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Grace Lutheran Communities provides lunch for grieving faculty and staff at Chippewa Falls elementary schools, as Seen in The Chippewa Herald

Posted 11/16/2018

Grace Lutheran Communities felt called to help our community after the tragedies that have recently transpired in Chippewa Falls, WI. Although we can't take the pain away from those mourning the loss of their friend, family member, son, daughter, or student, Grace wanted to do something small for the schools affected. Grace Lutheran Communities decided to put together a lunch for the teachers and staff at Halmstad Elementary to show support for those affected by the recent accident in Chippewa Falls. 

As seen in the Chippewa Herald: 

In a time of mourning, a local organization tried to do its part with a random act of kindness.

Thursday afternoon, Grace Lutheran Communities, a nonprofit organization specializing in rehabilitation, assisted living, skilled nursery, adult-day services and more, provided lunch for the faculty and staff for both Halmstad Elementary and Southview Elementary schools in Chippewa Falls.

Both schools are still reeling from the loss of three Girl Scouts and a mother who were killed when an alleged intoxicated driver plowed into them as they picked up a litter along a rural road as part of a community service project.

The private lunch, which occurred simultaneously at noon at both locations, saw both schools treated to food provided by Grace Lutheran Communities including chili, tossed salad, cookies and homemade bread provided by Prairie Pointe.

Peggy Husby, director of Grace Willowbrook, said the lunch was a small thing they could do to make the faculty’s day just even a little bit brighter.

“We did this to support our friends and neighbors is just part of who we are as a company,” Husby said. “Our mission is to care for people and this is just one small way for us to show that we think about them, we care about them and we want to help in whatever way we can.”

Husby said the lunches came together quickly due to an established connection between an employee of Grace and the two schools.

“The wellness nurse that works in my building, Michelle Monson, is from Chippewa Falls and has a connection to both of the schools,” Husby said. “So, we came in last week and wondered what we could do as a company to help. She called the schools, asked if we could provide a meal to the teachers so they could focus on the children and they were all for it.”

Businesses throughout Chippewa Falls have been contributing to the Girl Scouts following the tragedy and continue to do so. The GoFundMe fundraisers for both the Girl Scouts who lost their lives and the fundraiser for the Girl Scout who remains in the hospital have both exceeded their goals, while stickers, signs and fundraisers continue to pop up throughout the Chippewa Valley.

Husby said the immense outpouring of support the community has shown following the accident is indicative of the values the community holds as a whole.

“It is very telling of the Chippewa Valley as a whole,” Husby said. “When there is a need that’s identified, people come together and just take care of each other. It’s wonderful and I think we should be feeling very fortunate that we live in a community where you can count on people that don’t even know you but will help you when you need it.”

In addition to providing the lunch for the faculty and staff at both Southview Elementary and Halmstad Elementary Thursday afternoon, Grace Lutheran collected donations from their staff to help the cause. Husby said they were able to donate over $300 to the schools for them to spend on whatever they need to help the children get through the unexpected and devastating tragedy.

Grace Lutheran Communities will provide lunch for the staff of both schools again Friday afternoon at the same time as Thursday. For information on how to support the Girl Scouts, you can visit the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes website at

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Grace Lutheran Communities has been helping our friends and neighbors in communities all over the Chippewa Valley since 1960. The non-profit organization specializes in rehabilitation, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, child care, independent living, and adult day services.

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