Love Life Ministry: 1 Young Mom’s Vision to Preserve Her Heritage

Joann Vaile and other Love Life Ministry volunteers provide childcare items to families that are struggling financially
Joann Vaile and other Love Life Ministry volunteers provide childcare items to families that are struggling financially. The organization gives out diapers, formula, clothing, baby furniture, and other baby items.

Article by Pat Erdmann, Love Life Ministry volunteer | Photo by Timothy Mayer Artworks
At Love Life Ministry, we are so fortunate to meet so many wonderful young moms. It’s so rewarding to know that, with the support of our community, we can help them when help is needed.

Layette, Diapers, Formula & Baby Items

I’m a Love Life Ministry volunteer, and recently, I had a really nice conversation with one of our clients when she came in to register her new baby. On this visit to Love Life Ministry in Green Bay, we were able to help her out with diapers and formula for the month. A month earlier, she had received a layette for the baby. A layette includes knitted or crocheted blankets, quilts, and receiving blankets donated by compassionate and talented craftsman. She also received sleepers, onesies, bibs, burp clothes and other baby items needed to get started.

A Young Mom’s Vision for Her Child

The young mom and I got into a conversation about the baby’s name which was a native Menominee Indian name. We talked about preserving the language and being able to teach our children their heritage and culture.

Independent, Working Mom

As she was leaving, she told me she may not need to come back to Love Life Ministry too often because she was going to return to work soon, and she enjoyed being independent. I reminded her that we would be here for her whenever she needed us and wished her well with her new baby.

3 Goals of Love Life Ministry

We have three goals at Love Life Ministry, Green Bay, and we recently met all three goals when serving this young mom.

  1. Assist struggling families in the Green Bay area with meeting the basic needs of their newborns. – The mother left Love Life Ministry with the layette, diapers, baby formula, baby clothes and more.
  2. Provide Christian communities with the opportunity to support new life and demonstrate Gospel values through service and sharing of resources. – Love Life Ministry is an all-volunteer, ecumenical outreach ministry. Green Bay-area churches, community organizations, and individuals provide handmade blankets, baby supplies and funding.
  3. Give clients hope for a brighter future and a positive affirmation of life into our community. – This mother had a positive vision for the future of her child and looked forward to raising the child in the Menominee Indian culture and tradition. She expressed the hope to have the means of supporting herself and her baby.

Donate or Volunteer Today

Every week, Love Life Ministry, Green Bay, supports mothers just like this one. As an all-volunteer, ecumenical outreach ministry, we depend solely on the generosity of the community to sustain our nonprofit organization. Please consider helping low-income families, newborns and children in the Greater Green Bay area. We are in need, right now, of monetary donations to buy diapers, donations of baby items, and volunteers to fulfill our mission.

Truly I tell you, whatever you do for one of the least of these, you do for Me.

– Matthew 25:40

Joann Vaile: Volunteer Extraordinaire

Originally published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media in Green Bay Parish Neighbors

Article by Joan Koehne | Photo by Timothy Mayer Artworks

Joann Vaile spearheads two Green Bay charities that are making a difference near and far: Love Life Ministries and Annunciation Mission Society. Love Life Ministries provides childcare items to families that are struggling financially. The organization gives out diapers, formula, clothing, baby furniture, and related items.

“Whatever is donated to us, we give out to our clients,” Joann said. “It is an amazing ministry, and all of us volunteers love helping these families. The majority are single moms who really need help.”

The second organization, Annunciation Mission Society, makes rugs, afghans, quilts, aprons, hats, mittens, and other handmade items. The society sells its handiwork and donates the proceeds to missions in the U.S. and internationally. Joann’s close friend Genevieve Devroy, who passed away in August 2019, was the society’s longtime president. Genevieve invited Joann to get involved. Joann likes to sew, knit, and crochet, so she lends these talents to the society. In addition, Joann and her husband, Al, have helped sell the handmade items at craft shows.

“The Mission Society is a wonderful ministry to help others,” Joann said.

Joann and Al have been members of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish since they moved to Green Bay in 1989. Prior to that, the couple belonged to Ss. Edward and Isidore Parish, Flintville, from 1976 to 1989. Joann sang in the choir and volunteered at the church picnic at both parishes. She taught CCD at Ss. Edward and Isidore and served on the Stewardship Committee at Annunciation. She joined the Bible Study at Annunciation Parish 15 years ago and has participated in every session.

“I just love it and learn new things all the time,” Joann said. “We have a wonderful group of people who also have stayed with the Bible Study since it began.”

Joann’s favorite scriptures are Psalm 23, beginning with the phrase “The Lord is my shepherd,” and Psalm 51, beginning with the phrase “Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.” In addition to scripture study, Joann maintains an active prayer life. She prays a daily devotion every morning, prays every night, and prays the rosary at least three times a week.

“I trust in God in all aspects of my life. God has brought many people into my life for a reason or a season, and that means the world to me,” she said.

Joann and Al have made many friends over the years as members of the Quad Parishes.

“There are a lot of things the members of the Quad Parishes do together, like Masses and Winterfest. We also participate in each other’s picnics,” Joann said. “I love our church and have become friends with lots of people over the years.”

Joann and Al were married in a civil ceremony in 1976 and a church ceremony in 2006. It was the second marriage for both. Al has three sons, and Joann has a son and a daughter. Together, they have 19 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. They also have a cat named Pippin and a dog named Molly. The couple prays a marriage prayer every day, a tradition they started on Valentine’s Day 2020.

“I believe that it helps us in our struggles in a powerful way,” Joann said. “I encourage others to ask God for help when they are struggling with anything and to trust in Him.”

Al graduated from Green Bay West High School in 1956 and served in the Army, three years active duty and three years inactive. He worked at Fairmont Foods, then at James River Paper Mill/Georgia Pacific. He retired in 2000. Joann graduated from Clintondale High School in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on June 18, 1964, and started working for General Finance in Mt. Clemens the following day. She worked as a secretary and bookkeeper at different companies in Michigan and Green Bay. She retired from full-time work at Stantec in June 2012, but continued to work there part-time until February 2016.

Nowadays, Joann is a full-time caregiver for Al but still makes time to volunteer, take walks, garden, and paint. She took a few Learning in Retirement classes at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, including watercolor painting.

“I’m not that gifted in painting, but I do love to do it as a hobby,” she said. Her favorite painting is Jesus’ Agony in the Garden – which isn’t a surprise when you consider her love for Jesus and her devotion to serving others.