Bethel House introduces six-part video series about financial management

About 70 members of the community gathered at the second annual Bethel House barbecue luncheon at the Whitewater campus of CrossPointe Community Church on April 9.

It provided participants time for food and fellowship, but the most important aspects of the gathering were to raise some funds (through a good-will offering) and spread awareness about the Bethel House’s mission and its outreach efforts.

“Bethel House is beginning its 25th year of supporting Whitewater families who are on the verge of homelessness and who just need some support,” said Bev Bonge-Ganser, president of the ecumenical nonprofit’s Board of Directors.
“It is truly a grassroots mission,” she added, saying its success is because of “the grace of God, about a bazillion volunteer hours and a lot of people who have been dedicated to this cause.”

Bonge-Ganser said the ministry has taken on a life of its own during the past year, pointing out that Executive Kristy Weinberg and Board Vice President Jim Winship have worked with local institutions in putting together a financial program curriculum.

Weinberg said Bethel House’s previous financial management classes didn’t succeed in addressing the issues that low-income families face.

So, it created its own curriculum with the guidance of an advisory board representing Fort Community Credit Union, First Citizens State Bank, PremierBank, Cardinal Financial Services, Consumer Credit Counseling, Community Action Coalition and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Social Work Department.

Beechwood True LLC, Video One Media Services, the Whitewater Community Foundation and the United Way of North Jefferson and Walworth Counties also are involved in the project.

The six-part series of video lessons is titled “Money Well-Being: Taking Charge of Your Finances and Thriving.”

The series will be targeted for families residing in Bethel House properties but will be available to any other families that would like to take the free course. In addition, the curriculum will be available to other nonprofits.

“Our plan is to start this curriculum this fall with the first group of families,” Weinberg said after showing the video series trailer to the assembled audience. “The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Social Work Department is going to help us evaluate the program. We’re going to make any adjustments for a final version, probably next fall.”

For more information about Bethel House, visit


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