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Tosa Cares: Serving the community for 15 years (Part 1)

Linda Ertel shares some thoughts and photos on the early days of Tosa Cares. Stay tuned for part 2 coming in February!

It was late December, 2007. The Tosa For Kids Food program had been operating out of the Wauwatosa Police Department under the direction of Officer Judy Neuder. Officer Neuder was retiring, and the police station could no longer provide the space for the food pantry.  Because there was a definite need, Officer Neuder and the Tosa for Kids Board was hoping perhaps a church, a service group or an individual might take over? Many groups were asked to consider this request, but the responses were not positive. UNTIL Linda Ertel brought it to the Mount Zion Lutheran Church Outreach Committee (which Tom and Linda were members of). Their response? “We will find a way!”

Two other Wauwatosa churches, Mount Carmel Lutheran and St. Matthew’s Lutheran, agreed to help. In January 2008 an eleven member board was formed from these 3 churches and other community members. They decided to form a new entity and Tosa Cares was born!


There was much to be done. In February of 2008 shelving and remaining food donations were moved from the police station and reconfigured in a spare room in Mt. Zion Lutheran on 120th and North Ave. The first priorities were organizing the space, collecting food, and

finding ways to connect with families in need.


To be continued…

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