Weather Forecast


Community invited to gather items for domestic abuse shelters

Since Feb. 22, Cross Lutheran Church in Roberts and Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond have been in a friendly competition to gather items for domestic abuse shelters and for possession of a "Little Red Shovel."

The competition started last year when it was discovered that a little red shovel used for Trinity's groundbreaking in 1973 was also used at Cross' groundbreaking the same year.

In an effort to share the miniature church memorabilia, the congregations agreed to make the shovel a traveling trophy for the winner of an annual charitable giving challenge.

Last year, Cross won the challenge to raise food and funds for the Roberts Food Pantry -- raising approximately $1,500 compared to Trinity's $1,000 in donations.

In addition to winning possession of the shovel for the year, Cross' congregation decided this year's contest beneficiaries.

Cross chose Turning Point Domestic Abuse Shelter in River Falls and Bridge to Hope Domestic Abuse Shelter in Menomonie.

The goal of the challenge is to donate duffle bags to the shelters filled with toiletries for women, teens, children and infants.

"The women and children at these shelters are some of the most vulnerable among us, as they're victims of violence in many cases. Sometimes they leave with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs," said Cross Pastor Dean Simpson.

Unlike last year's competition, the churches wanted to get the community involved with the effort.

"Rather than just thinking what can our church do to serve the community, we thought how can we empower the community to serve the most needy among us?" Simpson said. "I think even people who don't belong to a church these days want good opportunities to do good in the world."

The churches came up with a scoring method to encourage members to tell their neighbors and friends about the charitable cause.

The scoring goes as follows: One point for each filled bag donated by a Cross/Trinity member and two points for each filled bag donated by a community member (non-Cross/Trinity member, group or organization).

Simpson said involving the community is a positive idea for everyone.

"It's good for the people we are helping. It's good for the church. It's good for the community. It's a win, win, win," he said.

In addition to helping those in need, Simpson says the competition has strengthened the relationship between the two churches.

The competition ends on April 8.

The bags will be brought to Turning Point Domestic Abuse Shelter and Bridge to Hope Domestic Abuse Shelter, where they will be given to the women and children seeking refuge.

Any durable bags to store the items will be accepted. The churches ask that only new items are donated.

All donations are appreciated, Simpson said.

Duffle bag contents needed:


Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, hairbrush, comb, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, mousse, bar soap, shower gel, deodorant, feminine care supplies, makeup/lipstick, disposable razors, shave gel and hand soap or sanitizer.


Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair binders/barrettes, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap/bubble bath, hand sanitizer, children's Band-Aids, toy, stuffed animal and book.


Pacifier, baby shampoo, baby bath, baby lotion, Desitin or similar product, diaper wipes, pack of disposable diapers, plastic bags for diaper disposal, toy or stuffed animal and baby blanket.

To donate:

Cross in Roberts

Call 715-749-3551, email or churchoffice@roberts or visit the church Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cross Lutheran Church is located at 1246 County Road TT, Roberts.

Trinity in Hammond

Call 715-796-2788, email or Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 1250 Broadway St., Hammond. Also, Trinity's Stewardship Team chairperson, Marti Peterson (mpeterson@dom will do the shopping for you for a donation of $10 per duffel bag.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048