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, 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 2016 Ingathering are October 1, 9 a.m. to noon, and October 2, 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!


We will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of FLWR at the Spring luncheon on April 28, 2017.  It will again be held at Avalon Banquets,1905 E. Higgins Road,  Elk Grove Village. We are pleased to announce that Geraldine Sicola, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and External Relations at Lutheran World Relief, will be our speaker at this special anniversary luncheon.

Cost for the luncheon is $25 per person and reservations are due by April 18.  Watch for the mailing/registration form or send your contact information and check to

Olinda Fink
215 Marengo Ave., #2F
Forest Park, IL 60130

Entrée choices:  Chicken Francaise or Vegetarian Pasta. Please note your choice on the form.

Quilts, Fair Trade items, and school bags will be on display.  Donation envelopes will be available.  If you have any questions, please call Olinda Fink at 708.366.3585 or Elizabeth Gotsch at 847.272.4116.


The Friends of LWR Board: Row 1: E. Gotsch, M. Brown, N. Ilten, B. Lueking; Row 2: O. Fink, P. Spengler, R. Blank, D. Walz, M. Anderson
The Friends of LWR Board: Row 1: E. Gotsch, M. Brown, N. Ilten, B. Lueking;
Row 2: O. Fink, P. Spengler, R. Blank, D. Walz, M. Anderson

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 60062-5210
Beverly Lueking, vice president/treasurer
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest
829 Lathrop
River Forest, IL 60305-1446

Nadine Ilten, secretary
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard
31 E. Grove #502
Lombard, IL 60148-2397
Olinda Fink, luncheon co-coordinator
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest
215 Marengo Avenue, #2F
Forest Park, IL 60130-1611

Paula Spengler, luncheon co-coordinator
Christ Lutheran Church, Palatine
211 N Rohlwing Rd.
Palatine, IL 60074-5446
Mary E Anderson
Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington
126 Hidden Oaks Drive
Barrington, IL 60010-4902

Roberta Nelson
Grace Lutheran Church, Northbrook
Ruth Blank
Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington
22291 Long Grove Road
Deer Park, IL 60010-3726

Marion Brown
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest
203 North Kenilworth, #3N
Oak Park, IL 60302-2055
Alice Bruening
42 The Court of Cobblestone
Northbrook, IL 60062-3220

Karol Grandgeorge
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Somonauk
460 E LaSalle
Somonauk, IL 60552-0322
Sheryl Kelso
Our Savior Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights
1315 S Fernandez Ave.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-3543

Donna Walz
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard
178 S Grace Street
Lombard, IL 60148-2869