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United Way of Inner Wisconsin News

 

Stuff the Bus - Adams County Was a Success

  • The 2014 Stuff the Bus collection in Adams County was a success, thanks to the generosity of local businesses and individuals who donated school supplies and/or cash, and to the volunteers!
  • Thanks to everyone’s support, we were able to give backpacks filled with school supplies to over 350 students this year. 
  • Children who need school supplies can still apply for a backpack year round by checking with school guidance counselors, or by contacting the Adams County Community Services Program at 608-339-4544. 
  • The need exists every day because children move to the area during the school year, children run out of supplies mid-year, and sometimes families suffer a disaster (like a house fire).  The program is for any child who lives in Adams County, and whose family needs financial assistance. 
  • Special thanks goes to:  Kobussen Buses, Ltd. for donating the bus to pick up supplies; the businesses who held drives; the individuals who donated supplies and/or cash donations; and the volunteers who helped assemble backpacks and distribute to students.

 

Stuff the School Bus of South Wood County Serves Over 800 Children

  • Over 800 students were served during Stuff the School Bus/Stuff the Desk event this year.  The Stuff the School Bus collection was held August 7, 2014.  Organizations who held school supply drives dropped off donations and volunteers came to help sort the donated supplies.   During Stuff the Desk at Lincoln High School, on August 16, 2014, students and parents came out to receive school supplies for the school year. 
  • During the 2014 Stuff the School Bus/Stuff the Desk:
    • 138 backpacks, 97 binders, 273 colored pencils, 440 crayons, 313 glue bottles, 617 glue sticks, 555 highlighters, 234 scissors, and much more school supplies were collected.
    • Approximately 130 volunteers helped overall with the collection, sorting, and distribution of the school supplies.
    • Of the 800 students who participated, 98% qualify for free and reduced meals at their schools.  Also 47 of these students qualify for EHCY (Educating Homeless Children and Youth) services.
    • Because each family was asked to (voluntarily) bring a canned food item to donate, 15 boxes of food were collected and donated to South Wood Emergency Pantry Shelf.
  • All the leftover school supplies were picked up by Caring Closet through Wisconsin Rapids Area Schools; and the Nekoosa School District.  If you missed Stuff the Desk and your student needs school supplies, talk to your school’s counselor or social worker; or call Caring Closet at 715-424-6730 extension 3174.
  • The Stuff the School Bus Committee would like to thank everyone who helped to make this possible:  the volunteers, the organizations who held school supply drives, the individuals and organizations who donated school supplies and cash donations, and our local media who ran in-kind print advertising and aired free public service announcements.  Thanks to everyone working together, we made an incredible impact on the lives of local students in need.  Thank you! 
  • School supply donations are needed year round due to disasters (house fires); when a needy family moves to the area during the school year; for foster kids; or students run out.  Any student who needs school supplies during the school year can contact Caring Closet or talk to the guidance counselor at his/her school.  Anybody who would like to make a donation of school supplies during the school year can contact Caring Closet or go to the nearest school. 
  • Call United Way’s 2-1-1 for more information about donating or receiving supplies.

 

United Way Holds Third Annual Sweepstakes

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin is holding its third annual $1,000 Sweepstakes now until November 21, 2014. 
  • Anyone who pledges a new undesignated donation of $26.00 or more to United Way of Inner Wisconsin, or increases their gift over last year’s donation by at least $26.00 is automatically entered to win one of five $1,000 cash prizes!  Please click here to read the complete rules and regulations.
  • This year the sweepstakes is sponsored by Riverview Family Clinic, River Cities Bank, Heartland Farms, Inc., and Timber Shores.  There will be three cash prizes in south Wood County and two in Adams County.
  • Donations must be turned into the United Way of Inner Wisconsin office by 4:00pm, November 21, 2014.  The winners will be announced on or around January 7, 2015.
  • Last year, the winners of the $1,000 cash prizes were:  Sara Kolo, Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools; Nick Veverka, Alliant Energy; Diane Cable, Adams County Health and Human Services; John Frantz, Town of Rome; and Chris Woodard, Domtar.  Over all, the sweepstakes brought in an additional $63,525 of new undesignated gifts to the United Way of Inner Wisconsin 2013 campaign.
  • If you have any questions about the sweepstakes, contact the United Way office at 715-421-0390 or click here.  If do not have a United Way campaign at your business or organization and would like to offer this opportunity to your employees, call the United Way office and we will help you get started.
  • You can also make a donation individually by making an online donation using your credit card (click here); or download a pledge card, fill it out and return it to the United Way office.  You can also call the United Way office and ask to be billed.  United Way of Inner Wisconsin is located at 351 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI  54494.

