• 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.

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  • Comments on this post (4 comments)

    • Deb Martin says...

      This is a beautiful ministry! I plan on sharing the information with our Human Concerns group at our parish this month. What a dignified way to help these children of God who deserve our love and support!

      On January 29, 2013

    • ken beattie ofs says...

      It is a joy to see these two dreams come to reality. Be assured of my continued prayers and financial support as I can.
      I too, shall share this Ministry with all I come in contact with.
      Our Franciscan Family in the northern part of Wisconsin, I am sure, will become a part of this support.
      Peace and All Joy – ken ofs

      On January 29, 2013

    • Bobbie Ditscheit says...

      I’m so happy to see this take off! I’ve been hearing about it through a friend who is involved and am hoping for the opportunity to assist in your endeavor. I will start that with an order from your site, and spreading the word. I also have items I’m saving to donate when Clare House is ready to be furnished. God bless your work.

      On January 28, 2013

    • Art Montgomery says...

      You may not feel the need to be thanked…but thanks. Assisting in the development so that the women will (again) experience the dignity of being a child of God and the dwelling place of the spirit – right on target. It may not always seem easy, but the command is clear – Love….and God’s a clever one…because once you love, things seem to fall into their proper place.

      I will make a point to share the word with all I know and I will henceforth be known (on holidays and birthdays) as the “soap uncle, brother, neighbor, friend”…….

      Pace e Bene

      On January 28, 2013

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