are necessary within the not for profit social services sector and answering many questions about what The Window does for the community.
One young lady selected The Window as her confirmation assignment, and we were so impressed with her that we thought you would enjoy reading her story told in her own words.
“My name is Emily and I go to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bristol, IN. This year, I am thirteen and I am taking classes at my church to be confirmed. In order to be confirmed into my church, I must complete 8 community service hours regarding one of the 7 corporal works of mercy. They are: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, bury the dead, visit the sick, give drink to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned and shelter the homeless.
I chose to feed the hungry and volunteer at The Window in Goshen, IN. At The Window I volunteer in the pantry. The pantry supplies food for those who can’t afford groceries themselves. I think the pantry is one of the most important places at The Window. It helps the family receive food but not just give them meals. It helps the families become more independent. Inside the pantry there are sections for different types of food. As of now the pantry has 12 sections: vegetables, soup, beans, fruit, tomatoes, grains, cereal, meat, miscellaneous, eggs, bread and personal hygiene items. The job of helping in the pantry is very hands-on which I enjoy. The people receiving the food from the pantry have 2 cards given to them by the front desk worker. One card has the number of people in their family. The other card says what number person they are to show up for the pantry that day.
The volunteers call the numbers in numerical order and we bring them into the pantry. We bring the family to the first section and explain the process to them. I like to talk to the families that I help and get to know them. If this group has 4 people in their family, they get a certain amount of points for each section. Bigger families receive more points each section. Most cans are worth one point but some bigger cans can be worth 2 points and some smaller cans will be 2 cans for 1 point. We walk them through each section and load the cans they choose onto the cart and into a box. When they are done we bring their things out to their car or out to the street if they ride the trolley or walk.
I enjoy volunteering in the pantry very much. When it is not crowded, I like to organize the cans and bread shelves. The Window gets many donations from a variety of donors and the people who visit The Window are very thankful for the help they receive every time they visit. If you would like to volunteer at The Window in Goshen or donate visit www.thewindowofgoshen.com.
Thank you for your support of The Window and those who attend The Window.”
We appreciate all of our volunteers and each one plays a vital role in assisting The Window to fulfill its mission to serve those within the Goshen Community. It is always our hope that the youth who donate their time will develop a heightened sensitivity and awareness regarding those within the community who are not as fortunate as they are and struggle to make ends meet. Most of all, we hope it’s an experience that instills a life-long passion to give back to their community.
If you would like information about how you can become a volunteer, please call or stop in for a tour.
The Window is pleased to announce their partnership with the Center for Healing and Hope and Oaklawn. The Center for Healing and Hope provides basic health screenings for the uninsured on the first Thursday of each month between 11:30-1:30pm and Oaklawn is available every Friday morning at The Window to assist those within the community who are struggling with homelessness and mental illness.
If you would like more information about these services. Please contact The Window at 574.533.9680.
Detroit Half-Marathon Fundraiser
On Saturday, October 19, The Window’s Executive Director will join thousands of people from around the world to run in the Free Press/Talmer Bank Detroit International Half-Marathon. Ed will run the 13 mile course to raise funds to help support The Window’s programs. “Outrunning Hunger” is the theme of this fundraising event and several local businesses have joined with The Window in support by purchasing a sponsorship package which includes the business logo on the T-shirt Ed will wear during the event. To date, $2,600.00 has been raised and the Outrunning Hunger T-shirts will be available mid-September for a donation of $25.00 or more.
If you would like to be part of making this fundraiser a success you can purchase T-shirt’s or make a pledge of $5.00 or $10.00 for each mile Ed runs. Contact Scarlett at The Window for more information.
Whenever I am asked to take a Sunday morning, I approach the message as a sharing of God’s work. There are two ways to look at God’s work, individually or corporately. I would like to share a story of God’s work corporately at The Window specifically, one of the many stories of the renovation project.
The story starts by just giving another tour to a Church. . . Three weeks after the tour, they handed me a check for $5,000, more than enough to pay for the whole bathroom, let alone a handicap accessible shower. I immediately started looking at pricing at the ReStore, online. . . You get the picture. After a few months with time slipping away, I decided that I would check one more time at the ReStore for a handicap accessible shower knowing, that if they didn’t have a handicap shower I would buy one from Lowes or Menards with the cost between $3,500-$4,500. I walked into the ReStore and asked Carol Walker if they had any handicap accessible showers?? She laughed and said, “Yes. We just received 16 showers, 8 with the seat on the right side of the shower and 8 with the seat on the left side”. I just looked at her, stunned. Where?, I asked. She lead me to the back of the store and showed me a handicapped shower still wrapped in plastic, cost. . . . $350.00 and it was equipped with all the hardware!
Long story short, I asked Ross Swihart of Faith Mission if his drivers could pick up and deliver the shower to The Window. He agreed to pick it up and deliver it but not only that, he paid for the shower and put it right into the bathroom!
We all know the parable found in Matthew 14:13-21, the five loaves of bread and two fish feeding the 5,000. Phase 1 reminds me of that parable, which was completed at the cost of $5,000-$6,000.
Thank you for your continued support and please remember The Window financially and in prayer as we continue to serve Goshen and the wider community.
J. Ed Swartley/Executive Director
As we draw nearer to next week's fundraising event, I am delighted to receive the beautifully creative paintings as they come in, and I continue to be impressed with the amount of time each person has taken in their busy lives to create these pieces of art. Their generosity of gifts and talent to help The Window raise funds amazes and deeply touches my heart. Each painting is truly as unique as the person who created it and I absolutely love that!
I would like to share with you an interesting encounter I had with a woman last week. She expressed quite enthusiastically with me the desire the Lord had placed on her heart to create greeting cards. She is quite an artist and I encouraged her to go for it. I might also add that almost within the same breath, I began my standard recruiting speech to paint a window for the auction. She was hesitant, but agreed to think about it. Two days later she had a window in hand and set off to paint a masterpiece. As I reflected upon our conversation, I was reminded of the parable of sowing and reaping and how when God calls us to do something He always provides a seed. In this dear lady's case, much to our benefit, her seed is using her artistic talent to create a painting for our fundraiser. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to watch how her harvest comes about.
The Window is having a silent auction Tuesday, August 12th from 6:30-9:00P.M. and you're invited. Repurposed window art paintings created by local artists and friends of The Window will be auctioned with a minimum bid of $50.00 and all proceeds from the event will benefit The Window's programs. The cost of admission is $5.00 and music by Ted Yoder and hors d' oeuvres will be provided.
The windows will be on display beginning August 1st during the First Friday meal, and I will continue to post the window's as they come in over the next two weeks. If you are unable to attend the event and see a window you would like to bid on, please submit your offer to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ivy Tech students Debbie Ponzetti, Eric Yost and Gherson Santos, have a project to do for their Leaders of Groups class. Their assignment: help a service organization within their community and then give a presentation to their classmates about the overall experience.
Debbie Ponzetti said they chose The Window because the three of them are Goshen residents and they are aware of the good work that we do here. For their project the group decided to focus on the needs of our Clothes Closet and did they ever-my goodness. If their presentation is like their donation, I’m certain they will receive an A+!
It was a pleasure to meet them, and we wish them the very best on their project!