Live United


United Way of Inner Wisconsin



United Way of Inner Wisconsin News


Volunteers Needed for Homeless Point in Time Count

  • Volunteers are needed for a Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count that will be held from July 27, 11pm to July 28, 3am.  Volunteers will be assigned an area in Wisconsin Rapids and the surrounding area and will travel in groups of 3-4.  We are looking for a total of 20 volunteers (five groups of four).
  • Volunteers will conduct interviews with participating homeless people and offer information about resources that can help.  Volunteers should be at least 18 years old.  Volunteers do not need any related skills but will be required to attend a training (July 27 at 10:30pm); and will need to fill out an application.  There will be minimal walking and volunteers may need to provide their own transportation.  Volunteers need to dress appropriately for the weather and bring along a flash light.  A reflective vest and any other supplies will be provided.  Volunteers who are interested should contact United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 or send an email to



Stuff the Bus of Adams County Announces Details for 2016

  • The Eighth Annual “Stuff the Bus” in Adams County will be held on August 12, 2016.  A school bus donated by Kobussen Buses, Ltd. will drive to local organizations that are holding school supply drives where volunteers will “stuff the bus” with donations.
  • We are looking for local organizations in Adams County to become “Stuff the Bus” drop off locations.  This may include: local businesses, churches, schools, service organizations, etc.  Drop off locations will collect school supplies from July 18 to August 12, 2016. 
  • To become a drop off site, please contact the Adams County Community Services Program at 608-339-4544.  If you or your organization would like to collect school supplies, but do not wish to become a drop off site, you can bring supplies to one of the drop off sites before August 12, 2016. 
  • As of July 18, 2016, the organizations currently taking donations are:
    • Adams Columbia Electric Cooperative
    • Adams County Courthouse / Community Service Program Office
    • Adams County Health & Human Services
    • Adams Friendship School Administration Office
    • AF County Market
    • BMO Harris
    • City of Adams
    • Grand Marsh State Bank
    • Lakes Area Christian Fellowship
    • Practical Cents
    • Royal Bank
    • Villa Pines Living Center
    • Wall Chiropractic
    Two school supply drives that are open only to employees/members include: 
    • Adams Assembly of God
    • WestRock
  • Items that are especially needed include:  24 count crayons, pencils, pencil pouches, pens (red, blue or black), colored pencils, washable markers, watercolor paints, pointed scissors, wide ruled paper (spiral bound), glue sticks, supply boxes, pocket folders, filler paper (wide ruled), 3 ring binders (1inch size), rulers, scientific calculators, and backpacks.
  • Monetary donations and gift certificates are also accepted.  Please write checks to “Stuff the Bus” and mail/deliver to the Adams-Friendship Schools Administrative Building, 201 W. 6th St., Friendship, WI 53934. 
  • Volunteers are needed to help collect school supplies at each location, sort donations and help distribute to local students.  To volunteer, please contact the Adams County Community Services Program at 608-339-4544.
  • On August 16, backpacks filled with school supplies will be distributed to local students in need.  All students who live in Adams County and whose families are in need of financial assistance, qualify for the program. To receive an application, stop into the Adams County Health and Human Services office between July 18 - August 12, 2016.
  • For more information about the Adams County Stuff the Bus Event, please dial 2-1-1 to speak to an information specialist, or find us on Facebook. 


Stuff the School Bus Committee Seeks Drop Off Locations

  • The Stuff the School Bus Committee for south Wood County is looking for volunteers to be “Collection Site Coordinators,” and also be official drop off locations for the annual school supply drive. 
  • Collection Site Coordinators will be responsible for hosting a school supply drive from July 11 to August 4, 2016. Coordinators should have their collection sites accessible in an open area such as a lobby, entry way, or break room as well as promote the drive to co-workers, customers, and others in the community. Promotional materials are available for download at All donations received will need to be delivered by Collection Site Coordinators to the Stuff the School Bus event on August 4, 2016 during Lunch by the River, or make arrangement for volunteers to pick up the donations.
  • If your business, church, service organization or club would like to be an official collection site for Stuff the School Bus, register today!  For more information or to sign up, please contact Amy Fluno at United Way of Inner Wisconsin:  715-421-0390 or
  • The Stuff the School Bus event will be held on August 4, 2016 during Lunch by the River at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 11:30am – 1:00pm.  There will a bus parked during Lunch by the River and we’ll be “stuffing” it with donations of school supplies.
  • If you can’t participate in a school supply drive, but wish to contribute, you can purchase school supplies and bring them to one of the drop-off locations; or bring them to Stuff the School Bus on August 4th. 
  • Monetary donations are also accepted.  Checks can be written to “Stuff the Bus/Stuff the Desk” and mailed to “Stuff the Bus/Stuff the Desk,” c/o United Way of Inner Wisconsin, 351 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI  54494.
  • School supplies will be distributed at the Stuff the Desk event, which will be held Saturday, August 13, 2016 from 8 – 11:30am at Lincoln High School, 1801 16th Street S., Wisconsin Rapids.  Any south Wood County family who is in financial need qualifies.
  • To receive school supplies, families need to pre-register by July 22, 2016.  Applications can be picked up at:  Boys and Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area (as well as the Nekoosa and Port Edwards locations), United Way of Inner Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools Central Office.  An application can be downloaded from  Applications will NOT be mailed out to anyone.
  • Applications must be returned to United Way of Inner Wisconsin (351 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI  54494) by July 22, 2016.  In early August, families will receive a postcard informing them of their time slot for pick up during Stuff the Desk.


