'We need help': Small Milwaukee church in shambles, plea for donations

’We need help’: Small Milwaukee church in shambles, plea for donations

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church needs the community's help to keep their doors open. 

The small church was built in the 1850's and moved twice. You can find it now at 1231 W. Scott Street in Milwaukee. 

CBS 58 caught up with Parish Board President Sophia Torcivia and Treasurer Ed Bergey. 

"It went from a Baptist church to a Greek Catholic to a Greek Orthodox, and we are currently a Greek Orthodox church," said Torcivia. 

The church now serves as a safe space for the Ukrainian community, who are going through an extremely difficult time right now. 

"With the pending invasion of Ukraine, it's been kind of hard...I'm sorry." 

Staff are now facing another difficulty. The church is physically falling apart. 

"The ceiling is about to fall in in this section. We have bungee cords across, keeping the walls apart. We could use manual help, financial help, we need help," said Torcivia. 

"The joists in the attic that hold the roof up are the same joists that were there when it was built in1858. Many of them are breaking and as a consequence, the roof is starting to slide, and that's what is causing the outside walls to move out," said Bergey. 

Staff say the church steps have also had to be redone several times. They would love to install a ramp as an added safety measure for older parishioners. 

Sophia and Ed say the church needs at least $60,000 to replace the roof so they can keep their doors open. 

"What does it mean to us, for those people who are my age, who have been here for a while, this is an important thing for us," said Bergey. 

"If we stay here, a future generation can also participate and keep it going. It's not just a place, it’s a home," said Torcivia. 

Torcivia says they are working on creating a GoFundMe page to help gather donations to rebuild the roof of the church. They welcome any donations at this time as well. 

If you would like to mail a donation, that can be sent to St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 1231 W. Scott Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.

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