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United Way of Inner Wisconsin



United Way of Inner Wisconsin News


Disaster Volunteer Reception Center Training Offered

  • In partnership with Wood County Emergency Management, United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center will be conducting a Disaster Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Training on March 10 and 12, from 5pm to 7pm both nights.  The event will be held at the Wisconsin Rapids Lion’s Club, 3331 10th St. S., Wisconsin Rapids.  Dinner will be sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Café, and Domino’s Pizza.
  • During a disaster, there are two types of volunteers:  spontaneous and affiliated.  Affiliated volunteers have a relationship with a volunteer organization, such as American Red Cross, and have been trained and vetted.  Spontaneous volunteers are unaffiliated and may not be trained, but may still have skills, energy and compassion to share after a disaster. 
  • In the event of a disaster, any spontaneous volunteers who arrive at a disaster scene will be directed to the VRC, where they will fill out an application, be interviewed and screened, matched with a disaster volunteer opportunity, trained and fitted with a wristband before being sent back out to the disaster scene.  The VRC is staffed by another group of volunteers.  We are currently recruiting volunteers to join our VRC team. 
  • Day one of our VRC training will consist of lecture, where we will be discussing what happens during a disaster, what we do at the VRC and why it is important.  Day two will be a hands-on exercise.  At the conclusion of the training, each participant will be asked to join the VRC team.  Each VRC volunteer fills out an application, is screened, and asked to attend future trainings.  VRC volunteers are also asked to be available in the event of a disaster.
  • To register for the training, please visit , click on “Volunteer at Events” and scroll down to “Disaster VRC Training.”  For more information, please contact Angie Loucks, Volunteer Center Coordinator at 715-421-0390 or

Volunteer Center Seeks Nominations for Volunteer Recognition Breakfast

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center is seeking nominations for its 24th Annual Volunteer Recognition Breakfast.
  • The breakfast will be held at Hotel Mead, 451 E. Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids on April 14, 2015.  Registration begins at 7:45am, breakfast buffet as guests arrive, with the program beginning at 8:00am.
  • To Nominate a Volunteer
    Each volunteer who is nominated will receive recognition for their service, including a certificate and token of our appreciation.  To nominate a volunteer:
    • Visit our website at to download a nomination form, fill it out and return it to us by 4:00pm, March 17, 2015. 
    • Visit our website at and fill out an online form by 4:00pm, March 17, 2015.
  • Late nominations will not be accepted.  Each agency may nominate up to five individuals or groups.  If you’d like to submit a photo of your volunteer(s) to be used in the presentation, please email that to by March 17th.  We will send a letter to each nominee but the nominators will need to reach out to their volunteer(s) with additional instructions.
  • To RSVP for the Volunteer Breakfast
    Please RSVP for the Volunteer Breakfast by April 7, 2015. This year we have two ways to register:
    • Visit our website at to download our registration form, fill it out and return it with your payment.
    • Visit our website at to register online and make a credit card payment through PayPal.
  • Payment will not be accepted at the door; and your RSVP will not be accepted until payment is made.  Please make checks payable to United Way of Inner Wisconsin.
  • Call the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 with any questions about how to nominate a volunteer or RSVP. United Way of Inner Wisconsin thanks our generous sponsor for this event, Daily Tribune Media, for its continued support!


Celebrate 2-1-1 on February 11th

  • Across the nation, communities are celebrating 2-1-1 on February 11th.  On a local level, Mayor Zack Vruwink has officially proclaimed today “2-1-1 Day” in Wisconsin Rapids.
  • United Way’s 2-1-1 is an information and referral program that maintains a database of community resources and connects callers with questions to the proper services or organizations to meet their information needs.  This service is free, confidential and available 24/7. 
  • “United Way’s 2-1-1 is here to help,” said Amy Fluno, 2-1-1 Program Director.  “We answer questions every day that range from basic needs such as ‘where is my local food pantry?’ to more complex questions like ‘My family has an eviction notice and we don’t know what to do.  Who can help us?’ Give us a call and we may be able to find the answers you are looking for.”
  • You can also celebrate 2-1-1, by learning more about this useful tool, or by giving us a call if you have a question about a community resource.  Listed here are some things you can do today:
    • Advocate for a friend or relative who is having a difficult time.  Dial 2-1-1 to see what resources are available.
    • Visit our website at and download helpful guides such as the “Help Guide” for your community.
    • Sign up for the “Get Connected Get Answers” Blog at  to stay informed about local events, support groups, conferences, classes and updates in your community.
    • Sign up for the 2-1-1 Resources E-Newsletter by contacting us at
  • If you are a non-profit organization, religious entity or government agency providing health or human service programs to the public, contact 2-1-1 to be added to our database.  You can also request free 2-1-1 materials (posters, fact cards, magnets, etc.) and put them on display or hand them out to clients.
  • In addition to connecting callers to local resources, United Way’s 2-1-1 also tracks caller needs and uses that information to analyze trends, such as identifying gaps in services.  This information can be used to help make program funding decisions.
  • For example, in 2014, our 2-1-1 call center answered 4,769 calls.  The top five needs were:
    • In south Wood County
      • Food Pantries
      • Rent Payment Assistance
      • Electric Payment Assistance
      • Gas Money
      • Housing Authority
    • In Adams County
      • Rent Payment Assistance
      • Electric Payment Assistance
      • Food Pantries
      • Medical Appointment Transportation
      • Rent Deposit Assistance
  • For more information, contact United Way’s 2-1-1 by calling 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211; or visit

Applications for United Way Funding Available Feb. 4, 2015

  • United Way of Inner Wisconsin will be accepting Funding Applications for 2016 programming starting on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.  Health and human service agencies in south Wood County and Adams County can apply for United Way funding for programs that fall under one of the funding priorities:  Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net Services.
  • Agencies who wish to apply need to download the four-part PDF application form from our website, starting on February 4, 2015.  To be considered for United Way funding in 2016, agencies need to follow the instructions and fill out the forms in their entirety.  The cover sheet, applications and supporting documentation with checklist must be received in the United Way of Inner Wisconsin office by March 6, 2015 at 4:00pm.  Late, handwritten or incomplete applications will not be accepted.  If you have technical questions about the application, please contact Tari Jahns, United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s CEO at 715-421-0390 or

United Way of Inner Wisconsin Welcomes Back Tari Jahns

  • The United Way of Inner Wisconsin Board of Directors is proud to welcome back Tari Jahns as its CEO.
  • Elizabeth Constable, United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Board President released the following statement:  “The United Way of Inner Wisconsin welcomes back recently-departed Tari Jahns to resume the CEO role with the organization.  The board had undertaken the process of searching for a new CEO, but, after receiving a request to rescind her resignation, voted unanimously to reinstate Jahns.  Jahns is eager to re-engage the community after her short departure from the organization.”
  • Tari will return as the organization’s CEO on January 19, 2015.