This week, we’re kicking off our countdown with a post celebrating the 15th year of our Family Ride Run Walk. Read on to learn about the history of the event, our organization, and the vital work your participation supports!

What is Outreach for Hope? We started as “the Outreach Fund”, established by the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1995; we became our own 501(c)3 in 2005. Today, we collect donations to fund grants to ELCA Lutheran congregations and ministries rooted in neighborhoods where many face income insecurity, so that our Synod continues to be a presence for the Gospel in these places.

We also organize seasonal opportunities, like Clothes for the Cold and a Super Bowl Food Drive; publish an annual Lenten devotion video series, and help spark partnerships between congregations across our Synod.

Fun fact: Outreach for Hope is unique in the ELCA as a 501(c)3 dedicated to this purpose! This is part of why our synod has been able to maintain a vibrant presence in the city while many synods have struggled to do so.

What’s the history of this event? The Outreach for Hope Family Ride Run Walk (formerly Family Bike Ride) started in 2008, when a handful of Outreach for Hope supporters organized a bike ride fundraiser and picnic. In the 15 years since, the event has taken on a life of its own, with dedicated participants and volunteers coming back year after year to raise over $1 million for grants to our Ministry Partners. It is now our organization’s largest annual fundraiser.

Who does the event benefit? Your support towards our $165K fundraising goal will directly fund grants to central city congregations in our Synod. These Ministry Partners across Southeast Wisconsin not only provide help with daily necessities like food and clothing needs, medical wellness clinics, and youth and elderly programs – to name just a few; they are also centers of transformation, faith, and hope in the heart of their communities.

Why should I participate? Not only is our Family Ride Run Walk a great way to support ministries that are walking with our neighbors in need… It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to literally walk, ride, run, and/or have fun in fellowship with your family, your congregation, people across our Synod (including our Ministry Partners), and the entire community of Outreach for Hope supporters!

…So, what are you waiting for? We hope you’ll help us continue this Synod tradition, and make some new memories too, at our 15th annual Family Ride Run Walk on Saturday, September 24!


Register to participate, making sure to join a team during sign up. We have pre-created teams for every congregation– or you can email us if you would like to make a special one for your family or other group. Invite your friends and family to join you on Saturday, September 24 for a wonderful time together!


Share the story of Outreach for Hope and our Family Ride Run Walk with a friend or family member who hasn’t heard of us – whether that’s by forwarding this email, messaging or texting them, or sharing our brochure (linked here).

Posting on social media? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #OFHRRW2022