The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County will celebrate 10 years of Hearts for Helping

The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County will celebrate 10 years of Hearts for Helping, its  second-largest annual fundraiser, on February 8. The semi-formal fundraising event will showcase wine and cheese from across Wisconsin and feature both silent and live auctions, as well as live entertainment. Proceeds from the event benefit the Boys & Girls Club 2019 academic and recreational programs. This year’s proceeds will support the Club’s summer programming and the outfitting of the Club’s new location in Sun Prairie. The event’s theme, A Storybook Celebration, highlights the expanding future of the Club and its achievements in Dane County. “Not only is it, celebrating ten years of the event, but also, it allows us to really talk about the story of the club, the story of a child going through all of our programming,” said Alex Murray, director of special events for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.

Women in Focus, Inc. signature fundraising event supports youth in Madison

Women in Focus, Inc. will host its annual “I Have A Dream” Scholarship Ball this Saturday to support its various scholarship programs.

The all-women organization dedicated to promoting educational achievement and excellence for students of color in the Madison community hosts its annual fundraising event on the Saturday before Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The organization hosted its first “I Have A Dream” Scholarship Ball in 1986. Proceeds from the event fund several scholarships that are awarded to students of color heading to college. The scholarships are awarded to high school seniors, as well as adults returning to continue higher education. In the past several years, more than $452,000 in scholarships have been awarded to students in Dane County.

Seven Organizations Join Community Shares of Wisconsin

Seven new nonprofits last week joined Community Shares of Wisconsin. The new members join 65 Wisconsin-based nonpartisan and nonprofit organizations that are working to advance social justice, protect the environment and defend civil rights in Dane County and across Wisconsin. The CSW board of directors unanimously approved the membership of the new organizations. The new members of CSW are:

Mentoring Positives, a mentoring program working directly with kids and families throughout Dane County;

MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality and Solidarity), an interfaith organization aiming to promote social justice with a focus of ending mass incarceration;

Omega School, a Madison-based alternate school that provides individualized instruction to help adults prepare for and obtain a GED/HSED credential;

Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County, an organization working to build a safe, ethnically equitable and racially just place for the Latinx LGBT+ community in Dane County;

Positive Women for Change, an initiative providing coaching services to underserved women who face adversity and financial disarray;

Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, an organization that wants to ensure that Black men and boys have the opportunity to live fuller, healthier lives;

and, Voces de la Frontera, a membership-based community organizations that aims to protect and expand civil and workers’ rights. “We are thrilled to welcome these new organizations into our community of nonprofits,” said CSW Executive Director Cheri Dubiel in a press release.

Annual Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison Bike Collection Day Kicks Off Jan. 12

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison will collect gently used bikes on Saturday, Jan. 12, as the first phase of its third season. The bikes will then be refurbished and donated to 2,500 area youth later this spring. Founded in 2016, Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison (FB4K) gave away some 400 bikes in its first year. In 2018, they were able to refurbish and give away 1,100 bikes.

Hmong holiday lunch offers chance to celebrate community

Members of Madison’s Hmong community are hosting a lunch for residents to celebrate the holidays together on Friday. The holiday lunch will be held in the lower level of the Catholic Multicultural Center, and starts at noon. The lunch, which is the first event Hmoob KajSiab will host during the winter holidays, follows up the program’s event around Thanksgiving. Hmoob KajSiab works with elderly Hmong, Cambodians and Miao to help them socialize and address mental health issues. “KajSiab” means peacefulness and calm and encapsulates the idea of being free from stress, tension and worry.

December 2018 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Jake Hardwood, Rape Crisis Center

Jake Hardwood volunteers with the Rape Crisis Center (RCC). At the RCC, Hardwood has dedicated his efforts to the Safer Bar program where he helps educate employees of Madison businesses on the subject of sexual violence intervention. As a volunteer, he has assisted in the training of staff at alcohol-serving establishments to help them better identify sexually aggressive behavior.

SSFP: Local Neighborhood Foundation Helps Students Develop Real-Life Skills

The Mellowhood Foundation’s Summer Initiative is a paid summer program in the southwest Madison Meadowood neighborhood that teaches a large age-range of children about independence and real-world responsibilities. The initiative draws on the knowledge students already have from school, while also teaching them skills such as independence and self-determination. Mellowhood student Amaria has learned valuable lessons through the program, such as “working hard, getting good grades, and failing from time to time.”

The initiative focuses on team-building through activities such as gardening and group prayer. Students work together to develop menu plans using the food they grow and are served lunch and dinner. There is also an emphasis on helping students improve in core academic subjects like math, science, and English.

The interactive game, Dane Changers, is now available as an app

The United Way of Dane County’s interactive game “Dane Changers” is officially available as an app. Users can now play the game on their mobile devices by downloading it through Google Play or the Apple App Store. The digital engagement tool, which launched in August, teaches users about widespread and critical issues in Dane County like poverty, educational achievement gaps, health inequalities and poverty. Approximately 12 percent of Dane County residents, or 64,000 people, live in poverty, but Dane County remains one of the best places to live in the United States. The United Way paired with Acme Nerd Games to produce the game and app.

November 2018 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Hannah Nowakowski, Sierra Club Foundation-John Muir Chapter

Hannah Nowakowski has been an invaluable member to the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter. As a student intern for the organization, Hannah showed a strong commitment to the organization’s goals of protecting natural areas and promoting responsible use of the earth’s resources. Through her work as an intern, Hannah has helped champion efforts to move Wisconsin away from energy production that depends on dangerous oil pipelines.

October 2018 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Tim Radelet, Project Home

Tim Radelet has been a great contributor to the goals of the Madison non-profit organization Project Home. For nearly 50 years, Project Home has worked to improve homes and make housing more affordable for low-to moderate income residents in Dane and Green County, WI. Over the last 20 years, Radelet has supported Project Home’s cause by volunteering his legal expertise pro-bono, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Rodney Scheel House.