Dec 12, 2012 Labor of Love Welcome to Gifts for the Journey™ a ministry of Franciscan Peacemakers. We are a non-profit social enterprise that is run by women with a history of abuse, prostitution and drug/alcohol addictions who create hand-made bar soaps and other bath products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Gifts for the Journey products directly benefit the women by whom they were made. By: Deacon Steve Przedpelski Last July seems like such a long time ago when it was unbearably hot and bone dry. During the height of that heat in July a group of people sat in my driveway beginning to plan the launch of a new social enterprise, Gifts for the Journey™, a ministry of Franciscan Peacemakers. Now here in January experiencing the coldest air in a few years, Gifts for the Journey is a reality. Our social enterprise that designs and creates bar soaps and bath products is officially open for business online. Our products are also for sale at the Shoppes of Port Washington, 121 Franklin Street in Port Washington. ALL proceeds from sales go to support Franciscan Peacemakers. Please consider visiting The Shoppes of Port Washington and check out all the other wonderful items that they sell. Gifts for the Journey, which is currently staffed by volunteers and Franciscan Peacemakers participants, was created to give women who have chosen to leave the life of the streets behind an opportunity for gainful employment while healing from the wounds of sexual and physical abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and prostitution. While I am very pleased and excited we are at this point, there is much more that needs to be accomplished. In our experience, we have come to understand that to increase the chances of success for a woman who chooses to leave the streets, a long term stable living environment is required. On that same hot Saturday night in July in my driveway, we envisioned Clare House, a ministry of Franciscan Peacemakers. We are still seeking a house that we can renovate into a home for these women, and hope to open by December 1, 2013. We have been blessed by a grant from the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation of $10,000. This grant is just a beginning. In order for Clare House to happen we need $150,000. We are on our way to Clare House becoming a reality. In 2013, would you please consider increasing your support of Franciscan Peacemakers? You can start right now by doing what St. Francis of Assisi practiced, to pray unceasingly. Pray for the women we serve that they will embrace the invitation to leave the streets. Pray unceasingly that Clare House will be a reality by December 1, 2013 and that Gifts for the Journey will be a success. And please continue to give, to support your ministry, our ministry, our joint labor of love, Franciscan Peacemakers.