AAUW learns about church’s special ministries

November 14, 2018

The Watertown branch of the American Association of University Women recently held a program meeting at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to learn about the special ministries the church hosts for the community.

Sandy Kreuziger and Martin Ruder informed those in attendance about Mary’s Room, an outreach program of the church that focuses on infants and mothers in need. It opened in September 2011 in a small room with donated baby clothing stored in Rubbermaid bins. As needs grew, Mary’s Room was able to move into larger quarters. A grant from Rubbermaid allowed for a remodel of the room with adequate display and storage.

The room has baby clothing, furnishings, blankets, diapers, wipes and other baby items. Residents living in the Watertown school district and eligible for women, infants and children benefits may use Mary’s Room, located at 413 S. Second St. Families may come three times per month for diapers and anytime it’s open for other items.

Days and hours of operation are Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m., Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m.-noon. Mary’s Room accepts baby clothing, furniture, diapers, wipes and cash donations.

Haus of Peace was the brainstorm of Sue and John Trepte, members of St. Paul’s. After they retired from their jobs and purchased a large home, they learned there was not a shelter in Jefferson or Dodge counties for women experiencing trauma.

Haus of Peace, a 401(c)(3) nonprofit, is the result of a lot of research and connections with social services from both counties. The house opened in 2016. It has served over 25 guests. The house has room for up to three adults, three children plus two infants. The facilities include private bedrooms, shared bath, kitchen, playroom, living room and laundry. Most guests stay approximately 30 days. During this time, they receive services such as counseling, help with a job search, assistance in finding an apartment and transportation.

Guests are referred to the Haus of Peace through social services and other organizations. Within 24 hours of referral, Sue is meeting with a prospective guest. Guests are not allowed to smoke, use alcohol or drugs. They set daily goals to help them reach the ultimate goal of an apartment of their own.

The Haus of Peace gets no government funding. They rely on volunteers, fundraisers and donations. To learn more, call Sue Trepte at 920-285-7179 or send donations to Haus of Peace, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 413 S. Second St., Watertown, WI 53094.

Karen Wzorek organized this AAUW program. Hostesses were Wzorek, Karen Williams, Sue Putra, Vicki Coughlin and Val Wagner.

Women who have completed a minimum of an associate or bachelor degree are welcome as AAUW members. For more information, email Wzorek at karen.wzorek0806@gmail.com.

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