Conference Attendees’ Great Compassion Recognized3 min read


The Bay Area Women’s Center (BAWC) is a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The Center provides free-of-charge crisis intervention; advocacy and safe haven to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and violence prevention education to the community while actively pursuing social change.

Donations at The Katie. Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS.

On May 6, 2019, the BAWC held its Annual Awards Meeting in Bay City. The Michigan District, LCMS, represented by Debbie Hughes, received the Shining Star Award for its many in-kind donations. Below is the speech given by the BAWC representative. Thank you to all Katie and Office Personnel Conference attendees who contributed to the ingatherings benefitting the BAWC!

“In our work, we are incredibly fortunate to engage with not just caring individuals who support our cause, but also many groups of supportive community members.

Annually, the Michigan District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod hosts educational conferences in Bay City. As part of their “Great Compassion Ministry,” they ask event attendees to support the Women’s Center by meeting our greatest needs.

One of their events is called The Katie. The Katie is a conference hosted for the wives and widows of pastors, deacons and vicars. The goal of the conference is to uplift and celebrate these women who carry a unique set of burdens, yet also enjoy amazing and abundant blessings. For many years, attendees of the The Katie have donated items to meet the basic needs of our clients. The generosity of this group never ceases to amaze us. When we pick up the items they collect, it fills an entire vehicle. The items, in turn, stock our shelves and fill the needs of our clients for months.

Office Personnel Conference attendees fill gift bags for clients of the BAWC. Photo by Debby Fall/Michigan District, LCMS.

In addition to The Katie this year, attendees of the Office Personnel Conference gathered purses for use by our clients. But they didn’t just collect boxes of purses. Every purse that was donated was filled with personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and more. Once each purse was filled, it was placed into a beautiful gift bag so our clients could receive a lovely spring time gift.

Michigan District Events Coordinator, Debbie Hughes, CMP, receives the award from BAWC’s Executive Director, Jeremy R. Rick. Photo courtesy of BAWC.

Both conferences this year happened during the same week. Lindsay took her mini-van to pick up the donations thinking there would be enough space and she grossly underestimated the giving power exhibited at these two events. She had to call Jolene for back up. Both their vehicles were stuffed full from top to bottom, including the spaces under their seats. When everything was unloaded at BAWC, the donations filled our group room making it nearly impossible to enter the room. We are so humbled by the efforts of the Michigan District Office for arranging these collections, and we are in awe of the kindness and generous spirit of all the conference attendees. Here to accept the award is the Event Coordinator for the Michigan District, Debbie Hughes, CMP.”

Featured photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS. 


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This blog is published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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