 

Governor Scott Walker Declares United Way Months

  • Click here to download the Governor's Proclamation acrobat
  • Governor Scott Walker has designated the months of September and October 2014 as United Way Months in Wisconsin, in recognition of the launch of United Way annual campaigns throughout the state.
  • The 43 United Ways across Wisconsin each work within their communities to meet local needs, using funds raised locally. Together, United Ways work to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: education, income, and health. We all win when a child succeeds in school, families are financially stable, and people have good health. Every year Wisconsin steps up -- individuals, businesses, and organizations – to supply the passion, expertise, and resources to create lasting change.
  • In 2013, Wisconsin's United Ways collectively raised over $122 million to support human services. Wisconsinites have many ways to give, advocate and volunteer with United Way to be a part of the change and help build a brighter future for all.
  • Last year, United Way of Inner Wisconsin raised $633,390 and provided funds to over 40 local programs; and worked on several community initiatives including the Learning for Life Reading Mentor Program, the South Wood County Hunger Coalition, the Help Guide for South Wood County, the Great Book Giveaway, the South Wood County Homelessness Initiative, FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount Card and Stuff the School Bus.
  • This year, the United Way of Inner Wisconsin Campaign Chair Doug Wenzlaff, CEO and General Manager for Solarus, urges everyone to become involved.  “Central Wisconsin has such a great quality of life,” said Doug.  “While this is a great place to live, there are those who struggle every day.  If you haven’t contributed in the past, now is a great time to start.  Even a small gift can make a positive difference in many lives.”
  • If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the United Way of Inner Wisconsin office at 715-421-0390 or send an email to Angie Loucks at angie@uwiw.org.  You can give (through your workplace campaign or donate online), advocate (stand up for a cause you believe in) and volunteer (by visiting www.volunteerinnerwisc.org). Working together we can improve lives in our communities!

United Way of Inner Wisconsin Partners with enTouch Wireless to Provide Free Cell Phones

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin is proud to connect community members with enTouch Wireless, which provides free cell phones to individuals who qualify for other governmental programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, etc.
  • enTouch Wireless provides a free cell phone and up to 250 free minutes per month for one year.  The service is made possible by a state and federal government assistance program called Lifeline that provides discounts on monthly telephone service for eligible low-income individuals.  It is important because everyone needs the opportunity and security of a telephone that helps them connect to jobs, family and 9-1-1 services. 
  • Individuals who wish to apply for a free enTouch phone can pick up an application at local agencies such as Hope’s Door, North Central Community Action Program, the Job Center, Childcaring, and McMillan Memorial Library.  If you are a church, agency or organization who would like to have enTouch applications available for the individuals you serve please call the United Way of Inner Wisconsin office at 715-421-0390.
  • Individuals who qualify for the program can fill out an application and submit it to enTouch Wireless.  If approved, the customer will receive a phone within eight business days of receipt of application.  The phone comes loaded with the minutes requested; every thirty days the balance automatically reloads as long as there is an active account.  The plan includes voicemail, call forwarding, three way calling and is data enabled.  Customers can purchase additional minutes, texts and data from an airfair wireless retailer such as Baltus Bread and Butter Shop, BP and Schierl Oil.  The program is available for only one person per household and is non-transferrable.  Customers must reapply annually.
  • Lifeline is funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF).  Telecommunications companies contribute to the USF.  No funding is received through taxpayer dollars or through the Lifeline program.  Eligible telecommunications companies – including enTouch Wireless - are certified by the FCC to manage the Lifeline program.  For more information please call the United Way of Inner Wisconsin office at 715-421-0390.