Friends of Lutheran World Relief

Supporting the ministry of quilters & kit-makers in the Chicago area

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 Chicago-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.

Ingathering | Updates from LWR’s Headquarters | Luncheon | Board

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 and Kits – Mission Quilts, Fleece Blankets, School Kits, Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, Fabric Kits, soap – get from our churches to needy parts 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.

The dates for the 2017 Ingathering are October 7, 9 a.m. to noon, and October 8, noon to 3 p.m. at the following locations:

At other times, items may be brought to the warehouse of:

Items Accepted

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.

Other ways to becomes involved with Lutheran World Relief

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!


This year’s luncheon, Friday, April 28, 2017, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Friends of Lutheran World Relief. Over 135 men and women, representing 23 congregations, joined us for the luncheon. Michael Johnson, Philanthropic Advisor for this area, introduced Geraldine “Geri” Sicola, Vice president for Strategic Partnerships and External Relations at LWR, to give an update on activities throughout the world and especially her recent experiences in Peru. LWR is working with the people there to break the cycle of poverty. She also noted that LWR is looking forward to its 75th Anniversary commemoration.

A representative group of quilts from various churches was placed on display at the luncheon.



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
2344 Maple
Northbrook, IL
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, Ingathering coordinator
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard
Olinda Fink, luncheon co-coordinator
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest
Paula Spengler, 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
Sheryl Kelso
Our Savior Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights