Friends of Lutheran World Relief

Friends of Lutheran World Relief (FLWR) began as a project of the Women's Auxiliary of the Lutheran Council of Greater Chicago (a pan-Lutheran organization formed in the post-World War II years) to foster inter-Lutheran cooperation and service.

Now, over 500 Lutheran congregations in the ELCA Metropolitan Chicago and Northern Illinois Synods, and the LCMS Northern Illinois District and hcicago-area congregations of the English and SELC Districts are informed about the annual Fall Ingathering, the annual Spring Luncheon, and other news and events as appropriate. 

For questions and information about FLWR activities, contact Elizabeth Gotsch, president, at 847.272.4116 or



Have you ever wondered how Lutheran World Relief Quilts & Kits - Mission Quilts, Fleece Tied Blankets, School Kits, Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, Fabric Kits, soap - get from our churches to needy part of the world?

Every year in October, the Ingathering of quilts and kits takes place at churches in the Chicago area. Friends of Lutheran World Relief collects these items with the help of volunteers and then start them on their way to Lutheran World Relief's warehouse in New Windsor, Maryland.

Your boxed donations may be dropped off at one of the following sites on Saturday, October 6th, 2018 between 9:00 am and noon or Sunday, October 7th, 2018 between noon and 3 pm.

Messiah Lutheran Church
1605 Vernon Ave., Park Ridge

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
4501 Main St., Downers Grove

Faith Lutheran church
353 N. Midland Ave., Joliet

Zion Lutheran Church
925 Fifth Ave., Rockford

Accepted items include: mission quilts, fleece tied blankets, school kits, personal care kits, baby care kits, and fabric kits.
Packing Notes: 40 lb. limit per box and please use strong cartons secured with packing tape. Label the contents in large block letters. Do not mix contents.


Updates from LWR's Headquarters

For those interested in what LWR needs most, School Kit inventory is at a critical low right now, with Personal Care Kits doing only marginally better. Summer is a great time to hit those back-to-school sales and stock up on supplies for both these Kits!

The summer issue of Faith in Action should be arriving in mailboxes the first week of July. Please pay particular attention to the article on quality control. Generally, LWR has good reports from partners about the quality of the items we send, and LWR has a great reputation among partners around the world. This reputation is precious, not only because it has value for LWR, but because it means we are providing our neighbors around the world with useful items, and in doing so we are treating them with dignity and respect.

That’s why it’s critical to follow all of LWR’s guidelines closely. Small things that may get by LWR’s warehouse staff, such as devotional books or tracts, or even “extras” not included in LWR’s list for a particular Kit, can create a big problem if discovered by customs officials. Any divergence from what is on the packing list can cause a shipment to be delayed, and potentially even destroyed. Similarly, including damaged items in Baby Care Kits, such as stained or very worn clothes, can cause a problem. Ultimately, LWR wants each person who receives a Quilt or Kit from LWR to feel that they are being treated with dignity. Passing along heavily used or soiled items does not communicate that dignity, and can create a problem with customs and partners alike.

Thank you, as always, for your incredible work, dedication, creativity and passion for this ministry. We simply could not do it without you, and we thank God for you!



The 42nd Annual Spring Luncheon of the Chicagoland Friends of Lutheran World Relief will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019, at Avalon Banquets, 1905 E. Higgens Road, Elk Grove Village. Please plan on arriving at 11:00 a.m. to view a display of quilts, care kits and purchase fair trade products. The event begins promptly at 11:45 a.m. (please note the time change).

Our guest speaker will be Nicole Hark, Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Middle East. She provides support to country programs with strategic planning and new partnerships, technical design for new programs and regional humanitarian response initiatives. Nicole will be sharing "Stories from Syria" and highlighting how our support is reaching those affected by the war in Syria and neighboring countries.

Reservations at $25 per person are due no later than April 12 (payable to Friends of Lutheran World Relief) and mailed to Olinda Fink, 215 Marengo Avenue, #2F, Forest Park, IL 60130-1611 (708.366.3585). Include the name, address and name of church for each person attending and include choice of entrée for each – indicate "V" for vegetarian, "C" for chicken.

Church groups are invited to bring two quilts/care kits for display.


FLWR is administered by a board of volunteers who contribute their skills, time and energy. They meet several times a year to plan activities and events.

Elizabeth Gotsch, president
Grace Lutheran Church, Northbrook

Donna Walz, vice president
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard

Beverly Lueking, treasurer
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest

Roberta Nelson, secretary
Grace Lutheran Church, Northbrook

Nadine Ilten, corresponding secretary
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard

Olinda Fink, 2019 luncheon co-coordinator
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest

Paula Spengler, 2019 luncheon co-coordinator
Christ Lutheran Church, Palatine

Mary E Anderson
Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington

Connie Bothen
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hinsdale

Alice Bruening
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest

Karol Grandgeorge
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Somonauk

Sandy Becky
Faith Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn

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