April 2019 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. Judy Skog, Sierra Club Foundation - John Muir Chapter

Judy Skog is a founding member of the Tar Sands Team, a joint effort between the Wisconsin Chapter of the Sierra Club and 350-Madison to halt the expansion of pipelines that threaten Wisconsin’s land and water. The Tar Sands Team is working to protect Wisconsin’s water, land and air. Skog brings positive energy, hopefulness, humor and adorable pictures of her grandchildren everywhere she goes.

United Way to invest $19.5 million into Dane County community

United Way of Dane County will invest more than $19.5 million dollars in programs that focus on reducing poverty. As a part of their campaign “Champions for Change,” United Way raised funds from over 30,000 donors, business and partner agencies in 2018. A total of $19,526,101 dollars will be invested in to the Dane County community, focusing on programs and strategies that address areas of education, income and health. “The goal of investing this money is to provide support for programs proven to help stabilize families and ensure that every person in Dane County can succeed in school, work and life,” said Martha Cranley, the Executive Vice President of Community Impact at United Way. In a year round process, hundreds of volunteers including experts, business leaders, and key stakeholders read proposals submitted by community agencies.

Demeter Foundation to Host Wellness Workshops Aiding Women Transitioning from Incarceration

The Demeter Foundation will be hosting a four-week workshop series starting next week entitled “Creating a Healthier Lifestyle: Holistic Wellness,” for women with the lived experience of incarceration. The registration deadline for the series is Thursday, March 21. Participants can sign up by completing the registration form and submitting it to the Demeter Foundation. Each of the series’ eight sessions will focus on one of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness, such as environmental, financial, and emotional wellness. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their experiences and connect with others who have experienced incarceration.

Finding Success As a CEO of Tomorrow

Amara Stovall is an eight-grade student at Wright Middle School and student writer at Simpson Street Free Press. Amara has launched a business intended to change the lives of survivors affected by police brutality. Her business dream is now a reality. At the age of 13, Amara Stovall joined a High School program called CEOs of Tomorrow. The program helps students create businesses that solve social issues.

Maydm recieves $46K grant to expand computer science programing for girls and students of color

Maydm, a Madison-based technology non-profit, received a $46,000 grant from the Madison Community Foundation to expand their programing for girls and students of color. Maydm provides computer science courses, mentorships and internships for youth across the greater Madison area. Since their launch in 2016, Maydm has instructed over 700 youth, and over half have been girls or students of color. Tech is one of the fastest growing career fields, but only one in 10 K-12 schools nationwide teach computer science classes. In Wisconsin, only 32 percent of high schools offer AP computer science courses, and of the 1.498 students who took the AP Computer Science exam in 2018, only 20 percent were female and 7 percent were students of color, according to a Maydm press release.

March 2019 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. Nadya Mariam Ponce, WORT-FM

Nadya Mariam Ponce helps as a radio presenter on WORT's En Nuestro Patio ENPA, a Spanish language radio program that is produced by a team of volunteers and has become an important part of WORT. She is also one of the organizers of Madison's first Latinx community cycling club, BiciClub Latino de Madison. Ponce supports strongly the LatinXs on the Trans community and is always willing to help.

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.