Great Book Giveaway Grows Again in 2016

  • Attendance at the seventh annual Great Book Giveaway grew again this year with 323 children attending seven events (462 total including adults).  Additionally, 29 volunteers donated their time to read books to children at the events.  In 2015, there were 251 children (376 total with adults). 
  • The volunteers read books to children June 7-10 in Port Edwards, Nekoosa, Vesper, Rudolph, Wisconsin Rapids and Adams-Friendship. After the volunteers were done, books were distributed to every child present. Just over 1,000 books were distributed this year.  The books were collected during a children’s book drive held in April, 2016. 
  • This initiative helps families build up their home libraries and to stave off the “summer slide.” Teachers spend approximately one month every fall “catching up” on what children forgot during summer recess.  One of the ways to prevent the “summer slide” is to have children read – or be read to – every day.  We also know that when children have their own books, and when they are readily accessible in the home, parents, guardians and caregivers are more likely to read to kids. Reading to children is crucial to help increase school preparedness and improve literacy skills.


United Way Announces Winners of "United We Can"

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin and the South Wood County Hunger Coalition are proud to announce the winners of the 2016 “United We Can” Food Sculpture Contest.  This year’s award recipients include:
    • Most Creative: Aspirus Riverview Hospital and their “Being Hungry Makes You Crabby!” sculpture
    • Most Nutritious:  Ocean Spray and their “Fork Lift” sculpture
    • Community Choice Award:  ERCO Worldwide and their “Snoopy” sculpture
  • “But the real winners are our local food programs and the people they serve,” said Stefanie Drexler, Director of Office Operations at United Way of Inner Wisconsin and coordinator of the event.  “Thanks to last night’s competition, we were able to leverage 6,000 pounds of food for local food programs.  These food donations will feed many families for a long time.  We were also able to educate the community about hunger issues that are happening right here in our community.”
  • This year there were eight teams competing:  Aspirus Riverview Hospital, Central Wisconsin Literacy Council, ERCO Worldwide, Grace Lutheran Church, Ocean Spray, Solarus, The Family Center (with help from volunteers from ODC) and United Way’s 2-1-1.  Teams worked on their sculptures at Witter Field on June 15th from 10am – 4pm; then during the Rafter’s game, spectators were able to view the sculptures and vote for their favorite.  Photos of last night’s sculptures can be viewed HERE.
  • Food that was collected was distributed to:  Christian Life Fellowship Food Pantry, Rapids Family Backpacks, South Wood Emerging Pantry Shelf, The Family Center Shelter Pantry, and The Neighborhood Table.


United Way Announces 2017 Grant Recipients

  • The United Way of Inner Wisconsin Board of Directors approved plans to distribute $505,197 in grants in south Wood and Adams Counties in 2017 during its board meeting May 18, 2016. 
  • Programs that receive United Way funding must demonstrate they are making an impact in four strategy areas:  Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net Services.  United Way will be distributing $477,297 in south Wood County and $27,900 in Adams County.
  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin will raise these funds during its 2016 campaign this fall.  The United Way campaign runs from September 1st to October 31st, 2016.  2017 allocations are contingent on enough funds being raised this fall. 
  • To view our 2017 Grant Recipients, click here.


Stuff the School Bus Accepting Pre-Registrations



  • The Stuff the School Bus committee for south Wood County is now accepting applications for free school supplies that will be distributed August 13, 8:00am – 11:30am at Lincoln High School (1801 16th St. S., Wisconsin Rapids).  Families who wish to receive free school supplies need to pre-register from now until July 22, 2016. 
  • Registration applications were distributed to all students in the Nekoosa, Port Edwards and Wisconsin Rapids school districts – either sent home in the weekly folders or in monthly newsletters.
  • Applications can also be picked up at: 
    • Boys and Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area, 501 17th St. S., Wisconsin Rapids (as well as the Mead, Nekoosa and Port Edwards locations)
    • United Way of Inner Wisconsin, 351 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids
    • Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools Central Office, 510 Peach Street, Wisconsin Rapids
  • An application can also be downloaded above.  Applications will NOT be mailed out to anyone.
  • Applications must be returned to United Way of Inner Wisconsin (351 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI  54494) by July 22, 2016.  In early August, families will receive a postcard informing them of their time-slot for pick up during Stuff the Desk on August 13, 2016.
  • Stuff the School Bus will be asking local businesses and individuals to collect/donate school supplies from July 11 – August 4, 2016.  School supplies will be dropped off at the Stuff the School Bus drive on August 4th during Lunch by the River at Veteran’s Memorial Park (11:30am – 1:00pm). 
  • Stuff the School Bus is a community collaborative effort to collect and distribute school supplies to students in need.  All families who are in financial need are eligible.  For more information, please contact United Way’s 2-1-1.
  • For more information, click here.